Budapest is full of unused territories with great potential. The beautiful Óbuda gas factory is a classy example, but Graphisoft Park, the Hungarian Silicon Valley in its heart is a rare exception.
This modern business park – some hundred meters away from the festival area of Sziget – is a surprising spectacle in the middle of nowhere. Mostly if you know that Graphisoft is a pioneer of Hungarian innovation which has become known for startups like Prezi, Ustream or LogMeIn lately.
The park was built in 1998, today it hosts 60 firms and 2000 workers. With statues of innovators like Steve Jobs or Ernő Rubik, the Hungarian inventor’s widely acclaimed cube, the park summons the milieu of the original valley in San Francisco.
Sometimes when I am cycling to the neighbouring Roman bank or Szentendre I often take a break at the park to relax, and watch people trying to find out what their profession is.
It is nice to see how the green industrial park cohabits with the old lovely secessionist constructions of the once notable gas factory, which was one of Europe’s most modern plants in the 1910’s when it was built. Worth a watch in every season.