Project: Zen Garden Resort Zánka
Architects: Másfél Építész Stúdió
Location: Zanka, Hungary
Area: 592 sf
Photographs by: Péter Koronczi – Px2lab Architectural Visualisation
Zen Garden Resort Zanka
Zen Garden Resort Zánka is a holiday resort in Hungary located at the shore of Lake Balaton. The architects, Másfél Építész Stúdió, reimagined the traditional A frame house, commonly found in the area, and created high-end holiday cabins. The interior was designed to be spacious, with a staircase for easy access to the upper floor, large glass surfaces in the living room, and a solid surface on the main façade for a more geometric appearance. The houses were built with a wooden lightweight structure and covered in natural slate cladding.
The Zen Garden Resort Zánka is situated at the shore of Lake Balaton, in a holiday resort that was in the last 30 years owned by a company with a main profile in woodworking. In its original form the holiday resort consisted light weight structured apartment houses, built in harmony with the natural environment. By the time the present owner got hold of the resort it has already lost its previous light, and only a few from the existing buildings could have been saved and renovated. At the beginning of the design process however it was obvious for all of us, that some good traditions have been already laid down in site, which should be taken further.
From this light weight structural constructional tradition, there was one building type that met the functional and financial strategic aims of the owner the most, and that was the A frame house. This building typology was well spread along the shore of Lake Balaton in the last 60 years, and there is even an existing one in the resort. These houses in the past were mostly built because of their low construction costs, so they left kind of mixed emotions in the Hungarian society. It was an interesting challenge for us to rethink these A frame houses, and provide high end holiday cabins in the form this worn out building typology.
The first aspect we wanted to change, is that we wanted to make the interior as spacious as possible, but at same time keeping the original scale of the houses. The old A frame houses usually had uncomfortable ladders inside of them instead of stairs. We designed a type of staircase that provides easy access for the upper floor, but still not taking too much space. We kept the typical large glass surface in the living room. By that good connection with the exterior, the main living space of the building can appear bigger that it actually is.
One the main façade above the living room area, in opposite to the traditional form, we created a solid surface changing the after all appearance of the typical form. By that closed surface the building gets a more geometric outlook. On the side of the building on the other hand we wanted to create as large glassed surfaces as possible.
The main material we used on the building is a natural slate cladding. This material can cover both the roof and a façade, that way further strengthening the geometric outlook of the building. The houses were constructed fully from wooden lightweight structure.