The Long Brick House by Foldes & Co. Architects
Minimalist brick residence designed in 2013 by Foldes & Co. Architects situated in Pilisborosjenő, a village close to Budapest, Hungary.
Description by Foldes & Co. Architects
Minimalist design meets everlasting intellectual values in this temple of books shaped into a long brick house in the side of Big-Proud Peak, Hungary, from Foldes Architects.
The project was initiated by an intellectual couple, which had a clear starting point, as highlighted to architects Laszlo Foldes and Peter Sonicz in the following statement: “We own a length of books around 330 feet.” The owners of the site had found the best location to retire from work and the noise of Budapest in a rich natural environment, at the side of the naturally stunning Big-Proud Peak.
Pilisborosjeno, a town some 10 miles from North Buda, stretches in between hills surrounded by villas that inhabit the Pilis hillside. The plot is approached from a chain of narrow and steep roads. When arriving at the gate, just the green canopy of trees that shade the site and a minimalist concrete parking lot are visible. Thanks to the sloping garden, the house is hidden behind this rich, welcoming flora and fauna which plays a crucial part of the aesthetic. The owners’ aim of saving as many of the original plants and trees as possible has also paid off.
“Taking into consideration the narrow and long shape of the building site, the orientation of the sun, and the low-budget program, as well as the age of the couple who are to be retired soon, we advised the clients to realize a straightforward base plan, where the spaces are linked with a long corridor and public spaces face the panoramic view of the valley. At the same time, to avoid creating under-utilized space, we discovered the great potential of the corridor concept. We turned this horizontal axis into a highly beneficial and unique element of the house: a 56-foot-long wall of library,” said Laszlo Foldes and Peter Sonicz concerning the design concept.
Upon approaching the house, a closed brick wall surreptitiously peeps from behind the trees and a staircase down to the base where the sauna and a storeroom are located. Behind the brick wall on the ground floor, a master bedroom and a bathroom are situated. If one follows the brick pavement they arrive at the main entrance on the northeast side, viewing the middle point of the corridor which leads to the public zone on the left hand side and to the private zone on the right. The latter consists of the working room, bathroom, and the bedroom with its own terrace providing a stunning view of the westerly aspect with sunset views over the rolling hills and beyond.
The inner spaces follow the slope of the building site; therefore, the level of the floor is made continuously deeper via few stairs, enlarging the height (first after leaving the private zone, then when entering the living room, and finally when reaching the garden from the living room’s terrace). This results in a variety of spaces, enjoying progressively higher ceilings and wider rooms, and ending with the limitless panorama of the terrace.
The giant bookshelves fulfill more functions than one might expect. Throughout its 56 feet, the modular system eventually opens up, enabling a window to perfectly fit, and a window seat — thanks to the 20-inch-deep walls. The shelves seamlessly meet the fireplace in the living room.
“It was our general aim to assure the proper inner climate with architectural means rather than constructing huge machinery. The house has a 20-inch-thick brick wall, meeting the heating technological standards and giving sufficient thermal inertia. The ceiling slab is made of wood and the empty, well-ventilated attic behaves as a ‘buffer zone’ optimizing the inner climate. The terrace of the living room plays an important role in the protection against rain or intense sunshine, while it is an extension of the living room as well as an intermediate space between inside and outside,” adds Foldes Architects.