architecture : urban : visual culture

Art workshop, Zebegény - one of the first prize plans

Bogdán Funk and Nóra Kőhalmy planned three buildings in Zebegény for an art center designing competition. They designed accomodations, community building and an open-air exhibition space using local materials such as wood and clay. For this concept they won the first price.

The building complex of the art workshop is linked to a walkway which is connecting the green areas around the stream's bank in south Zebegény. The building plot today is wedged into the settlement pattern as a foreign substance, the river separates it on the west side and a retaining wall on the east. The plan is intended to resolve this existing tension by creating physical and spiritual connection between the village and the development area.

The complex of the art centre is organised around around three gardens, each with different qualities. A central garden is placed between the accomodations and the community building, which is facing the stream and connected to the street via an open-air exhibition space. South of the accomodation building is an event space for camping, parking or festivals as needed. The workshops are placed in the third building with a terrace that links the central garden to a quiet garden and also provides place for a furnace with sitting area around. The workshop building and the main building enclose a paved courtyard with the possibility of screening.

The houses are connected to each other and their surrounding with a pergola-porch system which functions as traffic area, exhibition space, chilling areas or provide shadow. The foundations of a long ago demolished and abandoned house can be found on the building plot by Árpád street, filled with vegetation and surrounded by trees. A pergola structure marks the possible original building volume and functions as an open exhibition space and creates connection with the street, leading visitors through the bridge into the courtyards inside.

The main building and the accomodations are made of (impregnated) rammed earth, from the suitable soil found around the stream. The porches, the sunshades and the workshop building are made of local wood.

We suggest to adjust the plot boundaries to the evolved line of Szőnyi István street, so the buildings can be joined to the street as directly as the other houses in the village.


Details of the jury's evaluation:

"The plan fits well into the developed values of the settlement with generous, cool elegance. Moderation is there in all of its momenta. It meets the expectations of the contemporary ‘form of expression’, but still does it in a moderate way, just as in its accommodation to the place. The planning concept is guided by a sensitive respect for nature, hence it focuses on the courtyards and the void between houses. With minimal built surfaces, the building tries to create a self-analogous island inside the settlement, while, at the same time, remains both separated and integrated due to its function. It is a sheer continuation of the local work of architecture which strengthens the urban pattern. (...)

The plan acts with moderate alignment and a rigid ‘contemporary elegance’. By creating a self-analogous place with an adequate nature and modesty, it takes the expectations of the architectural zeitgeist into account. (...) The plan gives a sensitive answer to the question of form, existence, and the preferred activities in the workshop. With moderate design and full elegance, it creates a fine pattern of inside and outside spaces. The proposal is characterized by a sophisticated agenda to create an atmosphere with resigned and contemplative distance, as well as to integrate to the nature and the surrounding settlement. The authenticity of the plan is well explained by its compatibility with international trends proven by the self-analogous credibility of the houses marking an exact construction site. In this sense, considering such proposals following international trends, the plan is less far from acknowledging local cultural values or climatic circumstances."



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