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MONOLITH - Sculptor’s Workshop & Residence

Tihany, Hungary

Equinox designed and detailed the new workshop and family home for a sculptor and his family on the Tihany peninsula at Lake Balaton, Hungary.

The outstanding location in the immediate vicinity of the “inner lake” (Belső tó) required skilful handling of the strict building regulations, whilst the stringent budget demanded clever solutions for supposedly standard architectural details.


The two main materials used are stone and timber. The façade is clad with local volcanic basalt tuff typical for the peninsula, giving the building its characteristic appearance. The stone is coming from the demolition of a nearby building in large pieces, which are then processed by the sculptor and his team into thinner units fit for cladding – a clever way of upcycling. All external spaces are built of and framed by a timber veranda structure, creating a light transition from the monolithic building volume to mellow nature.


An extensive study was undertaken to compare the technical, physical and environmental characteristics of different materials for the superstructure of the building – simplicity, cost, buildability and embodied carbon were the key parameters. In the context of this project, the winner was a homogenous external wall structure of autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) and the local stone cladding. The light weight, low-cost solution allowed us to design out additional insulation, which results in a competitively low embodied carbon of this external wall composite.


Window openings and shading elements were designed under consideration of the solar orientation while emphasizing the stunning views towards the lake and nearby hills. Trees are planted strategically to protect the south-west façade from excessive solar radiation in the summer, and to screen the intimate courtyard from the neighbouring building. The upper floor offers a terrace with view over the inner lake, while the ground floor provides a protected south-west-facing terrace, creating a comfortable transitional space between indoor and outdoor.


On-site renewable electricity is generated by a 5kWp PV array featuring monocrystalline silicon PV panels. Underfloor heating is generated by a ground-air heat pump with an option for ceiling surface heating/cooling in the living room. Natural cross-ventilation for cooling in warm periods will be supported by ceiling fans.


Residential & Industrial


180 m2




Under Construction

Our Involvement

Architects (Stage 0-4)



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