Architects in ChargeMagdalena Beczak, Maciej Beczak, Beata Kiciak
CAD SoftwareAllplan FT 2015
Text description provided by the architects. One of the investors' main design guidelines, something that determined the form and location of the building, was that we ensure maximum privacy without going so far as to construct a fortress. We sought out to create a building that expressed itself simply, one with a clear division of materials and that respected the investors' introversion.
Unlike the other buildings in the neighborhood, this house was placed in the northern part of its plot, away from the street. This opened up room on the southern side of the building for a large terrace and garden. A garage and a high fence provide privacy on the road side, while neighboring yards are veiled by a wall that also acts as a lattice for the planned vegetation. The plot has a slanted front, a factor which in turn influenced the shape of the terrace.
A footpath runs towards the house along a fence made of granite-filled gabions. We made this the backdrop for a line of plants and lamp posts.
On the northern side of the house, there is an introverted gallery, an area closed off by a wall that is the negative reflection of the house's northern wall. This is an intimate space, hidden from the neighbors' eyes.
The house's form draws on the detached house archetype – it is topped with a symmetrical gable roof covered with flat ceramic tiles. The building was designed as a play of contrasts – smooth white plaster mixes with the dark ribbed wood of the elevation. Completing the whole are the anthracite window frames and anthracite roof. The white body of the building takes on the look of a drawer pulled out of the wooden box that is its western and northern sides.
Despite the investors' introverted nature, the house was designed to include a large amount of window area – yet this did not lead to reduced intimacy inside, thanks to the presence of an obscuring wall as well as blinds and awnings.
The ground floor contains the common areas – here you find a living room, dining room and kitchen, a guest room with a private bathroom, a bathroom, technical rooms and closets. In the living room, part of the ceiling has been left open, revealing the open roof truss above the upper floor and the glass bridge leading to the office.
Upstairs there is a master bedroom with a bathroom and closet, an office, a laundry room and children's rooms with a closet and bathroom. The common areas and the bedrooms were placed on the southern and western side of the house in order to let in the maximum amount of light.
Like on the outside, inside the house, contrasts are king. The investors made the bold decision of choosing dark wood for the floors and white brick for the walls – we expanded on that contrast consistently by using three colors for the interior: white, dark wood and anthracite.
White appears mainly on the walls and ceilings, dark wood on the walking surfaces and doors and anthracite on smaller furnishings and finishing elements - furniture, door casings, floor moldings, light fixtures and accessories. Completing the interior are elements made of black unfinished steel – for example, the hanging interior staircase and the fireplace in the living room. Upstairs, we designed a glass bridge on a steel construction leading to the office. The openings in the ceiling were closed off with linearly-placed glass balustrades. The combination of black steel, brick and exposed infrastructure elements provides a break in the style of the interior and gives it a slightly industrial character.
An important element of the interior is the roof truss. For it, we used prefabricated roof girders painted in a color similar to that of the floorboards. Opening up the roof truss makes the upper floor feel much more spacious, while careful lighting of the girders makes the roof not only a functional element of the house, but a decorative one as well.