When looking for a construction plot to build our house, we found a pre-war farm located in Osobowice, an old German-style district of Wrocław, Poland. Unfortunately, the owners were not interested in selling the dilapidated building. A year later, when buying a plot 100 meters away from the farm, we still had a vision of that building in our minds. The plot is adjacent to the newly constructed single-family detached houses. On the other side, the plot is bordered with vast meadows. The single-family house that we built in Osobowice is, as to its form, a reflection of the impression that the simplicity and beauty of the old architecture left on us. The design is specific by its equilibrium between traditional form and contemporary details.
This house is perfectly blended into the surrounding meadow landscape, and that through simple methods of expression and austere, yet very characteristic, barn-house form of the building inspired by the old surrounding architecture.
Our building is a low-budget Do-It-Yourself project that we carried out with only a little help from professional construction teams (walls, concrete floors, windows). The interior, partially the effect of the low-budget constraints, uses the constructional elements as a core of its design – for that reason we did not use the internal plasters on construction walls, use rough filigran slabs and shows the wooden rafters.
The functional layout of that small housing complex includes a working unit (with a separate entrance) connected, through a terrace, with a residential unit. In this layout, an internal private backyard and an open front yard are automatically created.
The ground floor plan of the building is open with staircase in the middle and 1 bedroom. The first floor plan accessible through an open mezzanine includes a main bedroom with a wardrobe and an ensuite bathroom.
To give the architecture a more “local” character (a more farmstead-like as mentioned above) we used traditional materials: wood and render. The building body is an archetype of form, something undisputed that one cannot question. It is a pure geometry inspired by tradition. A simple house with a double-sloped roof does not interfere with the surroundings, it creates a background, it is an ordering element which improves the landscape. The building elevation is made of larch wood planks (resembling barn door) painted in black colour.
Shape of the building, the same as interiors, is modest and modern. Although it is a low-budget project, the house still has its unique style. Dominating elements of the interior are concrete (floor and ceiling finish) and whiteness of fairfaced brickworks combined with oiled wooden surfaces.
The central heating system uses a gas condensing boiler. The boiler is also used to heat up the tap water. The low temperature floor heating has been installed in whole building. During construction works, a DHV cylinder (including supporting systems) was installed. This will enable installation of solar collectors in the future.
In June 2013 our House was the winner of the “Beautiful Wrocław” competition (23th edition) organised by the Mayor of Wrocław and the Wrocław Historical Society.
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