Member of staff: Katarzyna Furgalińska, Izabela Kaczmarczyk, Dorota Żurek, Piotr Tokarski, Magdalena Adamczak, Aleksandra Stolecka
Structural engineer: Zbigniew Błaszczak, Krzysztof Hibner
A White Band in the Landscape: By the Way House
Architect: Robert Konieczny – KWK Promes
Location: central Poland (PL)
At first, the client’s wishes for this project, which is located in an old orchard, made it unappealing for the architects from KWK Promes. He wanted the floor plan to be an exact copy of the old house, but for the living and bedroom areas to be placed on the upper floor to ensure safety.
The location of the new structure was also to echo that of the former house. As this once stood in the middle of the lot, the architects planned a path of lightweight concrete that winds its way through the grounds and “wraps” the upper storey of the house. The sloping shell of the house creates a sculptural structure that lies over the Polish landscape like a white band, becoming a feature in its own right.
The white shell opens from the upper floor of the house, giving observers a view over the river and the riparian terrain. A wall emerges to mark the entrance; it also provides shelter from the strong west wind and the rain. Apart from the roof, which is a membrane, the entire house is made of concrete.
The ground floor is not wrapped up in the band: it stands apart in its materiality. KWK have made this of glass, thus creating the best possible connection to the orchard grounds. The house is divided into its areas of use. The ground floor is home to the ancillary rooms as well as a guest room. Upstairs accommodates all the living and other functional spaces. The living room, which is found on the upper floor, is connected to the yard via a ramp. The interior walls consist either of the white concrete seen in the wrapping, or of dark wood that sets a contrast.
Thomas Baron’s film Blurred Boundaries is being shown at the 2018 Architecture Biennale in Venice. In the short video, architect Robert Konieczny explains the design process and the idea behind it.