Shelter near Banská Štiavnica, SK

Function: Service
Country: Slovakia
Category: Sustainable Communities
Firm: Ateliér HAUS
Architects: Tomáš Ružiak, Miroslav Šestina, Eva Šestina
Completion of design: 2018
Year completed: 2019
Nominated by: Andrea Bacová PhD
The civic association NAD TÝM rented an inconspicuous house from the town of Banská Štiavnica. It is only a 15-minute walk from the town centre. The association gradually turned the site with the house, called Hájovňa (Gamekeeper’s lodge), into a cultural and tourist centre. They added a wooden shelter above the outdoor seating, a multifunctional stage and rocking seats. All architectural constructions are purely utilitarian, discreet, and in harmony with the natural environment. The architects teamed up with the builders of Organica – Natural Buildings and Crafts, and in the summer of 2019 the shelter was completed as part of training workshops. Apart from the remarkable design, discreet and minimalist architecture, the building also attracts with its construction and materials. Three of the walls that face the woods are built without any reinforcement or frame, only from straw bales. The 3.5 x 3.5m room can accommodate five lodgers. From the architectural point of view, this building, placedin the area with the bizarre gamekeeper's lodge, the temporary sanitary facilities and caravans, looks like a vision.
Project Description

The tourist shelter was created as part of the conversion of the dilapidated gamekeeper's lodge to a cultural and tourist center. The location is a well-known crossroads of hiking, cross-country and biking trails, or a place for skating on a frozen lake. Now you can either experience the art, enjoy a snack, or spend the night in a shelter. The typology, which usually stands alone in the forest, has acquired a new cultural dimension. During the day, the building opens with its front facade and communicates local programs. It serves as a gallery, stage, or teahouse. On the other hand, at night it closes its gates and provides privacy for a smaller group of tourists. Visitors would hardly search to find a door. Guests only contact with the exterior through a panoramic window into the forest. The building was built during a series of workshops with the local community and craftsmen. The supporting structure consists of the experimental use of straw bales. Plasters are made of local clay. The interior cladding is made from recycled old plywood panels. The front façade and roof are made of wood without surface treatment. The whole concept determines the temporality of the building with minimal impact on the environment.