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A breathing space has been built on Gellért Hill.

A breathing space has been built on Gellért Hill.

The installation highlights the importance and value of urban green spaces.

Cities are taking up more space than ever from nature, which also increases the level of air pollution. The installation dedicated to breathing created by Eva Pobla points to the importance and value of urban green spaces, while also urging the coexistence of man and nature, as she writes Architects Forum.

Eva Popla developed the first version of the work in 2019, in Indonesia, based on her own experiences: she participated in an artist residency in Yogyakarta, where she experienced first-hand the excessive air pollution in urban areas and its effects on health. For this reason, she created the opposite of the “smoking area”, a small body nestled in plants. The structure of the glass container with a breathing mask made it possible to breathe in the fresh air filtered directly by the plants.

Then, in 2023, it was presented in two traffic-heavy locations in Budapest: on the closed lower sidewalk in Pest and then in Nyugati tér. The working position in the city allowed passers-by to talk and think.

This year, he recreated the breathing space on an architectural scale, so that it functions as a durable, safe and user-friendly structure. The cabin can be interpreted as the opposite of the previous two installations, now defining not the plants, but the people sitting in it. The location was chosen on Gellért Hill because it is also called the “lungs of the city.”

The breathing space is like a forest ambush. When climbing, our gaze almost automatically wanders skyward, we cannot see to the side, only up and down – to the sky and the earth. The limited vision helps to calm down and focus attention. Looking at what is actually “nothing”, we can perceive it as very much “something”, and the air is also a living space; it is the living medium of various living things that cannot be seen with the naked eye. This is also emphasized by the sound installation created for the cabin, in which, by breathing together, we can enter an almost meditative state, while listening to the path of the air from an unusual, non-human perspective.

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The installation can be viewed until mid-August.

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