The building is situated on a small 510m sq. plot, among a densely built-up residential area of detached houses, located in a close vicinity of the city center. The residential street where the proposed house is located is of eclectic character. However, the neighborhood reflects the local ‘tradition’, where a house together with a surrounding plot becomes a manifesto of the owner’s aesthetic tastes. Fortunately, the formal and stylistic chaos of individual buildings is in opposition to the spatial order of the street. This divergence influenced the design concept, which favored the spatial context over the formal one.
The limited site area, as well as the south side access, were the two main factors which determined the final house position within the plot. The building is situated 3m off the north and east site boundaries and flushes with existing building line to the south to meet the requirement of the minimum distances allowed by building regulations. This arrangement allowed to enlarge the garden as much as possible and therefore maximize the limited development potential of the site.
Client’s functional requirements, together with the local master plan guidelines, determined the two storey (including attic) compact and sustainable form of the proposed building, fully enclosed from the street but open onto the west facing garden. The hipped form of the roof was dictated by the almost square dwelling house footprint. A simple pyramid roof underwent sculptural transformation. Firstly, the top of the roof was ’dragged’ towards the garden to achieve a visual set back from the adjacent property, then the roof was inclined towards the street to emphasize the existing building line, and finally the rooftop was ‘cut off’ to form a large (2.5m x 1.8m) skylight, enabling the daylight to penetrate deep down inside the house. The lack of decorative features, such as cornices and rain gutters, allowed the building to gain a monolithic character. The uncompromising and holistic external treatment engages in dialogue with the ‘prettier’ neighbors. The building is a manifesto of both proportion over decorative features and urban planning over a building form.
The internal space is organized around the centrally positioned winder staircase, which links the levels vertically and divides the space horizontally. Most of the Ground Floor, except for a single garage, utility and tiny cloakroom, is arranged as a single, open plan living space. The double volume (almost 8m high) living room is indirectly lit by the top roof skylight and opens completely onto the garden and a partially enclosed terrace. An additional sheltered car parking space was achieved by setting back the entrance zone into the building. In order to enhance the privacy of occupiers, the first floor was divided into two separate levels which allowed to enlarge the dining room and improve the natural lighting levels in the kitchen.
The lower level of the first floor consists of parents’ master bedroom with a walk-in closet and an en-suite bathroom, overlooking onto the living room down below. The functional arrangement of the lower level is completed by a study. Child’s (guest) bedroom with an en-suite bathroom is located on the second higher level of the first floor.
The form of the house varies from the buildings in close vicinity. The lack of decorative features or pastel colored elevations draw attention to the radical form and dark asphalt color. The homogenous appearance of the building has been achieved thanks to externally applied sprayed polyurethane layer. The technology, typically used in industrial construction, has been used in such a way in Poland for the first time. The shade of the satin outer skin of the building changes depending on the season, the aura and the trajectory of the sun.
The consistent treatment of the interiors was possible thanks to the courage of the client. White finished ceilings, floors and walls are complemented by a selection of natural materials such as wood veneered build-in furniture, and exposed concrete of the stair core. Similarly, all bathrooms are dressed in a single pastel color as a sarcastic dialogue with the existing buildings around, and to add a little bit of madness into the purist space. The minimalistic palette of materials forms a vast background for the family life.
The proposed house consists of two ‘faces’: dark and inaccessible from the outside and bright and spacious from the inside. Contrast intended.
House in Lubliniec 2