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Splendid isolation adds atmosphere to Lake Balaton's clifftop house

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Words:
Jan-Carlos Kucharek

Kontextus Studio's crisp aluminium pavilion perches unexpectedly in its stunningly naturalistic setting on a cliff overlooking Hungary's famous lake

With four extra bedrooms, there's plenty of this room at this inn, even if it does require a brief, Wenceslasian trek through the elements to get to your bed. Budapest architecture studio Kontextus’ Gabor Kovacs is responsible for this compellingly crisp, anodised aluminium- clad pavilion, situated on a steep limestone hillside overlooking the north-east coast of Lake Balaton, Europe’s largest inland body of water, 100km from the capital.

The practice chose to counterpoint the stunningly naturalistic context with a deliberate nod to both ancient temples and modern materials, with its steel structure sitting atop a concrete base that has been monolithically clad in the hill's self-same limestone. 

  • Credit: Matyas Borsos
  • Credit: Matyas Borsos
  • Credit: Matyas Borsos
  • Credit: Matyas Borsos
  • Credit: Matyas Borsos
  • Credit: Matyas Borsos
  • Credit: Matyas Borsos
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The pavilion above houses the living, kitchen and dining spaces as well as the owner’s master ensuite bedroom, while below in the stone-clad base, with their own entrance door, are the four ensuite bedrooms, windows each facing out to the side, retaining the base’s plinth-like nature from front and rear.

From the client’s belvedere too, there’s a regal look out – one that's well-deserved after a two-storey climb from the garage to living level. And if those distant lake views aren’t enough, there’s the home’s own infinity pool located in its limestone courtyard below, cut into the hill and camouflaging the garage in shimmering reflections that complement those of the aluminium cladding; the two together creating a dreamy, ‘dazzle-ship’ effect.

  • Credit: Gergo Gosztom
  • Credit: Gergo Gosztom
  • Credit: Gergo Gosztom
  • Credit: Gergo Gosztom
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While guests are beholden to have the main door opened to them by the pavilion’s resident owners, their access to the courtyard is more direct as they ascend to the pool level via the same bedroom corridor they entered by; a concession for ‘yonder peasants’, who are only there by dint of the landowner above, living underneath the mountain.

 

  • Cross section.
    Cross section.
  • Ground floor plan.
    Ground floor plan.
  • First floor plan.
    First floor plan.
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