The property was built in the vicinity of water and nature, with full transparency, clarity and harmony as its main features. The house, with its unique shapes, could be completed at a very high standard of quality without making compromises. We spoke about this process with György Pintér, the owner of the house.
In this property, your ideas could be implemented without almost any compromise. What were your most important criteria during the design and construction phase?
Together with my wife, we had already built five houses. Now we wanted one – which will be the last – that we won’t alter in the future. And so the “without compromises” is indeed a very good slogan for this project. The main criterion was that it should serve us safely for the rest of our lives. It was also an important condition that, although we have never followed current trends and fashions, for this house they should be present only slightly or not at all. Our idea was to build a timeless house, in all aspects, free from current trends.
And what were the most important lines concerning the living spaces?
The proximity of water and nature was a decisive criterion when we selected the land. Water as an element is very important in our life, since we met near the Balaton and we have spent our summers there. Twenty years on, we have returned to the place of our youth; we invested in a small beach-front house but this was not the final solution: we bought this land instead by selling that house. The land has an interesting trapezoid shape, due to which the designer could integrate dynamic and innovative features. Large spaces, transparency, light, water, nature, and proximity of the forest – these are the elements we appreciate.
You mentioned that the designer could implement novel ideas. What were these?
As regards the basic concept, the triad layout of the building, which used to be a typical residential property design earlier, so that it can be divided into a resting, a social and a business zone. The other is that the trapezoid shape of the land is not only reflected in the house but also in the triad layout, thus three trapezoids form a big trapezoid. This geometry is obviously reflected in the garden design.
You mentioned the large quantity of large glass surfaces. I think the company that installed the closing systems was the result of a serious selection process. How did you get to KAV and what demands did you set as a client in this segment?
Closing systems are defining elements in the house due to the massive light requirement and transparency. It was therefore important to choose a lead contractor partner that produces what this house requires at the highest quality. We organised a rather serious tender for the companies, due to the price but also because of the specific technical solutions in the building, which only a few domestic companies are capable of implementing. There was a proposal from a general contractor with a plastic closing system because the budget would not bear anything better. We dismissed PVC and wood, since only aluminium closing systems seemed to be appropriate, due to the spirit, appearance and technical requirements of the house. As in everything, we wanted to select from the best, without compromises. I encountered KAV closing systems for the first time in the proposal of a potential lead contractor. The company we engaged for general contracting would have brought a different closing system supplier but we still opted for KAV aluminium.
Why did you choose KAV?
They approach the client in a manner that is hardly ever seen. I am an economist rather than a technical professional, but I still have my impression of the world of architects. When we jointly clarified closing systems with the general contractor, they approached me during the consultations with such detailed attention and precision that you might call extraordinary. I felt an attention covering every detail and a high level of technical knowledge from them. I don’t want to deny that the fact that our consultations were performed by engineers was also very convincing, since I could be sure that everything would be there where it should be, with millimetre precision. In addition, they sought to find a pricing solution that would be acceptable to all, and in the end I ordered all the extras proposed by Mr Lovász and his team, to have a closing system solution worthy of the house.
Obviously unexpected tasks that need to be resolved may pop up, even during the implementation of a building of this standard and quality. How flexible was KAV in these situations? How could they resolve events when unexpected situations needed to be reacted to?
I happily recall one situation like this. The upper series of windows in the living room lies on a 12 m long steel beam, which gives the special look of this part of the house. It turned out during the implementation that it is unclear whether the aluminium reception structure of the upper series of windows is the task of the general contractor or the closing structure contractor and where the performance border lies, as the professionals put it. When this rather costly issue rose, the general contractor and KAV arranged it between each other and I did not have to deal with it. I made a fixed price contract with both of them and they did not try to mislead me but undertook the case. I don’t know how they shared it in the end and who undertook which part. This attitude, this right way of thinking, confirmed that I had made the right decision.
Is the completed living space the one you imagined at the beginning of this process?
In its entirety, yes; a house meeting our needs in every respect was created. They have achieved the clarity and transparency that allows us to live the last third of our lives in a space truly appropriate for us. We let go of extreme shapes and colours and strong influences, and a very laid back, decent and clear building was created. And interestingly, we receive very positive feedback from our sensitive artist friends. I can say without boasting that a really special and, even so, harmonious space was created.