Water, sticks and houses
Gyergyócsomafalva is situated on both sides of the Maros river in the Gheorgheni Basin. The village is well-known for its mineral water wells which covered the inhabitants subsistence over the centuries. On the other hand, wood as a material is also a significant factor in the Székelys culture, therefore Transylvanian architecture has outstanding water mills. Transylvania is also suffering from today's migration. Hence, the question arises, how could one act against this phenomenon by using the aforesaid industry.
A mineral water bath was built by the community as a proposal in 2008. It was followed by a barn in 2012 which hosts dance and gastronomic programmes. However, these buildings have no physical contact with the village due to their location by the Maros river backwater. This current project aims to bridge between the two areas. The site plan both follows the traditional village structure and reacts to the river’s line with the three building volumes ( bottler; market and restaurant; open-sided stage). The bottler building has an open-sides well house where visitors can taste the water, additionally exhibitions about history and technology are held in the building. The gastronomic building also serves the market days and touristic events. The inner spatial organisation is based on the water mills’ traditional space, using the practical elements of the vernacular architecture: the room contained only the raw material and the machine. This idea was applied for the subsidiary functions, thus creating clear spaces. The communal rooms require bigger headroom, therefore the loft is used only when it's needed (e.g. herb drying).
The buildings are constructed with traditional wooden structures whilst the exterior is designed with acacia wood cladding, since this tree type is not indigenous in the region.
The elevation follows the functions: it's open by communal spaces and closed by the subsidiary functions. The bigger transparent surfaces are made from polycarbonate because of economical reasons. The pavement of the well house is made from flat stone from the surrounding mine.
An installation of sticks can be found between the two main buildings. It has a symbolic meaning: it's been said where sticks are stabbed into the ground, mineral water comes up and following this those people can engrave their name on the sticks who stem from the village, thus they can strengthen their connection with Gyergyócsomafalva on a physical and spiritual level.