88. szám // 2022. Építészet – képzőművészet – társadalom


Megjelent: 2022.09.

Wettstein Domonkos

Építészek és nyaralók. A szakmagyakorlás átalakuló formái a Balaton-parton a hatvanas és a nyolcvanas évek között

Architects and Holiday Homes: The Changing Forms of Professional Practice at Lake Balaton between the 1960s and the 1980s

DOI: 10.52656/KORALL.2022.02.004


From the late 1950s onwards, the construction of holiday homes on Lake Balaton posed new challenges for architects involved in regional development. Although holiday home architecture had developed in the first half of the century in both foreign and domestic resort areas, professionals faced increasing problems in controlling and coordinating the growing number of construction projects, which were typically designed by builders and local contractors rather than by trained architects. There was therefore a need to both educate clients and supervise contractors. The study approaches the issue of holiday home construction from the perspective of the architectural profession, and open to view the activities of architects who were not only involved in designing buildings, but in the regional development of Lake Balaton as well. In 1958, a unified regional plan was drawn up for the development of the Lake Balaton region, the implementation of which was also coordinated by architects. The plan was awarded the Sir Patrick Abercrombie Prize of the International Union of Architects (UIA) in 1965. In addition to building design, the architects were also involved in the coordination of municipal and regional development, which required their periodic presence on site. 


The study examines the changing professional roles and seasonal lifestyles of the architects in the context of the Balaton coast from the early 1950s to the late 1980s. The personal archives provide insights into the architects’ everyday life. Correspondence and diaries paint a vivid picture of the social roles and relationships of those involved in the development projects. In addition to regulation, alternative means were necessary to improve the quality of mass holiday home building. The architects of the period organized design competitions, and made available blueprints, publications and exhibitions to help holiday home builders. Exploring the impact of raising public awareness, the study shows the links between the architectural profession and the holiday home community.


During this period, regional professional practice was transformed in several stages shaped by changes in development policy. The arc of this transformation process is clearly discernible from the late 1950s to the mid-1980s. Initially, architects were able to shape the region through their professional positions, but later, the reorganization of governmental facilities gradually pushed them out of regional institutions and besides their architectural work they could influence processes only through their public involvement and publications. The detailed analysis of the society of holiday home owners and building trends have been dealt with in detail in previous publications, so these issues fall outside the purview of the present study.