Family house in Tó utca
1116 Budapest, Tó utca 20.
Budapest Award of Architectural Excellence, Special Commendation, 2017
‘Architectural value is independent of scale. An exemplary family home could have as strong an impression as a large investment, or perhaps even greater. The highest virtue is that of the beauty of thought’ (as expressed by György Szrogh). The family house on Tó utca, Kelenvölgy is proof of this statement.
The architect had the particularly difficult job of having to create value that stands out of the characterless neighborhood of mixed function. By his own creative power, he created real quality while avoiding insignificance. He has succeeded in doing so in a simple, elegant, rational, economical, fashionable, innovative and modern way. Despite the traditional structure of massing, the building’s appearance evokes a monolithic rock, which is reinforced by the use of dolomite gravel. Despite the rocklike effect, the house still has open living spaces that are in visual contact with the environment. By moving the sliding shades, which regulate sunlight and temperature, the façade’s appearance continuously changes, but not the overall monolithic impression of the building makes. The house’s horizontally and vertically open living spaces allow for communal use as well as separation. It does not use dimensions as representation, but functionality and comfort are achieved through simple, reasonable means. The low-rise roofing works as a formally and optically playful element, and it provides a shading solution at the same time. Beyond expediency, guide rails and mounting brackets for movable blinds create the illusion of a ledge under the eaves as detailing elements. The way the three-story building is inserted into the sloping terrain is truly exceptional. The basement level is completely below the surface on the street side, but being lit by lightwells, it is actually a full-fledged living space. The garden’s finishes and retaining walls are made of the same building materials as the house, creating a sense of coherence. The house and its surroundings are a uniform representation of a single idea.
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