architecture : urban : visual culture

Waterfall, rocks and fallen trees - bridge in the forest

A group of young architects built a commodity still near Gyergyócsomafalva. The concept of the bridge was inspired by the shape defined by the fallen trees. The outcome of the four-day-work resulted in a wooden bridge, which was arised from the external impulse of the intersecting fallen trunks. 

In 2012 in a discussion got into shape the idea - after two years’ experience at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics - to return home and build a commodity still as scholars. A group of students of the university, mainly Hungarians from abroad, gathered together to accomplish the task.
The location, Kőzúgó waterfall near Gyergyócsomafalva, was chosen based on Balázs Orbán’s description in his work, called A Székelyföld leírása. Due to the steep incline, the fall could have only been admired by standing on three fallen tree trunks, which were laying on each other, or by crossing the ice-cold creek.

The concept of the bridge was inspired by the shape defined by the fallen trees. The crossing lines draw the apparent outline that of a in the middle narrow but at the end wide silhouette, which then was mirrored parallelly with the watercourse. By following the created form, the logs were put onto each other, whereon the deck got placed. Therefore, the established route lead from the steep side its visitors onto the bridge, then at the narrowest point, the slight angle together with the direction of the deck guided one’s glance towards the waterfall. Subsequently, the construction with a small change of direction proceeded to the less slanted craggy parts of the other side.


Kőzúgó waterfall - architect: Szilágyi Norbert, Bíró Árpád, Kovács Károly Lehel, Nagy Mercédesz Erika, Szökő Kristóf István

Kőzúgó waterfall - architect: Szilágyi Norbert, Bíró Árpád, Kovács Károly Lehel, Nagy Mercédesz Erika, Szökő Kristóf István



The outcome of the four-day-work resulted in a wooden bridge, which was arised from the external impulse of the intersecting fallen trunks from Balázs Orbán’s portrayal. The bridge thus came to be an elemental part of its environment. During the task a trickling spring was found amongst some rocks, underneath a nearby tree. Since then it has served as refreshment to its visitors.

"We had multiple aims with the project, but the most important is to revive the traditions of kaláka, which our materialistic world forgets. Nevertheless, we wanted to drew attention to voluntary work, and prove, that it is manageable to create something everlasting in small steps." - Szilágyi Norbert, 2012

The story carried on, the town cared deeply about Kőzúgó and its surroundings. The voluntary work influenced the residents; thus, they finished the steps heading towards the bridge, moreover, a resting place got built near the waterfall. After many years, the bridge has become a symbolic structure which carries through fixities. It connected two groups: friends in Hungary, and Hungarians living abroad. Hungary and Transylvania, Budapest and Gyergyócsomafalva.


Kőzúgó waterfall - architect: Szilágyi Norbert, Bíró Árpád, Kovács Károly Lehel, Nagy Mercédesz Erika, Szökő Kristóf István

Kőzúgó waterfall - architect: Szilágyi Norbert, Bíró Árpád, Kovács Károly Lehel, Nagy Mercédesz Erika, Szökő Kristóf István



Later numerous visitors, tourists, and locals came to see the bridge by Kőzúgó, therefore, it turned to be a beloved hiking spot. However, in the summer of 2017 the wood wore out and the construction gradually sank into the stream.
The team assembled again, some from the old group now as architects, and also new young individuals joined in to do kaláka.

On the first day the work began with the break up of the former bridge, collecting the aged wood. The old, rusty nails got pulled out of the decking and hammered straight. Later, the still usable material was gathered in a separate stack. The old timbers are used as a dam, in a philosophical interpretation they got washed away by the rivulet. Hopefully, in the accumulated water the trouts will enjoy themselves, to which the anglers can look forward to. Like in the case of the first bridge, local material was used. In support of the regional Forestry Association a number of 22 metres long European silver firs were utilized apiece, which were locally cut down and chop up into 6 and 4 metres long items.

The tree trunks, which function as the base of the bridge, were pulled and put to their place by hand. Four 6 metres long logs operate as the joist, additionally, the remaining pieces of the deck are used to level the surface.
While laying the foundations with the rocks from the stream, the patience and the attentiveness of the ancient profession of the masons was practiced by the participants. The old half logs of the former bridge serve the nearby spring. Into them a duct got carved with a burin, trough which the fresh water can stream down; thus refreshing its guests. Next to the spring a bench got built from the old boards. On the seat the visitors can have a rest and appreciate the peaceful yet powerful scenery of Kőzúgó.


Kőzúgó waterfall - architect: Szilágyi Norbert, Bíró Árpád, Kovács Károly Lehel, Nagy Mercédesz Erika, Szökő Kristóf István

Kőzúgó waterfall - architect: Szilágyi Norbert, Bíró Árpád, Kovács Károly Lehel, Nagy Mercédesz Erika, Szökő Kristóf István



Six years has passed since the first occasion. The then students are now working as architects, yet this brainchild is thought of as a common cause. As a self-effort, supported by the local forestry, the new bridge was built in order to make the ceaseless susurrant waterfall once more visitable.

The bridge regained its old glory. We gave it back to the forest and its inhabitants to take care of it. It ought to serve its purpose, greet its wayfarers, who shall transmit its existence, as if it were the babbling brook underneath it. We are hopeful, that this story has not ended yet and next year we will return renewed, since there is always a task to do.

 

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