2022 / 12 / 20
Home > News > A flawless building with KAV windows and doors

A flawless building with KAV windows and doors

The panorama is the soul, and the glass surfaces are one of the main organizing elements of the exceptional villa that the Etna and KAV teams worked on together. We discussed the building’s features and the process of realization with Nikos Zizidis, the CEO of Etna Kft., the construction company responsible for the project.

  • You collaborated with KAV on a unique residential building reminiscent of a boomerang shape. What are the characteristics of this building?

This property is located on the same hillside as the Költő Kert. It’s interesting to compare the two projects when looking at their emotional and design aspects. The two projects are almost opposites in many ways. The Boomerang House is a very sleek, minimalist building with sharp lines, while Költő Kert uses organic architectural forms. The shape of this villa is not the usual curved line; instead, it’s a rectangular boomerang with the “concave” part facing the panorama. The goal of the designer was to create as many spaces as possible with truly breathtaking views. Since there’s nothing in front of it, one axis of the building faces the Margaret Bridge, and the other faces the Citadel. Practically nothing obstructs the view between the two. When you see an urban panorama, it always offers something different, whether it’s in bright daylight, rain, snow, or evening lights. The space simply beckons you; you feel compelled to look at it when it’s right in front of you. During construction, our site office also had a view of this panorama, and my colleagues placed a shelf with folders in front of it. I told them I couldn’t believe they were casually covering this up when people pay a premium for such views. They replied that they’ve been looking at it for five years, and it no longer amazes them. Of course, it’s different when you see this panorama while you’re working on it, as opposed to experiencing it as a resident. I can’t tell the difference. Whenever I see the city view from the building, it stops me in my tracks, and I lean against the glass, tilting my head for minutes, simply marveling at how beautiful it is, even after ten years of visiting. I believe the panorama is crucial, and it should orient the more prominent spaces, but the local environment should not be ignored. The trees, the cliffs, the angles, and the energy the environment provides are all important. This house’s true essence is that, inspired by this panorama, designer Péter Koch created it. Fortunately, KAV was able to provide the windows and doors that allow the entire city view to unfold dramatically throughout the day.

  • When did you become involved in the process?

We joined this project at the right time; the vision was already in place, but luckily, the detailed plans hadn’t been finalized yet. I believe this is the latest point at which a construction company can effectively get involved in a project. Any later, and it becomes less efficient.

  • Does this mean that as a construction company, it’s important for you to participate as a “collaborative thinker” in the detailed plans?

Absolutely. An architect doesn’t have expertise in all technologies, nor does they deal with façade cladding, fastening technology, or mechanical systems every day. They may not fully understand the advantages, disadvantages, feasibility, and sustainability of a particular solution. We can contribute in these areas and fine-tune the technology to align with the vision. Historically, this was the case, as there was an architect and a “baumeister.” The “baumeister” knew how to build the house. Ybl would draw his vision, but he wouldn’t start sketching brick bonds or specifying whether something should be made of stone or plaster; that’s where the “baumeister” came in, mediating between the architect and the executing side, assisting both. I believe our company operates this way; I don’t know of any other construction company in Hungary with a similar approach. I’ve noticed that in the Hungarian market, there are designers and there are contractors. The contractor often wants to finish the house as quickly as possible, while the designer wants their vision paid for and wants to move on to the next project as soon as possible. There isn’t typically a truly credible team that can mediate between the two, translating and facilitating the process. However, this was the case with the Boomerang House. I met Péter Koch, listened to what he wanted to see, and what were the important details for him. Taking these into account while keeping the vision in mind, we brainstormed about the technology. For instance, when I discussed the building’s statics, there was a column in front of the elevator meant to support the gallery’s reinforced concrete slab, but it was in an unfortunate position and obstructed the flow of space in front of the elevator. Unfortunately, the designer couldn’t find a way for that column not to be there. Ultimately, I turned to a structural engineer we work with, who is very flexible and incredibly knowledgeable. Together, we solved it; we placed a border on top of the slab, so we didn’t have to put a column 2 meters in front of the elevator. From that point on, the space could flow. The same process applied throughout the entire house. We didn’t change the design but applied better solutions where we found them, as long as they didn’t contradict the design vision. There were certain less developed parts that we discussed with the client and the designer, and together we found solutions.

  • In this building, due to the large transparent surfaces, glass is one of the main organizing elements. KAV employees often emphasize the importance of getting involved in the process early because, as specialists, they know precisely when and what can be realized. Where do you see the role of the window specialists in this process?

I consider it important that they also become involved in the process in a timely manner. However, I believe that their work is greatly facilitated when we are there as a “connecting link.” In the case of this house, the vision was in place, KAV’s employees were already involved, and we were there, too, specifying what types of shading devices, facade cladding, cladding junctions, and glass railings we would like to see. They contributed their specialized and engineering knowledge, allowing everything to be realized optimally. In this project, the most challenging situations were those where three edges met at a single point, which was almost an impossible task. The material thicknesses, structural elements, and visible surfaces had to be precisely defined. This may have been a dream project for KAV because, on our end, my colleague János Takács, who led the project on the general construction side, has nearly 10 years of experience in windows and doors, so they spoke the same language. KAV’s technical drafters and specialists had a partner they could turn to at any time, and this level of efficiency is not achievable if only the designer is involved in the process. Typically, the window specialist guides the designer on how things can be realized. Then, months later, the contractor receives something and says, “What have you had them do here? This can’t be built.” Or, even if it can be built, certain aspects will deviate from the original concept. This never arose here. Every window and door junction was designed in such a way that the vision remained intact. Therefore, KAV entered the project at the right time, with the appropriate expertise, allowing for the successful realization of a rigorous, precise, and, in my opinion, flawless building. I cannot identify any point on the house that should have been done differently.

  • Is this a flawless building?

I believe it is. It exhibits elegant forms, refined material usage, modern technology, it remains impervious to water, and there are no misguided junctions. The glass railings and visible surfaces are meticulously crafted; you simply sense that there is substance in it. The window and door junctions align with the facade cladding in the right places and at the right time. This house achieves precisely what it was intended to achieve—no more and no less. We were able to extract the maximum potential from the vision. We have accomplished our goal.

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