New Danube Bridge

UNStudio's Competition-Winning Design for a New Bridge Over the River Danube

In 2017 the Municipal Government of Budapest announced an international architectural design competition.

At that time ZOA was alongside CÉH to jointly showcase their proposal by a handful of visualizations.

UNStudio has finally won the competition in collaboration with UK-based Buro Happold Engineering. We teamed up with them to animate their contemporary design that will serve as a 500-meter-long landmark for Budapest and connect South Buda and Csepel by creating a new public transport flow between the two sides.

In total, 17 teams entered the competition, with Wilkinson Eyre and Zaha Hadid Architects, along with other well-known entrants.

The joint effort by UNStudio and Buro Happold will act as a natural gateway to the developing area by connecting Galvani Street and Illatos Road with a four-lane road system, two tram lines, and two lanes each for bikes and pedestrians.

The winning architectural proposal for a cable-stayed structure has a main span of 220 meters between two 93-meter-tall triangular-shaped pylons. Ben van Berkel, co-founder of Dutch architecture and urbanism firm UNStudio, said, “It was essential that the bridge would be in harmony with Budapest—which owes much of its configuration to the surrounding landscape—and its future vision. It was also important that the bridge enables unobstructed views below and above the bridge deck. We wanted it to operate as a clear gateway to the city, like an inviting gesture of hands.’

‘The coherent design and lighting of the gates and piers make for an elegant evening view, worthy of a Budapest bridge,’ commented the competition’s jury.

UNStudio has worked restlessly with us for more than 6 weeks to bring you an impressive architectural visualization that breaks out of the box. They have trusted our team of creative artists to define the concept and gave freedom to ZOA to build upon abstract shots instead of a precise construction-based screenplay.

Our visualization studio had the opportunity to simplify the complexity of the construction and find impressive sequences that make this movie more engaging and dazzling than the usual time-lapse build-up sequences out there.

Light is the basic element of creation. Our life depends on it. Animals, plants, and humans use it directly or indirectly. UNStudio created a landmark, and we reinforced the link between creation and light throughout the animation.

We‘ve put extreme effort into R&D to experiment with the look, speed, and amount of the streaks that follow the construction of the structure.

In the beginning, the bridge was being born: everything started as black and white, slowly fired up by vivid stripes constructing the bridge. Light beams, that follow the geometry, disappeared as we saw the design in its natural autumn beauty. At the end, the bridge is populated, expressed by light in nighttime, so viewers can see an amazing color palette evolution in our architectural animation for more than two minutes.


Budapest, Hungary




Róbert Andrékó
Mohammed Elnabarawy
Bence Falussy
Péter Kollár
Dániel Oláh
Krisztina Sárdi


Get in touch