Terraced House near Warsaw
Area: 150 m2
Designed by: Tatjana Kobuszewska
Developed by: TRK System’s co-operating partners
The project was ordered by a married couple of many years and well-outlined beliefs. I was invited to view their new home at the core and shell stage. All partitioning was completed, with no structural changes possible. At that stage, the investment was a rather gloomy perspective. The harder the better, though.
A lavatory, kitchen, and terraced living room had been planned downstairs. I could not move walls; I could, however, change concourses and communication. I am frequently inspired with roots of mankind, with times when man lived in natural caves or savannahs. Nature has no angular or straight-line forms; everything is relative, surfaces vary. Man intuitively picked ergonomic solutions.
So, back I went to our roots. I began with modifications to the spiral steps, arranging them at a hundred-degree angle and making them face the living room area. I then proceeded to alter the communication structure, using a two-tone pattern of floor tiles. I arranged a path leading from the terrace door to the kitchen. I delineated leisure and dining room areas.
At its core and shell stage, the living room was disproportionately low (given its size). In order to soften the effect, I decided to use an optical illusion effect. I lowered the ceiling at selected locations, introducing gentle arches emphasised with different lighting. I used twelve light setting types on the ground floor, allowing the owners an option to create different moods. I also softened visible wall connecting angles.
The concrete spiral staircase in the living room was the chief challenge. A modification to the aspect angle let me connect the stairs to the support stand of the fireplace – from the first step to the terrace door.
The fireplace itself and its support stand were finished in granite slabs. Vertical stair surfaces were covered in stucco resembling granite in its structure. This is how stairs became part of the fireplace setting. One of the clogs blends in with the mantelpiece in a suggestion of unity. Wide and comfortable steps allowed me to leave the staircase railing-free, thus enhancing the effect. The railing only appears behind the landing, in ergonomic harmony with the position of the hand of the person walking up or down the stairs. All light switches have been placed at hand-height as well.
The gable area houses the master bedroom, bathroom, and walk-in closet, the office/den, guestroom, and laundry.
Simple, beautifully designed doorframes and concealed-hinge doors are an eye-catcher. Uniform floor tiles throughout the gable area are an excellent match for the overall image.
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Loft space is as modest as it is functional. The master bathroom and dressing table area were the only labour-consuming space: inclined ceilings and carrier pillars had to be managed. Water-exposed walls were tiled with large sandstone elements and a number of mock-wood ornamental pieces. The collection allowed for subtle patterns to be created, perfectly matched to reflect the functionality of individual areas. Remaining walls were covered with water-resistant paint. All bathroom furniture were designed and made to order.
The kitchen area required separate design work as well. I decided to repeat the obtuse angle in the area as well, suggesting openness and spaciousness. I designed unusual wall protection above the countertop: pearly shimmering laminate with a glass shelf. Other materials mirror those used in the living room area.
Investors selected free-standing furniture, curtains, accessories, and the TV set (with cabinet) themselves. I leave such choices to clients on request, so as to avoid a sense of hotel room furnishings in private homes.
Years later, the home remains a source of joy to its owners; top-quality materials are a guarantee that this will not change for decades to come.