References
Where minimalistic design meets the golden section
Where minimalistic design meets the golden section
A house in a minimalistic style, where tranquillity is created by the order of parallels and perpendiculars.

The golden section led the owner of the house in his dreams of his home, which is characterised by clarity and amazing functionality. The “smart devices”, the large glass surfaces and a huge cordon of sliding doors meant serious challenges even for our KAV colleagues.

 

Author
Anikó Magócsi
Photo
Tamás Bata
Architect
István Unicsovics

As far as I know, you personally supervised the construction of your house, from the design phase throughout the entire implementation. Why was it so important for you?

This house was a self-fulfilment for me. I’ve lived in many places and I was looking for a home where I could really be able to relax, and the space serves my needs to the maximum. I didn’t want to build a house otherwise. I was looking for a house that was characterised by clarity and the orderly play of parallels and perpendiculars, without any frills, since this helps me to relax in my home after the mess of the outside. Then I found this property and I started the build at the end. I felt it important for this building to be indeed implemented in the quality I wanted, so I thought it was important to be there.

What does it mean, that the space serves your needs to the maximum?

I live on my own but my living room is nearly 120 sqm, including the kitchen; my study and a shower are next to it and the bedrooms are upstairs, but the garage is, for example, for five cars. The entire building is determined by the large glass surfaces. Since the house is built in minimalistic style, I wanted to open the space with something. Fortunately I succeeded: the house is completely open to the south-west with a huge frameless sliding door. I love watching the sunset from here, which fills me with warmth, especially in the winter. We need hardly any heating since, while the sun goes around the house, due to the greenhouse effect and the large glass surfaces, it warms up. In the summer it needs cooling but with lamellar sun shades it can be kept at the minimum, so the house works well.



Where minimalistic design meets the golden section
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As I know, a rather serious decision-making process preceded the selection of professionals; what determined your decision on the closing systems?

The service background and the engineering knowledge served as the basis for my decision. Despite the excellent technical solutions, the Swiss, Belgian and German companies lacked the Hungarian service background and engineering team. I experienced a very convincing approach from KAV, even in the first discussions. For an electronically controlled sliding door, a 24/7 service is the most important for me. An informal relationship has been established with the company and so they can identify me from my phone number and they help to resolve any issue, even by “remote control”.

You mentioned that the large glass surfaces were decisive in the house’s design. One of its key elements is the huge sliding door...

Yes, as far as I know, when it was installed in my house, this was the tallest Schüco 77.PDHI sliding door in Europe. Thanks’ to this amazing technology only the thin vertical wing frame can be seen, nothing else. They move in parallel in a hidden rail system, driven by a motor controlled by the building control.

As far as I know, the house’s electronic control system is rather advanced. Would you tell me more about it?

The system consists of two parts: one of them is the heating-cooling control, and the other is the building automation, which operates the sun shades, windows, lights, and with the help of it I can open the closing systems from anywhere; I only need a phone or a computer. Otherwise my slogan was that if something can’t be taken through the door, we’ll take it through the window.

Otherwise, has your decision been vindicated? Are you satisfied with KAV, whether in terms of the implementation process or the after-care?

I got to know a technical company operating in a rather familiar ambience. They don’t just follow up their products from the start of the build until completion but they continuously monitor them, even after installation. They’ve checked the operation of the doors and windows, and they’ve held their ground regarding whatever issue occurred during the build or ever since. For example there is a 4m x 2.5m window on the first floor. When the glass shield cracked, I told them and they replaced it in a short time in such a way that surface covers were ready and there was only one centimetre between the structure and the ceiling. When the glass panel was replaced I wasn’t there to see whether they broke the large glass sheet or damaged the surface cover. But nothing happened; they resolved this task in a fantastic manner. They really do resolve anything that can be resolved in engineering terms, and it’s exactly this knowledge and their attitude that differentiates them from the other companies.

You were present throughout the entire building and implementation process. What did you experience? Where does the Hungarian construction industry stand now?

By now we’ve reached the price levels of Western Europe in the premium segment; for construction materials we are actually there and also nearly in the price of the work. I could almost say that if someone doesn’t charge Austrian prices for the work then it’s not worth assigning it to them, because they’ll be unable to produce the appropriate quality. You must pay and wait for them instead, but you mustn’t use cowboys, because the repair bill will be a lot more costly. Regarding Eastern European companies, the biggest issue is that they are not capable of creating Western European quality from their human resources. It is typical in the Hungarian construction industry that people go from one job to another; they’re constantly tired and unable to relax. People have no time to regenerate. They are overworked and unable to focus on the work.

 Then you achieved the space you dreamt for yourself?

The house came out as I dreamt; there is no difference between the drawings and the implementation. There were only slight fine-tunings, because I planned it to be even more minimalistic. And when I saw that life is not this rigid, as I imagined in the triad of parallels, perpendiculars and monochromes, then I started to think about it can be fine-tuned in an elegant manner. Now we are in this process; I’m trying to align spaces with wood and colours. But it is very good to live here and this is the most important thing.

Photo gallery

II - Where minimalistic design meets the golden section

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