architecture : urban : visual culture

Pure nature - pavilions on Normafa

Vikár and Lukács Architects studio planned such pavilons for the Normafa design competition that focus on the relaxing area and forest retreat on the edge of the city. The people who arrive here and take a rest can be lost again in the pure nature. 

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Robert Frost

When designing the pavilons, we imagined Normafa to become a location for geniune relaxing and a forest retreat on the edge of the city. To make it a secure point for weekend hitch-hikers, people coming to exercise, people resting on the hill and for afternoon wanderers. A place that offers the experience of discovery for everyone. While strengthening the natural facilities, we designed the space-settings of the units so that there is place for inner meditation, common pastime and silent walks. So people arriving here can get lost again and again.

Designing principles

The design guide-line was for us to respect and barely change the natural values when placing the bulit units into the forest. The purpose of the radically simplified form of the pavilion was to ignore the arcehtype of any house. Its tube form quotes the classic pitched-roof rain huts and the ancient megalithic stone structures. The small scale of the pavilion was exceptionally important for us. Their dimensions are 3x3x3 m, approximately two fathoms, two people can reach it across. Built structures in an untouched natural enviroment are strange elements, but by choosing the proper scale they can hide away like fireflies under the big trees.

The pavilions are intentionally not connectable and cannot be appended. Walls and bazaar lines from when connecting them, which cause unnecessary civilization and bring over-building into the environment. The desired functions can properly be attended in this size as well. With building a pavilion beside the path, we can place milestones, resting places, look-out spots. When placing two we can form a square, with three we can even form a junction. The structure grew out of the deliberate rethinking of the new furnitures and image of Normafa. The dense tree trunks suggest tranquil timelessness and static safety. The square-shaped frame structure is made of 25x15 cm oak beams, wich are interlinked with hardwood extensions. The frame can be pieced together in site, exclusively with wood connections, without any steel elements. We would like to reproduce the good old and clean carpenter joints traditions.

The appending elements can be pieced together in one specific sequence ensuring water resistance and porterage. The accurate adaptability of the elements complex system is ensured with the CNC factory milling. Becouse of its small size, the pavilion can be transported by trucks, so it can even be pieced together in the factory. The wooden structure should especially be protected from ground-water, so just like the Normafa benches we placed the wooden boxes on pre-cast concrete foundations. The façade of the closed functions are also wooden structures, with high qualityKLH type plywood, placed together with grooves between the beams. With functions involving guest facilitating and closable rain huts, the separation of the spaces are ensured with mobile glass walls.

The pavilions inner technical elements and equipments are made of stainless steel. Metal trays with folded edges aze placed in the wet areas. Utility connections can be lead freely between the concrete poundations, and can be connected through the bores on the beams to the distributors and equipments under the furniture. Where heating is necessary the electric heater can be placed hidden away in the lower beams joints. Lights are placed hidden in the vertical grooves and milled in beams. Wooden surfaces are treated with colourless glaze on the inside and flamed corrosion protection on the outside.




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