Kopaszi gát lies on the Danube in south Buda. The locals simply call it “the bay” and it has developed into one of capital’s popular nightlife districts. Numerous restaurants and discos line up on the dam but changes are planned soon, with tall buildings offering “intelligent” living space.
Vakvarjú Beach, Le Bistro, BelD’or – these popular restaurants and snack bars may soon be history. The running track, beloved equally by youngsters, families and seniors, could also disappear. The look of the dam is to be changed completely.
Kopaszi gát is to be rebuilt into a new district offering not only living but also working space for many people. After the area was sold in 2015, the new owner is planning to build up-market apartments and office buildings, creating a completely new street image.
There would be hotels, boutiques and shops, creating a city within the city – using so-called smart-city solutions such as underground parking that can be controlled with a special application, raising the level of comfort for potential inhabitants and visitors alike.
Applying to buy the planned real estate is already possible. Market Építő, the new owner, promises to preserve more than 60% of the present green and water surfaces. The buildings will be various sizes but their height will be fixed at around 120 metres. Many Budapest citizens don’t like these plans at all, since their city is known and loved for its balanced townscape without large individual buildings and skyscrapers.
Politicians convinced as well
The project, which is known under the name BudaPart, is managed by Property Market – a business branch of the owner, which is solely responsible for the realisation of the reconstruction. As opposed to others, District XI mayor Tamás Hoffmann likes the project.
“This development could be allowing an old wish to finally become reality: after many decades the citizens of Újbuda would be able to use the Lágymányosi area again – in terms of new living space and shopping opportunities first of all,” he says.
Adept, the Danish architect company charged with planning BudaPart, is also looking forward to the complete renovations with a positive attitude – which is not really surprising. CEO Anders Lonka put it this way: “According to our company’s credo we only participate in planning projects when we are fully convinced about it and believe that it will be a challenge for us. This is true for the BudaPart project, since we do believe in the concept of creating a new district on the shores of the Danube.”
The company, founded in 2006, has planned a number of internationally recognised reconstructions of whole quarters, for example they are behind the design of the Royal Seaport in Stockholm. This kind of experience and the company’s reputation were the decisive factors for the owner in awarding the project to them over other international and Hungarian applicants.
Everything remains the same – for now
Opinions are still divided: will the planned reconstruction create added value at Kopaszi gát – for both tenants of the new buildings and visitors – or will it rather scare away the regulars, who just appreciate the present familiar atmosphere? The realisation of the project is only expected in about ten years, so we still have some time to enjoy Kopaszi gát in its present form.