Set deep in thick forest in Poland's Warsaw West County, an unusual, circular home peeks out of the pine trees. The house is a private residence designed by Warsaw and Krakow-based architecture studio Przemysław Olczyk Mobius Architekci. Built in wood – a nod to the surrounding nature – and created within a floorplan shaped as a perfect circle, this home stands out and at the same time blends into its environment.
Taking advantage of a sandy clearing among the trees, the client, an investor, art lover and collector, invited the architecture practice to compose a house among the green nature near the village of Izabelin. The brief outlined a home that ‘alluded to gallery spaces', so the balance of volume, light and geometries was key in the solution that balances the intimacy of a home with the grandeur of a cultural institution.
Aiming for a strong first impression, the architects designed the building on a circular floorprint. ‘The house is not overwhelming in size, yet may well impress with its scale from the outside,' they explain.
The structure is made of reinforced concrete clad in Okume wood panels, which create a dialogue with the pine forest. ‘I thought of the house as a big piece of a tree trunk. Designing through reduction looked like hewing pockets of rooms and cosy, semi-private, glazed alcoves into the wood,' says Przemek Olczyk, the studio's founder.
Inside, the house features a traditional spatial arrangement with the communal living spaces on the ground level, opening up towards the surroundings through large windows, glass expanses and decked terraces. Upstairs are the home's bedrooms, along with a more informal family room. A striking, white, sculptural staircase connects the two floors.
‘The space inside is reminiscent of a private art gallery, sensitive to the beauty of nature designed in harmony with nature,' continue the architects. Meanwhile the private rooms ‘are characterised by a sophisticated play with natural materials.'
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Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture Editor at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018) and Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020).
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