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Site: Balaton Upplands National Park, Ksupak, Hungary
Architect: hello wood
Effects: 388 square feet each
From the architect: “Solving the problems of deflation and aging in villages lacking employment opportunities is one of the challenges Hungary needs to face. Developing tourism in rural areas, attracting visitors, creating jobs for local people, and boosting the local economy can be key to achieving a solution to this problem.”
Hello Wood has always been interested in contributing to local communities through architecture and the built environment; Its educational program focuses on improving the quality of life for people living in small villages in Hungary, involving local people in their projects, and listening to their needs. In 2016, as part of its teaching activities, the studio purchased a two-hectare plot of land in the breathtaking Balaton Uplands as the venue for its international summer school and festival.
Subsequently, the studio sought a new job with the aim of contributing to the revitalization of the area: it launched a development program that respects and appreciates the tranquility and natural environment of the surrounding villages, while reviving an area that is alive with nothing but time even in summer. Assuming a new role as ‘entrepreneur Archie’ i.e. a mix of architect and real estate developer, Hello Wood decided to design the property themselves. In partnership with TreeHouses, the creator of the widely acclaimed cabins in Noszvaj, they have created one-of-a-kind “rock” houses in Csóromfölde.
Hello Wood’s design team has created buildings that reflect the charm of the ancient settlement surrounded by farmland and blend seamlessly with nature. The monolithic character of the cabins – evoking giant runes – is enhanced by the building blocks that open only at the balcony and entrance: the monolithic and sculpted form is not interrupted by any windows, doors or stairs. The irregular levels and vertices define a shape resembling polished stone, made even more distinct by the unique shade and metallic luster of the panels. In contrast to the gray shell, the golden brown of the balcony and interior appears like the interior of a rift geode.
The Rocks offers a cozy and comfortable space for two. The cabin of 21 x 15 m² includes a living room with a bed, kitchen furniture, a built-in wardrobe, a dining table, a bathroom with a double shower and a panoramic infrared sauna. For a spa feel, a large hot tub is built into the spacious covered veranda, which is separated only by a glass window from the sauna. To ensure an intimate and carefree experience, the cabins were placed facing each other, looking out over the surrounding fields and rolling hills. Guests can enjoy panoramic views from the terrace – even from the hot tub or the glass-walled sauna as well as from the bed.
When designing the structure, the goal was to pre-fabricate as many elements as possible – including the grille girders, which were assembled off-site and then positioned by the crane after delivery. The polygonal shape requires innovative solutions to ensure that the irregular sides fit neatly together and that all structural elements remain hidden under the ceiling and wall cladding – creating a compact overall effect.
While the cabins have a form of free-sculpting, the structure and cladding make them modern homes that can be heated and cooled with minimal energy consumption. The living space is elevated off the ground; Below this space you can find the technical systems, and above a roof that was created to balance the interior temperatures. “