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House on a slope. Sculptural block a way to sloping plot of land

07 of January '22
Technical data
Name: House on the slope
Investor: private
Location: Poland, Mikołów
Studio: KA Architekci
Authors: Małgorzata Kabat, Andrzej Kabat
Collaboration: Kamil Olszewski, Maciej Strączek
Plot area: 2 833 m²




2020-2021 (under construction)

The slope house under construction in Mikolow is an example of how the slope of the land can be used in a creative way. The authors - KA Architects, hid one floor of the building under the surface of the plot, and treated the other two floors with sculptural flair, creating contrasting and interpenetrating blocks.

Dom na zboczu

The house on the slope consists of three stories

© KA Architects

The house on aslope under construction in Mikolow is a single-family building consisting of three stories - two above ground and one underground, along with a driveway to the building and a pedestrian walkway. The plot, similar in shape to a trapezoid, is a fragment of a hill that slopes down towards a local road. The architects took advantage of the terrain and in order to emphasize its qualities used a horizontal composition of two interpenetrating blocks - black and white.

Dom na zboczu, PZTDom na zboczu, schemat ideowy

All that was needed was to "cut" a lump of land and lift it upwards

© KA Architects

Dobrawa Bies: The house on the slope is an object inscribed and partially blending into the plot (one of the floors is under the surface) Tell us, please, about the design inspiration.

KA Architects: The starting point for our project was the context of the surroundings we found on the site of the future development - the gently climbing terrain, enclosed at the top by tall greenery became the main inspiration for our design. In accordance with the investor's expectations, we wanted to create a modern, sculpturally treated body of the building, which would organically relate to the sloping plane of the hill.

Allthat was needed was to "cut" the lump of earth and lift it upward. To create a counterbalance to this form, we rotated the second part of the building mass 180 degrees to provide a counterpoint to the original part of the building and the sloping ground. In this way we created the concept of two interpenetrating solids, contrasted in color, while remaining in mutual harmony.

Dom na zboczu od
strefy wejściowej

The investors wanted a modern house that would attract attention with its form

© KA Architekci

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

KA Architekci: The investors approached us with a request to create a design for a modern house, which with its form will attract attention. The client's wish was to create as open first floor space as possible, without unnecessary divisions with partition walls. Given the beautiful surroundings of the building, the clients wanted the best possible view from the designed house to the surrounding landscape - the glazing of the north elevation was to be clean and uniform. Hence, the thin-paned windows designed by us reach up to 6.5 meters in height and have no view restrictions.

Rzut parteru

The open space of the first floor with large glazings

© KA Architects

Large-format glazing surrounds a two-story atrium, with an open gallery on the second floor. In order to achieve the impression of connecting the house with the garden, the investors wanted the first floor glazing to be able to be opened up in summer - hence the Reynaers HI-finity glazing used in the project, ideally suited for this type of "special task." Complementing this open-view space is a designed skylight.

Przekrój A-A

The "black cube" is overhung above the main entrance to the building
and for balance extended far above the garden space on the opposite side

© KA Architects

Another wish was to create a separate bedroom area with a bathroom, which would be connected to the dressing room. This separate segment was to be located on the second floor. The answer to this request is the "black cube" we designed, overhanging the main entrance to the building and extending far above the garden space on the opposite side for balance. The trapezoidal structure has considerable glazing in the north wall, as well as movable blinds that can be adjusted according to individual needs. The rest of the living function also includes children's rooms and a guest room on the first floor. Complementing this function are: a laundry room, utility rooms and an underground garage.

Dom na zboczu, koncepcja

The concept of two interpenetrating solids was created,
contrasted by color, while remaining in mutual harmony

© KA Architects

Dobrawa: The body of the house is very sculptural and consists of several interpenetrating forms. What materials did you use to achieve this?

KA Architects: The design of the house took advantage of the terrain, and used a horizontal composition of two interpenetrating masses to emphasize its qualities. The first, which is the dominant feature of the entire establishment, takes the form of a dark, overhanging trapezoidal structure with a roof plane sloping to the north. The dominant building is finished with dark gray stone cladding - stone slate. Complementing this form are movable facade louvers, which were designed in the same shade. By using movable louvers in "black cube", we achieved a strong contrast effect with the rest of the building. This sculpturally treated mass, we contrasted with the other - a bright form consisting of two horizontal planes: the lower, in the form of a balcony, and the upper, which is the roof. This part of the building was finished with a noble white plaster. The important fifth elevation of the house was finished with a roof membrane in white.

 Dom na zboczu,
elewacja zachodnia

The architects used a horizontal composition of two interpenetrating solids

© KA Architects

Dobrawa: The biggest challenge and the biggest source of pride is?

KA Architects: The biggest design challenge was to create a unique solid that would not be unambiguous in its perception, and its form would arouse curiosity. A considerable design challenge for us was the structure of the building itself: the lack of supports on the first floor, the open space of the atrium with a two-story living room, and the overhanging black cube over the main entrance to the building extending five meters from the main facade, became quite a challenge for the designers. An additional difficulty was the location of the building - due to the house's location on a slope, we had to design an underground floor in the form of a monolithic reinforced concrete box that properly anchored the entire building to the ground. Another challenge was the intersecting roof slopes of the building. We wanted the designed house to have a light form, and the roof to give the impression of a floating, lightweight element. We did not want it to have any supports - hence the tedious and time-consuming stage was the structural design.

Dom na zboczu

A considerable design challenge for the architects was the building structure itself

© KA Architects

As for reasons to be proud.... Hmm, we are happy that we managed to find balance and harmony in the sculptural form of the building. Reasons to be proud will come if the realization is completed according to the initial plans and design. The building is currently under construction, and currently our greatest reward is that the building has already begun to attract attention at the construction stage.

Dobrawa: Thank you for the interview.

Dobrawa Bies

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