Podkowa House, Warsaw Residential Development, New Polish Home, Wood Architecture, Architect

Podkowa House, Poland

Warsaw Garden City Residential Building: Polish Home in the Forest design by Jakub Szczęsny architects

13 Oct 2016

Design: Jakub Szczęsny, architects

Location: Podkowa Leśna, Poland

Podkowa Leśna Residence, Poland

Podkowa Leśna Residence

Photos by Radek Wojnar

Podkowa Lesna Residence

A triangular, forestal plot is situated in one of pre-war garden cities around Warsaw. Apart from responding to client’s brief, the house had to respond to it’s primary condition of need to maintain maximum of existing trees, which could be obtained only through fitting structure’s shape into the trees.

Podkowa Leśna Residence

The condition was partially imposed by restrictive local regulations due to status of Podkowa being a natural and cultural monument.

Podkowa Leśna Residence design by Jakub Szczęsny architects

What occurred as best approach was a design based on Voronoi formula: the layout of trees was triangulated and the lines were divided in two by perpendiculars that were later offset appoaching as much as possible the trunks.

Warsaw Garden City Residential Building by Jakub Szczęsny architects

This way, the layout of zero level was developed; the level below was retracted in order to guarantee minimum necessary space to secure root systems of surrounding trees, making the zero level become an elevated platform placed on average one metre above ground level.

Polish home in the forest design by Jakub Szczęsny architects

The approach of fitting a 300m2 ground floor between the trees and “hiding” the cellar under the platform in order to save trees was well perceived by clients, a couple with three children, and by a number of authorities surveying the location- from Voivodship Conservator of Cultural and Natural Heritage, through local Town Hall, to Regional Authority of Governmental Forests, all of which unofficially claiming that it will be nearly impossible to build in a given condition.

Polish home in the forest

In case of one of the officials, a lady from Architecture Department in local administration’s bureau, we’ve received the permit because she enthusiastically said, that the house makes her think of her childhood, when she was spending holidays in socialist camping huts by the lakes, which actually makes sense: a couple of months after moving in, my client called me saying he loves to stay in the house, because he feels like being on vacation (that’s a success!).

Podkowa Leśna Residence Podkowa Leśna Residence

After months of enforcing the project through various authorities we’ve managed to receive the building permit, to choose the contractor and start building.

The house is a single-floor (270m2) structure with a cellar (150m2) covered with vertical Siberian cedar panels. The flat roof was shaped in a way providing best geometry for getting rid of fallen leaves and fitting a number of skylights- a welcomed type of window in such location.

New Polish home in the forest Podkowa Leśna Residence

The ground floor is composed out of clearly divided night (with five bedrooms and three bathrooms, a workspace and two wardrobes) and day (entry, living, dining and kitchen) zones. It’s cut with three patios for visual continuity and maintenance of trees growing in the middle of the perimeter of the house.

Podkowa Leśna Residence

The biggest issue was the location of the garage with it’s gate and a ramp, due to a line of thick oaks along the access road, we’ve managed with a light steel platform.

Podkowa house

Podkowa house

The interiors are rectangular, thus with the exception of the dining room, where we’ve decided to design a special convertible table that fits the triangular shape of the room and can host from 8 to 20 people. The appointed designer was Paweł Jasiewicz, a renowned and specialized wooden furniture designer.

Podkowa Leśna Residence

The day and night zones are divided by a long wall covered with a vibrating mural by Maurycy Gomulicki, who also proposed “a post-orgasmic chill ceiling mural” ( as he has put it ) in the master bedroom. Kuba Bąkowski was invited to develop a series of in-situ art installations basing on video projections, since January 2014, two were realized.

Podkowa Leśna Residence

Since the beginning of construction the family got bigger, so the guest room was transformed into a new bedroom for the fourth child. When I’ve asked my client, who overtime became a friend, if he doesn’t regret spending a fortune on a house, he replied: “Man, I want to die here!”. That’s a reward.

Podkowa Leśna Residence

Podkowa House – Building Information

Architecture: Jakub Szczęsny ( Centrala ), Ryszard Szczęsny ( Studio Deco )
Author’s Cooperation: Tomasz Fabirkiewicz
Structural Design: Sławomir Pucek, Ryszard Nalepski
Landscape Design: Robert Nowicki ( Urbandesign )
Table Design: Paweł Jasiewicz
Murals: Maurycy Gomulicki
In-situ Art Installations: Kuba Bąkowski

Contractor: Nowy Konstancin
Design Period: 2009-11
Construction: 2011-13

Photos: Radek Wojnar

Podkowa Leśna Residence Podkowa Leśna Residence

Podkowa Leśna Residence - Warsaw Garden City residence

Podkowa Leśna Residence

Podkowa Leśna Residence

Podkowa House images / information received from Jakub Szczęsny from Jakub Szczęsny architects

Location: Podkowa Leśna, Poland

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