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Lake Balaton contemporary architecture guide

 

publication: ERA 21, 2012/1

 

Over the past decade, the development of the Balaton region gained new momentum with the advance of quality tourism and a number of projects that deserve international attention have been implemented as a result. The lakeside lifestyle also underwent transformation simultaneously; beside the summer houses and hotels, larger yacht clubs and the corresponding apartment houses have also appeared. With the completion of the motorway linking the region to Budapest, the Balaton region became the capital’s agglomeration, with an increasing number of people choosing to reside by the lake permanently. For contemporary architecture, the lakeside and the characteristic surrounding landscape form the primary inspiration, with local building materials and the application of rural architectural forms also being definitive. The experimental late modern architecture of the 60s is an important reference; this period was exceptional in the lakeside’s architecture even by international standards.  

 

Starting the trip around the lake on the northern side, the summer house of Éva Fortvingler and Tamás Bulcsú offers a magnificent lengthwise view of Lake Balaton from the top of the loess wall of Kenese. The house, built on posts on slanting terrain has partly been carved into the hillside while partly being supported by posts among the tall pine trees. As typically is with summer residences around Lake Balaton, the bedrooms requiring a higher degree of intimacy occupy the upper floors, while the boundaries dissolve between outdoors and the social areas of the ground floors.

 

In Alsóörs, Bernd Steinhuber’s villa on the southern slope of the Balaton Uplands is a fine alloy of contemporary Austrian architecture and the Balaton landscape. The modest, yet grandiose modern construction makes the building stand out from its ambiguous environment.

 

The funeral chapel of Felsődörgicse was built for the local residents, where the sacrality of the interior has been achieved by the sensitive application of natural materials and light. Underneath the airy roof structure the interior is sealed by glass ceiling, the elevated ceiling being lit by the light sifting out at night.

 

The picturesque Káli-Basin is found among the mountain ranges of the Balaton Uplands. Its old granges and peasant houses attract a constantly increasing number of tourists and residents to-be. In Monoszló, an old peasant cottage has been converted into a summer house, by adding a light construction summer kitchen to the house’s stone walling, emphasizing the temporal difference between the old and new parts of the building.

 

In Köveskál, a detached house in compliance with contemporary comfort requirements has been built in the place of an abandoned cottage. The architects placed a lean composition of buildings in the field, taking over the mass forms of folk architecture as well as the spandrel wall construction covered with white mortar.

 

The international award-winning wine processing plant of Laposa Winery was built as part of its complex development project of the world famous wine region of Badacsony. The mass of the building smoothly slicks to the volcanic slope similarly to a solidified flow of lava, its white concrete facade elements being woven across with an individual scroll pattern.

 

Turning back to the lakeshore, the application of the seemingly incomplete raw concrete on Tamás Tomay’s summer cottage at Györök is a daring solution, which however holds the composition together in a calm and orderly manner rather than creating contrast.  

 

The new beauty centre of the Hévíz Spa was built when the complex was developed, the sight of the interior spacewhen seen through its elevation - giving an impression of perfume phials under glass. The precision of the glass cover in a light hue and the duality it presents against the greenness of the walls grown over with creeper plants gifts the building with exciting suspense. 

 

One of the first examples of the lakeshore apartment houses was the Balatonlelle Yacht Club, where the complex development project also included a marina and a night club. The red mortar on the facades of the buildings is reminiscent of a characteristic building material of the region, the red sandstone.

 

Along with the development of yacht tourism, more and more old harbours are being converted to cater for the increasing demand. In the port of Balatonszemes, the new composition of two apartment blocks was built on a stretch of land extending into the water, their elevations taking on the pattern of the beach landscape. 

 

Domonkos Wettstein

 

 

+1 Hello Wood is a multicultural-multidisciplinar art program at the charming village of Csórompuszta in the Balaton Uplands. Their mostly known event is the one week creator camp held every summer, where well-known and recognized experts and artists share their knowledge with talented students. Hello Wood integrates various fields of art, design and science; it creates community and encourages talent. It brings together students and professionals across borders, moreover connects everyday people with the designer community.

 

 

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Balatonkenese

 

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hello wood 2013

 

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Alsóörs

 

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Felsődörgicse

 

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Monoszló

 

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Szigliget

 

 

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hello wood 2013

 

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Köveskál

 

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Badacsony

 

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Balatongyörök

 

© Wettstein Domonkos 2012

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mail: wettstein.domonkos@gmail.com

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