LocationEger, Almagyar, 3300 Hungary
Architect in ChargePéter Gereben, Balázs Marián
Design TeamGergely Álmos, Péter Mészáros, Tamás Mezey, Kálmán Nyilas
Text description provided by the architects. The Vineyard
Deep in the majestic Eger wine region lies a long neglected vineyard, which is home to an exceptional grape variety, the “archiepiscopal” wine grape. The fruit of centuries of cultivation has inspired the local wine maker and his partners to preserve and present it to the public. The replanted grapes produce an unrivalled wine and the vineyard welcomes visitors who long for exceptional scenery, ancient grapes and relaxation.
Small buildings are nestled in between the rows of the vineyard: the wine terrace is a covered and open space, complemented by basic bungalows for sleeping, a lookout for gazing and a pool for cooling off. Scale and material draw on the local traditions of the medieval hut: a small building with a pitched tin roof and thick, monolithic earth walls. Concealed by the rows of the vineyard, with only its roof peeking out, it provides protection and a place to rest. Evoking the image of a row of traditional huts, the covered, yet open and airy space of the wine terrace offers shelter from the summer sun.
Tuff stone is a material characteristic of the area, also found in the form of gravel, the byproduct of carving wine cellars out of the stone. The thick walls of the buildings were created using this stone debris. The layered and manually mixed, rammed earth concrete walls cite the climatic characteristics, wall structure and material qualities of the excavated cellars.
In addition to the discarded tuff stone, other structures such as door slabs, century old brick and cement tiles, external floor surfaces and other equipment are all recycled materials that fit into the minimal budget. The hand washing “trough” belonging to the wine terrace, the copper faucets, lamps and information system are all non-standard elements: they are not commercially available products, but local and unique solutions stemming from the design and construction process. Thus the vineyard still belongs to Nature: we humans are mere guests.