In its lifetime, Villa Cinquecento has been through the hands of three different owners and
went through many visions of transformation by various architects – a situation which is
difficult to handle on its own when tackling a new design challenge. Therefore, when
Napur Architects were tasked to redesign the multi-residential building, it was inevitable
throughout the whole process that the participating architects and the new customers
would need to collaborate through open, transparent communication to achieve a high-
Project Name: Villa Cinquecento
Studio Name: Napur Architect Ltd
Project size: 700 m2
Site size: 2500 m2
Completion date: 2017
Building levels: 2
Location: Budapest, Hungar
Photography: Tamas Bujnovszky
Reacting to the steeply wooded site of Buda, Villa Cinquecento is designed as a highly
responsive dwelling that embeds itself into the hillside. Anyone who has been in Buda
before, couldn’t argue with the statement that the most beautiful inner part of the district
falls into the area of the so-called Istenhegy, Svábhegy, and Kútvölgy. An incredibly
exciting valley, where the topology of the landscape is part of the design process of every
There are plenty of narrow streets, steep and dramatic slopes; plots where the
woody, steep bushy landscape is not only stretching extensively and infinitely from one
corner of the horizon to the other, but it almost feels like it’s at your fingertips. And still. The typical city dweller is not very familiar with this spectacular sight.
This beautiful cinematic play of nature coming alive in front of our own eyes is a privilege for only a few in the bustling city of Budapest.
Such a situation has proved to be an inspiration for this multi-residential generous
condominium. Its central character draws inspiration from the modernism of contemporary villas. The house stands on one of the steep sides of the street, with an extremely wooded hillside on the opposite side.
Therefore the main orientation point for the architects during the design process was this beautiful green square in front of the house. More precisely, in terms of compositional principles, it was not the contour of the house or the boundary of the plot which served as an orientational element, but building inward from the point of the green hillside in a shell-like structure.
Besides, this natural landscape played a significant role in designing the floor plan,
terraces, rooms, and the glass curtain wall. Put this way, you can understand the location
of the pool or the extensive terrace in the back, which is built into the more intimate zone,
while the ground floor above the garage cellar, as well as the first and the second level of
the dwelling, was opened up to the green hills visible from the street. This dwelling is not a typical structure, which communicates in 360 degrees towards its surroundings, but rather
a building that emphasizes a strong view of the landscape from specific perspectives.
I knowingly left an essential and exciting part of the design at the end of the writing that
touches the character of the frontal area. As if it was a small art gallery, an art object itself,
a tiny concrete building is located in the front garden sheltering a design icon behind its
glass windows – a classic Fiat 500 Nuova with a Roman license plate. International
publications are filled with Porsches, Mustangs, Ferraris fitted into contemporary villas;
and living with such an object can mean eternal love, childish soul and passion for racing
or mere bragging.
That is why it’s very thoughtful of the client to have a classy concrete box explicitly designed for a vehicle that is far from being ostentatious. The dialogue between the dwelling and the pavilion prompts elegant and stratified interpretations.
It is about proportions, pure forms, passionate relationships, superior engineering, and aesthetic dimensions. Compared to the gray concrete mass of the lowest level that sinks into the slope of the plot, the upper, pierced levels seem light and airy. This feeling is further reinforced by the fact that the two sides of the carriageway foreground are covered
with beautiful soft-line architectural landscaping solutions.
Thanks to the realized redesign by the architects and the highly creative and tasteful client, the ultimately generous building is in no way an obtrusive house. The outcome is a fully
updated home embracing its stunning surroundings, which is suitable for the changing
demands of a contemporary lifestyle.