Family home in southern Poland voted world’s BEST private residence
Referencing the region’s rich architectural heritage, a house in southern Poland has been named as “the world’s best private residence” at this year’s Global Architecture & Design Awards.
Triumphing in the category set aside for small-to-medium homes, ‘The Lesser Polish Eaves Cottage’ was praised by the adjudication panel for its durability and timelessness.
In their appraisal, the judges also cited the dwelling for its respect for the area’s traditions.
“We strongly believe that this is the factor that makes it something more than just another modern home,” wrote the studio behind it.
Inspired by the houses found in the scenic main square of Lanckorona, a small village south-west of Kraków, the cottage was commissioned by a private client in 2015 with the construction process realized between 2017 and 2020.
Designed by BXB Studio Bogusław Barnaś, and located in Zabierzów, the team behind the project were constrained by local regulations that allowed only for the development of a single floor house with a gable attic.
The studio, however, relished the challenge: “in spite of these restrictive regulations, we managed to create an interesting structure,” they said.
“We used the topography of a scenic plot of land creatively and we separated as many as five different levels, legally falling within the definition of a two-storey building.”
A photographer by profession, the client’s original brief had tasked the studio with creating a home that would maximize the plot’s stunning vistas.
As time passed, the architects introduced features specific to the region’s more historical buildings as this would maximize the views.
“This evolution allowed us to create the form which was perfectly suited to the investor’s expectations in terms of functionality, space and appearance.”
“Outside the multi-step drop forms contemporary arcade stairs, a dynamic stylistic accent, binding in a harmonious way the ground-floor solid with the gable form of the soaring attic,” say the studio.
“The ground floor, which is modernist and entirely glazed from the south side, was finished with naturally patinating and aging wood, as seen in historical eaves houses. The contrasting, expressive form of the attic meanwhile was finished with the use of modern material, Ruukki Classic roofing sheet, which defines the precise architectural detail.”
The house is no less enticing from the inside, either.
Featuring an open-style plan in the living area, notable elements include a gorgeous ‘floating fireplace’ and floor-to-ceiling glass panes staring onto the countryside beyond.
On the other levels, the master bedroom opens up to views of the ridge while a two-level study with a mezzanine occupies the highest floors.
But for BXB Studio Bogusław Barnaś the acclaim is nothing new. Established in 2009 by Barnaś, the architect and his studio have repeatedly been celebrated for their cutting edge approach and respect for tradition.
Named in 2014 in Wallpaper’s* list of 20 best young architects in the world, the studio has been lauded for rethinking traditional motifs and adapting them to the contemporary world.
Placing emphasis on the relationship between man and nature, in recent times the studio has strongly flirted with the so-called Zakopane style as well as Poland’s traditional timber sacral architecture.