The remodelled Madách Imre tér may have been finished months late and not be exactly what the residents wanted but the result works well enough architecturally and atmospherically.
The square, which basically used to be a crowded and unattractive parking place with poor-quality tar that melted in the mid-year heat, is now a car-free zone that invites people to walk and relax and leaves a free view of the large archways. Geometrically arranged trees and grass surfaces break the otherwise grey look and give the square a modern tone.
The design is a good match with the surrounding 1930s buildings, and the benches and other kinds of seats have become popular in the nice summer weather.
District VII council announced a tender in 2012 to remodel the square just off Károly körút, part of the Kiskörút (small boulevard). A panel of professionals selected 36 of the designs that were sent in and 1,325 residents offered suggestions.
Many of the residents wanted something different to the final result, including a fountain that never eventuated. However, the council said the best elements of the blueprints had been incorporated to realise a practical square that would suit all needs.
The completely renewed square should have been completed in summer last year but at least it is ready now to host the annual Örkény kert (Örkény Garden), an open-air event organised every September by the state and the Örkény István Theatre, which is one of Madách Imre tér’s prominent occupants.