Beauty Center, Hévíz

ZSK Architects (László Kalmár, Zsolt Zsuffa)


The new building is situated in the busiest street of Hévíz. The building itself stretches from one street to the other, allowing a passage to be created as new public space within the existing city tissue. The building (which is placed on a double sized plot) is divided into two parts which are connected by the main staircase. The formation of the mass of the building is characterized by the flat roofs, which allows roof terraces to arise on the top storey. With its’ green facades the Beauty Center reflects on the nearby wood (that actually creates a green ‘façade’ alongside the main road) rather than the heterogeneous character of the surroundings. The abandoned base and pillars of the apartment housing – constructed upon the former owner’s conception – made the design phase more difficult than usual, since these makings (due to economical reasons) had to be integrated in the new design.

In the conceptualization of the façade the visualization of the buildings’ function was also of great importance. The function is recalled by the glass of the display cabinets that call to mind the perfume vials (vinaigrettes), and within these the scenery of the building’s interior. Both the green façade and the display cabinets draw the notions of time and change in the interpretation of the building. The former showing the change of seasons and continuous growth, the latter showing the life of the interior. This is how the neutral architectural structure becomes, due to time, a living façade within the streetscape. The strong character of the façade is devised upon the tension that rises between the precision of the structures and free flowing of the greenery.

Due to the absence of fences the garden becomes part or the public space, causing the beauty center to take on the spectacle/vision of a public building. The disadvantageous plot area and the logic of the inner circulation cause the main entrance to open up to the passage. This way the building is accessible from both streets. The two bottom stories of the building have strong connection with the outer space. The upper storey is more closed because of the function that it holds, and opens up in the direction of the roof terraces only, which gesture can be traced back through the structure of the vertical green surfaces.