Aatrial House

July 10, 2007




Architect : Robert Konieczny
Collaboration : Marlena Wolnik, Łukasz Prażuch
Site area : 10 057 m2
Usable floor area : 659,57 m2
Volume : 2 055 m3
Design : 2002-2003
Construction : 2003-2006


The house is situated in Poland, close to Opole. Majority of low density settlement in
the surroundings is formed of “cube – houses”, buildings typical for the 1970’s.

One hectare site near the forest, where the building is designed has only one weak
point: south-western access. An obvious conflict develops between the driveway and
the garden. The idea arose to lower the driveway in order to separate it from the
garden. This prompted another idea – of a driveway leading inside to the ground floor
level, from underneath the building, which became possible thanks to the creation of
an inner atrium with the driveway in it.

New type of the house
As a result, the building opens up onto all sides with its terraces in an unrestricted
manner, and the only way to get into the garden is through the atrium and the house.
This in turn has made it possible to obtain a new spatial model of the house, which is
the reverse of an atrial building. The aatrial house is closed to the inside and opened
to the surroundings.

Structure and materials
The gateway is situated in the highest point of the site sloping to the east side. The
10 metres wide driveway following slope’s declivity, was additionally lowered
underneath the ground level, while the garden was partly raised above this level. As
a result, the garden is separated from the driveway and the surroundings with a 2.5m
high retaining wall. The building was situated on the garden level. For the sake of
neighboring buildings, typical polish “cube – houses” arisen it 1970’s, the structure of
the house results from various transformations of a cube.
As a result of stretching and bending particular surfaces of the cube, all the walls,
floors and ceilings were defined, together with inner aatrium and terraces. This
principle of formation has not only created the structure of the house, but also
defined interior and exterior architecture, including use of materials. The building is a
reinforced concrete monolith, and concrete is at the same time the finishing material
of the transformed cube, while all additional elements are finished with dark ebony.
The driveway and retaining walls were made out of quarried granite blocks, the
material characteristic for the surroundings.


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