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"Lightweight pavilion for living". One-story house of the project of MFRMGR Architekci

07 of August '23
Technical data
Name: K25 / Single-storey house
Investor: private
Location: Poland, Warsaw area.
Project: MFRMGR Architekci
Authors: Marta Frejda, Michał Gratkowski, Łukasz Ptak


  • implementation


Usable area:

148 m²

California, 1950s. Modernism is booming and has now reached almost all areas of life. As part of an Arts & Architecture magazine experiment Case Study Houses — modern single-family homes are being built. Immortalized in Julius Shulman's iconic black-and-white photographs, like the famous Stahl House in Los Angeles designed by Pierre Koenig, they capture the spirit of the times. It was the atmosphere of the California villas of the period that inspired the design of the single-family house in a  slightly less sunny suburban town.

widok na dom od strony ogrodu

View of the house from the garden

Photo: Oni Studio

californian inspirations

The authors of the project are architects from the Warsaw studio MFRMGR Architekci. By design, it was to be a spacious, single-story building with an area of no more than two hundred square meters, in which the residents would feel safe.

The beginning of work on this topic involved listening to the clients with their very precise expectations regarding the function of the future house. They were very aware of their needs and had a wealth of knowledge and imagination, which gave us the impetus to design just such a house. It contributed a bit to the fact that, looking at the building, we feel the delicate atmosphere of a California villa from the 1950s the designers explain.

aksonometria rzut parteru

axonometry and first floor plan

© MFRMGR Architekci

The building is formed by three zones, each on a rectangular plan, connected in an L-shape the smallest module houses the garage, right behind it is located the bedroom area, and further on the largest living area with a separate pantry and the homeowner's studio. The modules are separated by narrow passages framing the views.

bryłę przecinają duże przeszklenia        przejścia między modułami kadrują widoki

Passages between modules frame views

photo: Oni Studio

levitating roof

The horizontal, minimalist block was situated on a concrete pedestal. It is topped by a high, protruding beyond the line of the facade, massive attic wall, which obscures the sloping roofs of the house. The horizontal divisions are also emphasized by a strip of longitudinal windows illuminating the interior — skylights placed high surround the entire building, making the upper part of the block seem to float.

poziome podziały podkreśla doświetlający wnętrze pas podłużnych okien

The horizontal divisions are emphasized by a strip of longitudinal windows, which illuminates the interior

Photo: Oni Studio

Actually, the windows through which one can look outside are only  a sight window from the kitchen to have a view of the driveway zone, and a panoramic window from the living room with an exit to the garden. [...] The window frames and doors were made of powder-coated aluminum in a light shade of gray. The entire house is plastered and painted white, which reinforces its geometric character the architects explain. It is, so to speak, a "light paper pavilion for living" against the backdrop of a beautiful green plot  they add.

panoramiczne okno w salonie z wyjściem do ogrodu

A panoramic window in the living room with an exit to the garden

Photo: Oni Studio

Ola Kloc

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