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  • The Experiment at Lake Balaton

    ZAM, Multi-Functional Events Space, Zamárdi

    Architect: Géza Kendik
    Text: Anna Szövényi
    Photos: Tamás Bujnovszky

    On the free beach along the shores of Lake Balaton in Zamárdi a structure appeared in 2020 which seemed surprising at first sight: it is an architectural flip, a striking spectacle and also a vantage point for a lookout. It is the result of a tender published by the local government, which focussed on a dual objective: one of them being a ceremonial conference room for the representatoves of the local council, the other a multi-functional culture space to house exhibitons, performances, music events. Architects responded in a surprising way to this surprising challenge by choosing a highly modern, contemporary design which is also a brave and daring one. The exhibition space is closed, turns into itself, away from its environment, whilst the other rooms of the building are highly introvert. The tiny object asembled from steel arches and metal lamellas lives its own life because of its special structure. Approached from the water, we arrive through a field of exterior exhibitional columns to meet first the closed shell, then we move on through an elevated, accentuated gateway beneath the roof right into the interior. Inside, we step into an oval space which is fascinating with a rich variety of minimalist details and the sight of the powerful pillars of the lamellas. The location is an archaeological excavation site with one of the most extensive underground cemetery of Central Europe from the the age of the Pannonian Avar Khaganate, which means that sacrality is not unfamiliar here. The selected design form may be best described by designer architects as defined by the enlarged copies of earthenware found here.

    General architecture: A4 Stúdió
    Leading architect: Kendik Géza
    Fellow architects: Péter Veszelik, Katalin Payer, Gergely Kitka