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  • Let There Be Snow!

    Vasas Ski House, Normafa, Budapest

    Architects: Botond Völgyi, György Székely
    Text: Miklós Okrutay
    Photos: József Hajdú

    This story began with a wooden hut, a classic ERDÉRT type hut, now for who knows what reason, installed near the forest path leading from Normafa to János Hill. It is a temporary building or a base for foresters, with wooden walls and corrugated iron sheets. The Vasas Sports Club skiing department found a home in a small wooden chalet near the trail leading to János Hill in Budapest in 1974, which has served as one of the most important winter sports bases in the country ever since. The time was ripe to replace the nostalgic „retro” conditions with a modern environment. The new building takes on all the features of its predecessor almost to the last inch. As an architectural phenomenon of its own right, the former barracks have carved out their own living space on the site. The recognition of this may have led to the primary decision to do a reinterpretation of the original small building. The axial structure, with its simple composition of volumes and slightly flatter pitched gable roof is a tight, contemporary take on both the forms and the facade. The architectural form, which is deliberately enclosed and geometrically formulaic, is supported by a horizontal frame structure, with pergola-marked units as specific extensions. It is primarily the slope-facing terrace that adds a previously unavailable basic function to the new design. This is also the very message of the building: the structure, which has so far served mainly as a backdrop for professional athletes, is opening up to the wider public with great impetus, and the large terrace is a primary gesture of this. A fully-fledged part of the architectural programme is the ski equipment hire shop, but it also contains a changing area for outsiders who want to take part in winter sports.

    General architecture: Casa Studio
    Leading architects: Botond Völgyi, György Székely
    Architect: Péter Kecskés
    Fellow architect: Ákos Szák-Kocsis
    Structure: János Richter
    HVAC: Gábor Vincze
    Electrical engineering: Péter Gazdagh
    Environment protection: Bence Fülöp
    Fire protection: Zsolt Fenyvesi
    Traffic: Katalin Nagy