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In the seclusion of the Masurian countryside. A barn house designed by Jagna Bielowicka

24 of November '20

In the seclusion of the Masurian countryside overlooking the nearby lake stood a single-family house by architect Jagna Bielowicka. The structure, consisting of two separate residential buildings, is reminiscent of old, post-German Masurian farms and a characteristic barn.

The architectural complex, located in the village of Jeziorowskie, has an area of 1150 square meters and consists of two houses connected by a glass link with a swimming pool. On the property, the architect also designed an outbuilding, a pavilion over a pond and a tennis court with a technical building. All the buildings refer to the architectural heritage of Mazuria, while maintaining a modern character.

Dom i pawilon
w pobliżu jeziora

A pavilion is located by the pond

Photo: Ignacy Matuszewski © Jagna Bielowicka

Dobrawa Bies: What is the shape of the buildings, what were the inspirations and design assumptions?

Jagna Bielowicka: When designing the habitat, I modeled it on old, post-German Masurian farms. From the local tradition I took the layout of the buildings creating an inner courtyard, the shape of the buildings referring to a barn - the most characteristic building of a pre-war Masurian village for me, and the choice of finishing materials such as brick, wood and ceramic tile. My goal was to create a place that fits in with the surrounding landscape, referring to the architectural heritage of Masuria. At the same time, I was keen to give the property a modern character and, above all, that the new establishment could best meet the functional requirements of the investor.

Widok na dom od strony

An important assumption was to open the house to the surrounding landscape

Photo: Ignacy Matuszewski © Jagna Bielowicka

Dobrawa Bies: What were the requirements of the owners?

Jagna Bielowicka: The investor left me considerable freedom in terms of shaping the architecture. The basic idea was to open the house to the surrounding landscape - especially to the nearby lake. For this reason, I proposed a spatial glazing of the house, thanks to which a beautiful view opens up before us already at the entrance to the building. The functional layout involved creating spaces that are as open as possible while keeping the interiors intimate and cozy.

Dobrawa Bies: What construction materials were used and how did their choice influence the design?

Jagna Bielowicka: The construction of the buildings is based on concrete. Local materials, i.e. wood and brick, are only the external finish. The structure of the connector, which houses the swimming pool, was designed with steel and supplemented with large-size glass.

Układ budynków
tworzy wewnętrzy dziedziniec

The layout of the bydynkach creates an inner courtyard

Photo: Ignacy Matuszewski © Jagna Bielowicka

Dobrawa Bies: What are you most satisfied with, and what was a design difficulty?

Jagna Bielowicka: I am most satisfied with two aspects of the project - the neutrality of the buildings, which harmonize with the surroundings, draw attention, but at the same time do not shout. The second aspect, is the functional layout of the house. We managed to create an interior that is both presentable and functional. The house is perfect for a family of four, as well as for a dozen guests. The whole house is alive, there is no sense of unused space. The difficulty was undoubtedly to fit into the existing development conditions that define the size and shape of the buildings, and at the same time to meet all the functional requirements of the investor. The functional layout is always the most important for me, I start my work from it. It is from this stage of the design process that depends on how the client will find himself in his new home.

Dom w formie

The buildings allude to the character of the Masurian countryside

Photo: Ignacy Matuszewski © Jagna Bielowicka

Dobrawa Bies: What do you think the phenomenon of the barn house is based on?

Jagna Bielowicka: When designing architecture, I always take into account the context. I think that respect for the environment is the way to success. Every area has its own context. Just as a barn-house does a great job in the Mazury region, for example, I would not advocate it when designing a house in Podhale or Pomerania. Certainly, the phenomenon of this type of building comes from its simplicity - simple forms do not become obsolete and, in addition, they are incredibly functional, adaptable for any purpose. This form can also easily be given the character of modern times through finishing materials or openings in the walls. Depending on the finishing, the same building form can have an extremely different character.

Duże przeszklenia

Finishing materials include brick, wood and clay tile

Photo: Ignacy Matuszewski © Jagna Bielowicka

Dobrawa Bies: How was the cooperation with the green architect?

Jagna Bielowicka: I never try to interfere too much in the garden design, but I know what to expect from the greenery surrounding the buildings. At the beginning, together with the landscape architect, we determine the view axes, which must not be obstructed by anything. I mark what nature of the view I would like to see from a particular window. In this project, I was very keen on the vegetation at the link to the pool - architecturally the link is very simple and minimalist, the landscape seen through the glazing was by design to be the entire decoration of this interior, so I made sure that along the walls there were rich floral beds. The architecture of the buildings is quite minimalist and austere, the vegetation around the house was to contrast with this asceticism and soften it.

Dobrawa Bies

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