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  • Measure and Scale

    Dwelling-House, Szentendre

    Architect: Gábor Bártfai-Szabó
    Text: Eszter Dénes
    Photos: György Dénes


    The house in Szentendre designed by architect Gábor Bártfai-Szabó reflects clarity and good sense in its forms, whilst embodying timelessness which, in turn, has calming effects on the viewers. It is both correct and appropriate considering its context: it is primarily the domain of scales that goes beyond the dry down-to-earth regulations and is actually more like the quality of behaviour within the given community. More importantly than any other aspect, the house radiates its sense of appropriacy even when viewed from quite a distance. It is not hidden by a solid fence as tall as a human being, but proudly heralds the fact which is obvious for everyone: it is the home of a family. Its dimensions, sizes and scales are thus accordingly appropriate. Its designer was motivated and driven by consciousness and rationality instead of conventions and ephemeral trends of fashion. The building itself is actually the equivalent of two simple sentences and parentheses: two blocks with simple pitched roofs connected via a flat-roofed entrance block covered with metal sheets. Construction today tends to involve wasting both materials and forms, a tendency to which the client and the architect responded with common sense by recycling used bricks. One of the wings of the L shape structure houses the open-roofed joint family space functioning as a living and dining room and a kitchen, joined by the other wing slightly level-shifted to contain the bedrooms and the studies. The zones of the living-room and passages open via large windows towards the well-protected courtile. Facing the sunshine, the roofed-in deck is actually a shelter from the rain and provides cool shadows in summer. On the whole, it is a home illustrating the fact that acknowledging and recognizing genuine needs and the know-how of a modern house may also become values or even symbols of social status.

    Architect: Gábor Bártfai-Szabó
    Fellow architect: Mariann Nagy
    Structure: Zoltán László