A Project By : 3h Architecture Ltd
This small office building in Budapest, Hungary is the work of architects Katalin Csillag and Zsolt Gunther of 3h architecture. It is situated in a densely constructed and architecturally heterogeneous cityscape, and has a unique way of integrating into its surroundings: ignoring the height of the building right next to it, but conforming to the ridge of a firewall behind.
The building follows an apparently strict, tense geometry. Its prism-formed mass is distinguished by salient and retreating surfaces following a chessboard pattern. The outer plain has a holey disk pattern which is intentionally extravagant and reminiscent of seventies pop culture. Due to this surprising ornamental element, the apparent transparency of the building is misleading: it does not correspond to a link between the exterior and the interior. Rather, the glass becomes an instrument of separation, since the vertical surface functions as a large mirror and thus a tool of virtual multiplication.
The tense exterior continues in a geometrically structured but pulsating interior. The building is organized around a central atrium which receives natural light from above, it is elongated and articulated by building boxes shifting positions on each floor. All relevant spaces are visually linked to this inner atrium. The glass boxes poking into the atrium seem to float in a tight yet airy space. Open-space and cell-like offices alternate with each other level by level. Cellular offices have solid parapets while the open-space offices are separated from the atrium by walls rising to the ceiling. Light alternates with weight, transparency with blind spots.
The building follows both passive and active environment-friendly principles. Heating and cooling is provided by a low temperature water-system fed by an air heat pump. It can be ventilated through the glass roof of the atrium and the meeting halls on the ground floor which open directly to the garden. The most important principle of the interior design was sustainable comfort. One of the pillars of this strategy is natural light penetrating into every corner of the building.