Slanted House

Year ︎  2020
Outcome ︎ Installation
Location ︎ Ipolytarnóc, Hungary 
Team ︎ Lilla Árkovics, Bernadett Csendes, Attila Róbert Csóka, Imola Zsóka Fazakas, Csenge Kiss, Virág Kiss, Szabolcs Molnár, Dávid Smiló

Publications ︎ Építészfórum, Domusweb, Octogon, FIG projects


Kenneth Frampton’s 1983 essay, ‘Towards a Critical Regionalism: Six Points for an Architecture of Resistance’, published in the architectural periodical of Yale University, Perspecta, stood sharply against the universality characterising the late modern permeating architecture at the time, and the post-modern's response to it. The third way of approaches led to the definition of an architecture free of signs, symbols, and irony. Frampton himself called this approach as architecture stemming from the position of arriére-garde, that is, one that does not forges ahead but is belated and through this quality, shows an alternative.

Of course, this approach to critical regionalism is only understandable in the context of the 1980s and 1990s. Nowadays, it is less tangible which of the architectures looking for a way out of modernism can be considered as avant-garde, conservative, or belated. However, some things are still valid relating to critical regionalism even without the historical context: the acceptance of the features of the land and the landscape, acclaiming the tectonic logic inherent in the structure, and consequently. The close connection among the building's visual appearance, structure and building material. A sort of pre-digital What You See is What You Get attitude.

The concept of the Slanted House poses one question to this critical regionalist interpretation framework: Can a house respect the landscape by domesticizing it? Is it possible to interpret a house's relationship with the landscape even more narrowly than the way Frampton approached it?

Human existence has intertwined with horizontality. Even if a house looks slanted from the outside, in the inside it consists entirely, or partly, with the help of smaller or larger stairs, of horizontal surfaces so that it can be possible to sit, sleep and work in the house. 

This is the domestication that buildings born in the light of critical regionalism themselves could not leave behind. They were able to rank the aesthetics and structure of the house behind the compelling power of the landscape, but they could not do so with the requirements of daily human existence.

In contrast, in the Slanted House, the landscape dominates totally, both the structure of the house and man at the same time, regardless of whether a particular person is the builder or user of the house, thus, with this, the building also joins the non-human-centered approaches that permeate contemporary philosophical debates.

Namely, in this total interpretation, the design and construction of the house were also impregnated with the logic of the landscape. The purpose of constructing the structural order was to prevent the house from slipping off the slope and to prevent certain frames of the house from falling during the construction. And the auxiliary structures used for construction significantly deviated from the usual logic of the auxiliary structures of constructing horizontal houses: determining the exact right angle that can be positioned to a sloped landscape was a more valuable skill during the six days of construction than determining the horizontal. The spirit levels could be thrown away. The logic of every element of the building was consequent from the landscape and its slope.

However, if we interpret Kenneth Frampton strictly, it is not really possible to decide whether the Slanted House could be part of the architecture he prioritises or not. Because of the logical connection elaborated above, its slant creates a connection to the landscape with naive sensitivity, while upon entry it gives visitors a pleasure that makes them smile, which could also stem from the hidden irony that takes the landscape extremely seriously. And if something was distinctly away from Frampton's Marxist, resistant interpretation of landscape, it was irony.

The Slanted House is thus a building encouraging dispute, which allows many entry thresholds for the visitors and interpreters of the house. It can be a liberating playground for children, which does not need to be capable of anything else than providing a space which one can enthusiastically run across, leaving themselves to the forces of gravity, and at the same time it can be a manifestation of that particular 1983 Perspecta publication, stirring up a dispute.

At Paradigma Ariadné, we believe that the latter approach is the key to an architecture that provides everyday experiences.

Slanted House was designed and build to 100 Sparks Artweek