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Living surrounded by the forest. House in the glade project PAG

29 of March '22
Technical data
Name: House in the glade
Investor: private
Location: Poland, Mazowieckie province.
Studio: Pracownia Architektury Głowacki - Tomasz Głowacki
Author: Tomasz Glowacki
Design team: Joanna Krajewska, Justyna Kornacka, Paweł Lisiak, Adrian Venderbos
Photos: Maciej Lulko
Usable area: 331 m²
Implementation: 2020

In picturesque surroundings, in the middle of a clearing wrapped in forest, hides a one-story single-family house by Studio of Architecture Glowacki. The unique landscape qualities and the local architectural context influenced the design of the building. With the right proportions of the body and the materials used - wooden cladding of the exterior walls and a gabled roof covered with sheet metal, the architects referred to the regional buildings. Meanwhile, large glazing and terraces allow residents to admire nature.

The clearing house is a one-story building with an area of 331 square meters, built on a plan of two, interpenetrating rectangles. The architects divided it into two interconnected zones: the living and household area and the living area, where the kitchen and a spacious living room with a dining room are located. The layout, framed in a T-shape, naturally separates the two courtyards, and under a common canopy were located, in addition to the living zone, utility rooms and parking spaces.

Dom na polanie, widok z lotu ptaka

The house was built in a clearing surrounded by forest

Photo: Maciej Lulko © Pracowania Architektury Głowacki

Dobrawa Bies: How does the architecture of the house adapt to its surroundings? What was your inspiration for the design work?

Tomasz Głowacki: The landscape qualities of the area where the house was to be built - the abyss of the forest, the proximity of watercourses with the fauna inhabiting them, and the local architectural context fascinated us from the very beginning. Hence the inspiration came from the neighborhood of the designed building - the closer one - the wall of the mixed forest, and the further one - the traditional rural architecture of the region. We assumed that the elevations would be clad with wood in a vertical arrangement to correspond with the tall greenery and to relate to the nearby buildings. In addition, the building fits into the local context thanks to the adopted proportions of its body and the use of the form of a symmetrical gable roof, which - once covered with wooden shingles - is now increasingly covered with sheet metal. We wanted the proposed solid to be compact, and through large glazing and terraces open up to the surrounding nature.

Zadaszony taras domu na polanie

The house, through large terraces and glazing, opens up to the surroundings

Photo: Maciej Lulko © Pracowania Architektury Głowacki

Dobrawa: What was most important during the work? What did you need to pay particular attention to?

Tomasz Głowacki: We tried to make sure that, taking into account all the program expectations of the investor, we interfered as little as possible in the natural landscape. When locating the house, it was necessary to maintain the required distances from the forest, as well as to provide favorable lighting conditions for the daytime zone, which would open onto the clearing. It was also important to properly connect the functional zones of the house, allowing efficient communication, while at the same time ensuring intimacy and comfort for users. It was important that the building have the character of a summer house and visually not dominate the surroundings.

Dom na polanie, rzut Dom na polanie, wizualizacja

The layout of the house was contained in a T-shape

© Pracowania Architektury Głowacki

Dobrawa: With what requirements did the investors come to you?

Tomasz Głowacki: The idea was to create a comfortable summer house for a multi-generational family. The utility program with which the investors came forward was extensive and well thought out. We received well-prepared materials that allowed us to know our clients' preferences at the outset and facilitated communication. The investors' expectations included the creation of a living area with a sizable space that would fully open up to the garden, so that, for example, the preparation of meals could be done in conjunction with an outdoor seating area. The dream was to be able to spend as much time outside as possible, hence we proposed covered terraces along the southwestern part of the house. In addition, we were to provide for separate sleeping areas for several generations of cohabitants. The right interior climate was also important for the investors - it was to be cozy and open to the greenery. Cooperation with the clients went very well at all stages of the investment, and we hope that we met all the requirements set.

Taras biegnie wzdłuż całego domu

The investors dreamed of spending as much time outside as possible,
Hence, the architects proposed covered terraces along the southwest side of the house

Photo: Maciej Lulko © Pracowania Architektury Głowacki

Dobrawa: The layout of the building was defined in a T-shape and naturally separates two courtyards: an entrance and utility courtyard on the northeast and a recreational courtyard on the southwest. Tell us, please, about the solutions and materials used.

Tomasz Glowacki: Separation of the entrance and utility area from the recreational area - visually and acoustically - was one of our assumptions. At the same time, we wanted the body of the building to be compact. Hence, under a common roof along with the house, there was a separate utility area and a carport. The proposed spatial layout of the building with a protruding wing, in which we located a single-space living zone, makes it possible to separate the two mentioned courtyards, and at the same time provides an opportunity to see from the living zone what is happening in the entrance area. In addition, thanks to the spatial solutions adopted, it was possible to arrange a vegetable garden in the economic zone. It was important for us to be consistent in the sparing use of means of expression in order to emphasize the consistency of the body of the designed house in the clearing, as well as, as already mentioned, to relate to its surroundings. The facades and soffits (of the terrace and the shed) are entirely clad with planks of lightly whitewashed Siberian larch impregnated to a state of nonproliferation of fire (NRO). The roof is covered with standing seam metal sheets in the color of the window ironwork, with improved acoustic parameters. The result is a minimalist expression of the building that harmonizes with the greenery of the forest.

Dom na polanie nawiązuje do architektury regionu

The facades and soffits are clad with planks of lightly whitened Siberian larch, and the roof is covered with standing seam metal sheets

Photo: Maciej Lulko © Pracowania Architektury Głowacki

Dobrawa: The biggest challenge and the biggest reason to be proud of the?

Tomasz Glowacki: Given the space requirements of the set program and the need to locate rooms only on the first floor, one of the most difficult tasks was to design a solid that would not dominate the beauty of the existing clearing. We achieved an optical shortening of the volume by extending one wing, dividing the space in front of the building into the two zones mentioned above.
It can also be said that at the stage of implementation it was a kind of challenge to maintain the concept regarding the facade with the awareness of a significant increase in the market price of building materials. Fortunately, the investors were very keen on the high quality of the building's finish, hence they decided not to abandon the initial assumptions. We are therefore pleased that in the end it was possible to materialize the image of the house presented in the visualizations.

Dom na polanie skryty wśród drzew

The house hides in the forest

Photo: Maciej Lulko © Pracowania Architektury Głowacki

The effect is also due to the contractors who took care of the details. One challenge, among others, was the embedding of large sliding glass panels, which were skillfully selected and installed in the exterior walls. Another difficult element was the selection of the right color scheme, achieved from multiple wood samples, and the precise joining of the boards. The facade boards are of different widths, and their rhythm is repeated in a modular manner, according to our proposal, which contributes to the individual expression of the building. We are very pleased that we were able to meet the expectations of the investors and create a building that fits harmoniously into the context.

Dobrawa: Thank you for the interview.

Dobrawa Bies

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