architecture : urban : visual culture

Old-new villa Mende

In the last century a series of inordinate attachments and additions arose on villa Mende designed by Béla Málnai in 1931. The Nartarchitects cleaned the building from these primitive inappropriate interferences, restored its original values and supplemented it according to the contemporary functional and technical requirements.

The villa Mende blends the symmetry of the classical Italian villa-architecture with the functional asymmetry of the modern villas, thus balancing peculiarly with this compositional method among the emerging modernism and tradition. This duality is further emphasized thorugh the expansion, the dominant symmetry of the street side turns into determinative asymmetric composition in the garden side.

The original, reconstructed building volume is white, while the veneer of the new supplements are anthracite plaster, consequently creating a new unique composition, which didactically tells the story of the building, but on the other hand it opens up a new compositional way for the renewed and expanded building.

Not many survived from the original interiors, but certain elements of the ’30s modernism are reflected in the contemporary use of materials and style of the spaces. Overall, they create humane living environment satisfying every representational and comfort needs of today’s people. During the reconstruction our aim was both to preserve our architectural heritage and to enforce the contemporary demands.

Csaba Kovács
leading architect and interior designer, NARTARCHITECTS


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