István Bényei‘s name in Hungarian architecture is certainly associated with houses of high quality and uncompromising design. The clean, elegant play with massing and the extremely subtle and elegant use of materials are recurrent elements in his work. His villa in Svábhegy continues this tradition in every aspect. Our article from OCTOGON magazine, issue 177 (2022/5).

A legendary site in Budapest, which is synonymous with the word icon, both historically, culturally and architecturally – Svábhegy. The site, which commemorates the Swabian troops who recaptured Buda from the Turks, has been home to legendary figures such as the 19th century’s star writer Mór Jókai, and is also recalled in several scenes in Krúdy’s The Sinbad. It is also a landmark of Budapest villa architecture, with a tradition stretching from the 19th century to the present day. It is no small task, therefore, to design a contemporary building that can function well in this architecturally and culturally defined context.

The villa, designed by István Bényei and György Hoffmann, has a great plot with a panoramic view of the city. The building’s excellent composition reflects the fact that it makes great use of this feature, as the view from the rear terrace and garden is stunning. From the street frontage, both in massing and cladding, the façade presents an incredibly clear vision, with dark and light tones contrasting and two blocks stacked on top of each other. The play of the façade, which is almost a signature of Bényei’s, evoking a kind of picture frame (which is also found in the architect’s studio), shows that the visual features of the façade are also extremely strong, an impulsive sight that draws the eye inwards.