Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Seaside House in Baltic Sea Coast, Poland by Ultra Architects
January 17th, 2014 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Ultra Architects
The very first task was to choose a structural material which would work in heavy natural conditions on a plot where the building had to stand. For the sake of instability of the ground and high level of ground water, the shell of a building must be heavy and waterproof. It also must be firm and solid since we designed large windows to open the interior for a beautiful view of a seaside landscape.
The answer was simple – concrete. Choosing it, we wanted to make best use of its qualities. Our main idea was sincerity of material – concrete is true both in the way it is used and it looks. These two aspects are not separated from each other but they create a coherent wholeness.
The building’s structure was designed as a monolithic shell made of reinforced concrete. This kind of construction secures safety, geometric stability and tightness. It also let us use a structural material as a natural finishing of interiors. Concrete has become a leitmotif of the whole design, also determining aesthetic solutions in interiors. Gray colour and a rough texture of concrete are balanced with whiteness of some internal walls and bright, wooden floors.
Another important material we used in this design is wood. Exterior cladding of elevations is made of screw-in vertical boards (in analogy to the formwork for monolithic structure). In effect we achieved a characteristic reversal – warm wood on the outside and rough concrete with imprints of a formwork inside a house. The third material is a sheet metal. Window-frames and all other exterior metal elements were designed using a graphite colour.
The house was built in a coastal town, on a plot of land located just behind sand dunes. It replaced an old building which was too small and architecturally unattractive. Pine trees grow all over the plot and we wanted to save them all. New cubical volume was inserted in the place of a former residence this way not to remove any of them.
All elevations of a building are almost identical (each follows the same pattern). Characteristic point of a house is an entrance area which offers two entry points located in both eastern corners of a building, in a part of a plot adjacent to the road. Along the south-west and north-west elevation there is a wooden terrace with a built-in barbecue stove.
Each storey of a building acts different function. The open-plan ground floor is intended for daily home activities. First floor serves leisure and entertainment functions. It is divided into two sections: the bigger one, with a view for a sea, it’s owners’ private zone. It contains a small living room, bedroom, wardrobe and a bathroom. In the southern part of a floor there are situated three identical guest rooms with bathrooms. Basement accommodates storage and technical facilities as well as a swimming-pool.
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