This stunning contemporary villa stands out for its balance of solids and voids, of high-quality cladding materials and large glass panels that create an effective interplay of light and shadow. Located in the green hills overlooking the city of Budapest, the villa was designed by the internationally-acclaimed architecture and interior design firm Benyei. “We believe in transparent, accessible spaces,” says the practice’s founder István Bényei. “Rather than enclosing and isolating, our creations encourage openness and new forms of social coexistence. Interior design is an essential component of this. Our work does not stop with the creation of the structure but extends to the design of the interiors, right down to the selection and placement of the smallest design details.”

The two-storey residence has a dual, almost deceptive nature: the closed façade facing onto the street protects the private spaces from outside view, while the side looking onto the courtyard connects the interior spaces with the garden and the magnificent panorama. Sustainability was prioritised throughout the project and involved the use of “heat pump heating and cooling, heat recovery ventilation and intelligent system control for energy-conscious use”, explains István Bényei.

The villa’s atmosphere is defined by the intense colour contrasts and original geometries that characterise both the exterior and interior. Surfaces from Cotto d’Este were chosen for use in three very different rooms. The X-Beton collection in a 14 mm version was used for both the living room and terrace, blurring the distinction between exterior and interior. For this rolled concrete-inspired collection, the architects chose the DOT 50 shade, an elegant light grey that blends in perfectly with the surroundings. This was particularly important as one of the most challenging aspects of the project was integrating the villa into an already well-defined residential context while maintaining a deeply personal style. The guest bathroom, on the other hand, has an intimate, almost dreamlike atmosphere, achieved through the use of Wonderwall tiles in the decorative Color Ballet version. Wonderwall is an exclusive Cotto d’Este collection that recreates wallpaper decorations on ultra-thin, large-format Kerlite laminated porcelain panels. The main subject in this case is an elegant dancer caught in a trance-like state of concentration.