Completed in 2009, the Living-Garden House was sketched out by KWK Promes and is located in Katowice, Poland. It is a 4,413-square foot masterpiece that features a dual identity, one of which offers complete privacy for the inhabitants while the other is fully open and celebrates the beauty of a backyard garden. During the warm season, a series of glass partitions can be removed in order to combine the indoor space with the garden.
As far as materials are concerned, the residence boasts clinker brick finishes on its facade and garage gates, while its upper terraces are clad in wood sourced from local suppliers. The design is based on two volumes that intersect each other and form a 90-degree angle. Consequently, the living-garden area is covered by a ledge. The garden-facing side of the house features green floors that resemble grass as well as external glass partitions made by Skyframe. The space beneath the ledge was created using reinforced concrete and comprises a home theater. On the outside, it is covered with mirror stainless steel that reflects the surrounding environment.
From the architect:
The house was built in Katowice, Poland. The form and materials represent local traditions – of Silesian worker settlements featuring red masonry walls and asphalt-lined gable roofs. Moreover, local plans enforced traditional development, which was, however, ultimately transformed – to ensure maximum privacy, the ground floor was set parallel to the road for the building to isolate the backyard garden from the road, whereas the first floor was shifted at 90 degrees to overhang and penetrate the garden. The building has thus acquired two faces. Street-side, it is enclosed, inaccessible, raising the comfort of its residents, guaranteeing maximum intimacy. In turn, garden-side, it is full of glazed surfaces overlooking the environment. A living-garden is created under the ledge. On warm days, after removing the glass partitions, indoor space merges with the garden, the flooring transforms into grass.
The magnificent ledge rests on two reinforced concrete walls covered with stainless steel to produce a dematerializing effect. Indoor space penetrates the garden both physically and deceptively.
Wall fragments in the living section meet the expectations of investors to form a piece of intimate space (a home cinema is created after closing the curtains).
The first floor is the night section overlooking terraces located on the flat roof of the ground floor.
Technologies and materials
The house is built in monolithic construction and finished with clinker brick. However, not only external walls are veneered in brickwork, but the garage gates are covered with it too.
The roofing features grey EPDM membranes and hidden gutters.
As a result of shifting buiding’s structure at 90 degrees the cladding of upper teraces and soffit panels features the same material – wood, delivered from the local suppliers. The bottom of the stairs is way the same material.
The interior of brick ground and first floor is kept white. The flooring is made of polyurethane resin and both walls and furnishing is finished with glossy lacquered MDF boards.
Living-garden space underneath the ledge is treated with different materials that emphasize integration with nature. Flooring becomes reminescence of grass, and external glass partitions, provided by Skyframe, may entirely be removed and hidden in a wall niche.
The ledge is supported by reinforced concrete walls that create intimate space of home theathre. From the outdoor they are covered with mirror stainless steel and with the adjoining living-garden they give an impression of nature flowing under the building. Its interior however is kept in dark colours. Floor is covered with carpeting, walls are finished with the same fabrics as the sofa and ceilling is made of mirror stainless steel. This space opens towards the southern garden by Skyframe glazing and towards living-garden as well – in these openings the curtains are provided, allowing privacy during screening.
Architects: KWK PROMES
Location: Katowice, Poland
Architect in Charge: Robert Konieczny
Area: 411.0 sqm
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Jakub Certowicz, Olo Studio
Manufacturers: Catalano, Firestone Building Products, Hormann, MultaVista / Sky-Frame, Roca, Viabizzuno
Collaborators: Magdalena Adamczak, Katarzyna Furgalińska, Jakub Pstraś, Aleksandra Stolecka, Adam Radzimski
Construction: Jan Głuszyński, Kornel Szyndler