A single-family house with colorful walls, covered with a multi-pitched roof with red tiles is a typical view of buildings in Polish suburbs and villages. If someone dreams of giving such a block a bit more contemporary expression, it is sometimes enough to make a few thoughtful changes, to put on its "new clothes".
Architects from the k3xmore studio, Kinga Kwaśny and Magda Orzeł-Rurańska, faced such a challenge - in addition to remodeling the existing building, their task was also to adapt the house to its new function and adjust it to the changing environment.
left: existing block; right: reconstruction project
Ola Kloc: You designed the conversion and adaptation of a single-family house into a dental clinic, what was your design process like and what was the biggest challenge?
Kinga Kwaśny, Magda Orzeł-Rurańska: A significant piece of the whole design puzzle was the first visit to the plot. The investor approached us with an order to convert and adapt an existing single-family building into a small training center with a showroom, located right next to the building plot on which the construction of his new clinic is underway.
Driving to the lot, we expected a small, uncomplicated building, but only after visiting the site did we find that it would not be such an easy task. The building, although small, had a multi-pitched roof, a bay window, red concrete tiles, yellow walls and many other details characteristic of single-family housing from the 2000s. So we were dealing with a rather archaic block, and right next to it was being built a block of a new clinic, designed in a contemporary style. We decided to treat our building monochromatically and encase it in contemporary skin. The investor liked this concept very much and trusted us on the further design path, and we are very grateful for that.
scheme for the reconstruction of the body of a single-family house
Ola: You proposed to enclose the block with a light, openwork structure and simplified the roof, creating a modern form, what influenced such a choice of materials and colors?
Kinga, Magda: The light openwork structure is the aforementioned skin of the building. Its purpose is to simplify the mass, to hide protruding eaves, gutters and other elements of the facade. "The skin" is expanded metal set on a steel frame, and the whole is powder-coated in a dark gray color. The walls and roof will also be finished in this color, the whole will be a coherent monochromatic object.
visualization of the rebuilt body of the single-family house
We took the expanded metal grid from the "neighbor" - a newly built building designed by the MEEKO Architects studio. We wanted to create a "thread of understanding" between the two buildings, which, standing very close to each other, will, willingly or unwillingly, constitute an ensemble. To emphasize the distinctiveness of our building, we used the opposite color - the MEEKO studio building is treated in white, while ours is treated in dark gray, almost black. To break up this dark gray tone, the window and door stiles will be finished in warm wood.
The remodeled building will house a small training center with a showroom
Ola: What should be taken into account when remodeling an existing facility?
Kinga, Magda: First of all, it is necessary to assess whether the building, which had, for example, a single-family residential function, is able to meet the demanding regulations for service buildings. Especially if it is an old building and has in its "resume" many changes in building regulations. Also, it is important that when converting such buildings, especially single-family buildings, to analyze whether it will be in accordance with, among other things, the current local zoning plan (if any).
Medical services construction is governed by much more restrictive laws than single-family construction, so be prepared for significant, sometimes structural changes. The solutions can be quite a puzzle, especially in facilities as small as ours.
Ola: Thank you for the interview.