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Playing with an archetype. The house in Aleksandrów designed by Archigrest studio.

21 of December '20

In Aleksandrów, Warsaw, in the buffer zone of the Mazovian Landscape Park, architects from Archigrest studio designed a single-family house using five different roof angles. What is the result? See for yourself!

The 130-square-meter house will be located on a plot right next to the forest. Its white body, finished with mica plaster and white cement tiles, will contrast with the green surroundings. The building has been divided into four staggered sections - the lowest one housing the garage, a slightly larger main part combining two modules with a large living room, kitchen and dining room, and the highest one - a sleeping area with a usable attic.

The bryła was divided into four offset sectionsbryła was divided into four offset sectionsbryła was divided into four offset sections

The block was divided into four offset parts

© Archigrest

Ola Kloc: What was the investor's priority?

Maciek Kaufman: The investor came with a ready-made functional program of the house, which we included in the project without any changes, while in terms of the form of the building she gave us a lot of freedom and showed trust. She wanted a small but comfortable house for herself, with a separate part for her mother. The priority became the preservation of the forest and the oak avenue, planted back in the day by the Investor's father, and today absorbed by this forest. We were limited only by the new, restrictive regulations regarding the distance from the forest and a rather conservative zoning decision. We had to obtain a variance for fire protection.

rzut first floorrzut first floorrzut first floor

first floor plan

© Archigrest

Ola: The house consists of four slightly offset blocks, gradually arranged from the lowest to the highest, what determined such a shape of the house?

Maciek: The plot is relatively large, but the land for building has little - only a narrow strip of land along the road. The rest of the plot is occupied by a forest, which serves as a garden here. The zoning decision dictated a roof angle in the range of 30 to 50 degrees. We composed the body of the building from four sections, each of which has a specific function and a resulting height. We achieved this height by using different roof slope angles from the permitted range - for example, the low garage is covered by a roof with slope gradients of 30 and 35 degrees, and the sleeping area with a high usable attic - with slopes of 45 and 50 degrees. Trees do shade the house, but this is compensated for by its shallow tract. The main rooms have windows on two sides: south (to the road) and north (to the forest). This play with tradition and archetype is emphasized by the building's almost entirely white finish.


cross sections

© Archigrest

Ola: What was the biggest challenge in the project, and what are you most satisfied with?

Maciek: We are most satisfied with our client's satisfaction, good cooperation and friendly relations. The biggest challenge is yet to come - we need to support her in the construction process. As someone who has lived outside Poland for many years, she is now strongly discouraged by the prevailing bureaucracy in the country.

All the houses we are currently working on must have - by virtue of administrative decisions - sloping roofs. The house in Aleksandrów was the first of such tasks. The architecture of these buildings is created in the tension between the planners' anticipated image of the traditional "house" and the search for contemporary forms and means of expression. It seems to us that in this case we managed to create an interesting building with an individual expression. This is a valuable experience for the future: after the time of reinterpretation of the "Polish cube", the time has come to reinterpret the "Polish gargoyle".

: Thank you for the interview!

Ola Kloc

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