Museum quarter as an urban formative core: The urban planning aspects of its development and position in the city grid (a case study of Berlin, Vienna and Budapest spatial models)

Ekaterina Kochergina


Since the second half of the 20th century museum world has experienced incredible transformation.  The increased level of openness both to the society as to the city predicts development of the new scenario of activity and specific planning structure. The deep penetration into the surrounding, the ideological and physical spread on big territories around the city, the high level of interactivity with a consequent rise of public interest in museum institutions – all these processes are closely related to the phenomena of Museum Quarter.

Presenting non analogies artistic environment such cultural complexes become an important urban core and strategic challenge for urban planners, cultural institutions and policy makers. Museum Quarter’s position on the city grid can significantly influence the entire urban structure, boost prosperity of the nearest districts, and provoke socio-cultural and economic sustainable development.

The article describes examples of Museum Quarters in three European capitals – Berlin, Vienna and Budapest. The similar attitude to the placement of Museum Quarter in the urban structure presents one of the most typical urban models of such areas – so called independent core. The analysis of planning structure is given in comparison between these three examples, with an overview of other world famous planning practices. The scale of the whole city is considered in parallel with closer concentration on the site. Historical references, monitoring of the process of development and analysis of planning schemes let to comprehend clearly the urban trends and different aspects of relationships between the Museum Quarter and the city, showing the outstanding potential and positive impact of such cultural complexes.

Keywords: Vienna, urban design, form, city, Budapest, city district, city centre, Brussels