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Renowned international architects to prepare concept for Zugló’s new city center

Echo Investment, the Polish company to build the new city center in Zugló assigned three renowned international architectural offices to draft the concept of the center.

The three design companies, the American Laguarda.Low, the British Chapman Taylor and Benoy, were assigned to design a multifunction city center. Echo Investment will present the best concept to Zugló municipality before the end of the year, and realize the best plan. Polish real-estate developer Echo Investment bought the 6.8-hectare land close to Bosnyák square in Budapest from the Zugló municipality this summer.
The Polish company is aiming to build a new city center on the area between Csömöri út, Rákospatak utca, Bosnyák utca and Mosztár utca that will serve as a community space for the citizens of Zugló and surrounding districts, facilitating administrative businesses, shopping and entertainment. Echo Investment assigned three renowned international architectural offices to draft concepts for the new center. The goal is to realize a multifunction city center that satisfies the needs of citizens in its catchment area and integrates well with nearby development. The final stop of the new Metro 4, a new sport center and a renewed market on Bosnyák square are some of the other developments around the future city center.

The selected architectural offices have already planned multifunctional centers all around the world, and Echo Investment wants to leverage this international expertise and modern vision with the Zugló city center. American Laguarda.Low specializes in mixed-use centers, their concepts can be seen in North- and South America, Europe and Asia. They were the architects for the largest South American commercial center located in Campinas, Brazil. An example closer to Hungary would be the central train station in Vienna (Wien Mitte), designed in 2002. Laguarda.Low has been awarded with several prizes, one of their more recent being the International Design and Merit Award earned in 2005.

British Chapman Taylor is an expert of the revitalization of older, run-down city parts. Their concepts have been used from London, through Madrid to the historical city center of Zagreb. As an acknowledgement of their work they received the Retail Regeneration Award 2006 at MAPIC, one of the most prestigious real-estate fairs in Europe. The award goes to architects who have achieved outstanding results in revitalizing cities or city parts.

Benoy, the other British architectural office, was founded over 50 years ago, and building they planned were erected in 23 countries throughout the world. One of their most recent projects is the reconstruction of the city of Peterborough on a 300 m long area, boosting the little town to become a metropolis of the 21st century.

Since, the top priority of Echo Investment is to realize a center that best adapts to the needs of its environment, the company asked for more than one possible solutions for the plot. Naturally, the Polish company intends to involve local decision makers in the finalization of the best concept. Therefore, Echo Investment will show the best of the three concepts to the leaders of the Zugló municipality and ask for their insights before the end of this year. Following the finalization of the plans construction is expected to begin in 2007 and according to calculations the new Zugló city center will be completed before the end of 2010.