Picture perfect

Monday 13 Jan 2014

A collaboration between an architect and a photographer results in a unique and sustainable wooden house

Architect Bence Turányi and photographer Zsolt Batár decided to unify their artistic and professional vision, resulting in an extraordinary house in Pilis forest, near Budapest in Hungary. The idea behind the building was to create harmony among man, nature and economic aspects. The sustainable wooden house, which was a favourite of the jury for Hungary's Media Architecture Prize last year, breathes together with the surrounding trees, and its life is documented by the artist who lives in it.

The cooperation between the architect and the photographer, went far beyond the usual client-architect relationship. Owner of the house and renowned architectural photographer Zsolt Batár is an old friend of Bence Turányi. The two brought ideas and ways of thinking from their own areas, and unified them in a common project.

"When two different ways of thinking meet, the result is something completely new. Our conversations about art, architecture and design were brought to life in this house," said Turányi of the crossover experience.

For Batár, the house is not only a home, but also a source of inspiration. The series about the house has become an important milestone in his artistic career: he records the relationship of the house and the forest day by day, in every season.

The creators wanted a building which looks good and was unique, and is of excellent quality, but which could also be built quickly and for a reasonable price. Only one week passed between sending the digital data to the manufacturer and the completion of structural assembly on site, while the House was built in two days. The structural framework of the House is made of pre-fabricated, cross laminated and glued timber panels (CLT).

The Photographer's House is a unique example of 'slow design': you can get your hands dirty while you collect wood from the forest to heat the fireplace, it sharpens all your senses thanks to the vivid presence of the forest, and it creates an emotional bond among man and nature. The House literally breathes together with forest, while inside there is the constant smell of wood. And this special smell is part of the living structure of the building. In wintertime, the fireplace heats the house, while during summer nights cool breezes from the woods come in through the open windows.


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