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Modern house made of corten and steel. Corten Villa designed by Machoń Architekci

29 of March '21
Technical data
Name: Corten Villa
Location: Poland, Lesser Poland.
Studio: Machoń Architekci
Design team: Tomasz Machoń, Jan Machoń, Dominika Spyrka
Usable area: 368 m²


  • design:
  • implementation:



On a vast plot of land in Little Poland, architects from {tag:pracownie} designed a suburban, modern villa with a large garden. Corten Villa is distinguished by its stainless steel and corten facade, and its austerity is emphasized by architectural concrete.

The authors of the steel villa opted for a traditional division of rooms: the living zone is on the first floor, and the night zone is on the first floor. Interestingly, despite the large area - 368 square meters - there are not many bedrooms in the building. Most of the space is occupied by the living room, dining room with kitchen, as well as a two-car garage and gym. As an accent to the entrance, the architects used a frame finished in stainless steel. The house is entered by granite slabs laid in a shallow water basin. The villa with a corten façade has several terraces, which contribute to its horizontal character.

Corten Villa
w Małopolsce

The villa has gained a horizontal character thanks to its numerous terraces

© Machoń Architekci

Dobrawa Bies: What was your priority in this project? What was the inspiration behind it?

Machoń Architekci: The starting point for considering the aesthetics of the project was the architecture of early modernism and the work of American architects of the 1930s, such as Frank Lloyd Wright, the dominance of two directions (vertical and horizontal), juxtaposed with the interpenetrating volumes of the various parts of the building. The architecture of early modernism, although still considered an indicator of something modern and attractive, received an additional "claw" in the form of several breaks of the principle of horizontality and verticality, and this by introducing an acute angle on steel elements. To further enhance this effect, we used modern materials in the form of corten steel and stainless steel. These two elements, although distinctly different, seem to weld the concept into one attractive form.

Rzut parteru Corten
Villa Corten Villa, rzut piętra

The Corten Villa has a traditional subdivision, and a path of granite slabs leads to the property

© Machoń Architekci

Dobrawa Bies: What did the investors expect? Was it easy to convince them of such an unusual project?

MachońArchitects: This is another of the projects carried out for an investor with whom we have known well for years. The most important thing was to establish the main directions of the project. Our previous joint projects were primarily investment projects, so this time we had to start by shifting our thinking regarding the priorities of the project. It's different to design investment objects and to design your own home. It seems that thanks to our long acquaintance with the investor, we were able to work out ambitious and unusual design solutions together. During our previous joint projects, we often talked about architecture - in general as an art, about its history, about different directions. So we had quite a bit of information about what we could show in this particular design task.

Horyzontalna willa
z cortenu

The villa is distinguished by its stainless steel and corten facade

© Machoń Architekci

Dobrawa Bies: Please tell us about the design work and the materials used.

MachońArchitects: The work on the concept was very intensive. We managed to create this house (concept) relatively quickly, but it was a daily work on 3D model and 2D drawing in parallel. The concept of the house was created on the fly, you can say that we changed and improved the design in front of the investor's eyes. We made changes in such a way that everything was accurately determined already at the concept stage. This is one of the projects we did on a photogrammetric model of the plot, so already at the concept stage we were able to virtually walk through the house, knowing exactly what the view from each window would be, what view openings we had, where it would be good to shield ourselves from neighbors, etc. This is probably the most enjoyable part of designing for us and the client.

Willa z cortenu
powstanie w Małopolsce

The architects introduced sharp angles on the steel elements of the facade

© Machoń Architects

Dobrawa Bies: Why specifically corten?

MachońArchitects: Why corten? Hmm... It's hard to say. Maybe to emphasize the austerity in combination with concrete, to slightly shock, to interest. Corten in a large part is the finished building of our studio in Sucha Beskidzka, built in 2015-2016, when there were not yet many buildings using this material. We remember what kind of curiosity it aroused in people not connected with architecture during its construction. Residents of Sucha Beskidzka asked us: why is it so rusty? Why are we pulling the scaffolding off the facade when the sheet metal hasn't been painted yet? Some even thought that the rust appeared as a result of an error in the impregnation of the material - sheet metal. It should be clarified that corten is laid on the facade as a sheet that looks like stainless steel, and only rusts over time. This material, contrary to appearances, blends very well in color with its surroundings, looks natural, well, and "lives its life", changing over time, taking on a darker and browner color.

Willa ma dużo
przeszkleń i tarasów

The starting point for considering the aesthetics of the building was the architecture of early modernism

© Machoń Architekci

Dobrawa Bies: What posed the greatest design difficulty for you, and what are you most satisfied with?

Machoń Architekci: Working on the Corten Villa project gave us great pleasure and was the realization of our passion. It's hard to talk about difficulties. When we can design - according to our ideology, every difficulty encountered on our design path is a challenge, a pleasant puzzle, allowing us to work out further solutions. This is also what architecture is all about. Let's remember that most of the problems that arise during the design process can be transformed into additional ideas that will diversify the object. As the well-known architect inventor and visionary R. Buckminster Fuller said - Don't fight forces, use them, which can be translated - Don't fight forces, use them.

Dobrawa Bies: Thank you for the interview!

Dobrawa Bies

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