Built in just one day, this pretty Poznań prefab has become a darling of the design world
Adapted from two cargo containers, a cabin outside of Poznań has found itself the subject of worldwide attention after being ‘discovered’ by the international design press.
Assembled over the course of a single day, the aptly-named ‘Portable Cabin’ was purposefully designed so as to be transplanted anywhere at the drop of the hat, a point highlighted by the lead architect, Adam Wiercinski, founder of the Wiercinski Studio.
Speaking to Dwell, one of the numerous global portals that have covered the cabin, Wiercinski said: “The great advantage of this facility is its mobility. In this case, the house isn’t tied to a specific place. If the owners decide to move location, the home can go with them.”
This, it transpires, is exactly the plan.
Describing the investors as being “a couple of brave people who are familiar with temporary architecture and are interested in seeking out interesting and non-standard solutions to adapt to certain spaces,” Wiercinski said that ultimately the cabin would be transferred to a forest close to the water’s edge.
Currently standing in a community garden in Szelagowski Park, the cabin was commissioned by a pair of artists and is composed of two shipping containers, each measuring 12 x 2.5 sq/m.
Modified to feature a total usable area of 55 sq/m, the containers were stacked on top of each in order to create a further 24 sq/m of outdoor terracing.
Insulated with spray foam and finished with birch plywood, the materials used to cover the inside walls enabled Wiercinski to create a warm atmosphere that he describes as “unique”.
Further, by using the appropriate materials, it was possible to obtain an internal height of 2.6 metres and “to hide the lintel created when connecting the container frames”.
Though cosy and intimate within, from the outside the characteristic façade – made from thick trapezoidal sheet metal – was intentionally left to demonstrate, says Wiercinski, “the sincerity of the raw construction material”.
Painted in a muted, heavy shade of green, the exterior was designed so as to slip seamlessly alongside its wooded surroundings, whilst the living area was fitted with large balcony windows where once the container’s metal gates would have been found.
“On the side elevations,” adds Wiercinski, “windows have been placed in the middle of the wall height to leave as many interior arrangement options as possible.”
Exuding a surprising sense of spaciousness and light, the visual effect is lent added appeal through the liberal use of soft, neutral colours and exposed hardwood flooring.
Seeping with positivity, it’s little wonder that heavyweight design platforms such as Dezeen and Designboom have been captivated by the project, with the images serving only to underscore the magic of its appeal.
Showing stacks of books, a telescope for stargazing and a delicious-looking sofa occupied by a lazing dog, the living area has a soul-warming quality that’s given a further boost by windows that stare onto a balcony terrace festooned with blooming shrubbery.
Named by the popular Archilovers portal as one of the Best Projects of 2021, several critics have lauded it as one of the top container adaptations to date.
This, though, is not the first time that the Poznań-based architect has utilized these industrial leftovers to stunning effect.
Already well-known for his work with shipping containers, his portfolio includes Cabinet, a 75 sq/m cultural centre built in 2019 for the Goethe Institute as well as Konternart 19 in Poznań.
Covering a sprawling area of 1,800 sq/m, this project saw 23 containers repurposed to huse workshops, F&B units, galleries and meeting spaces in what had hitherto been a forgotten slice of Poznań wedged between the Old Town and the river.
Swiftly awarded cult status when it premiered in 2019, it instantly became known as a lively enclave of creativity and a much-loved addition to the city’s social life.