The Polish House

Design of THE POLISH HOUSE is based on the polish timber architecture, polish rural culture, picturesque log churches with roofs covered with wood shingle, slender bell towers, old-polish manor houses and open-air museums – full of spectacular wooden constructions. This house is a modern interpretation of unique and rich polish cultural heritage which is not quite visible in international design trends.


Short video about  our philosophy and BXBstudio houses routed in tradition

Wooden architecture has been one of the characteristic features of the Polish landscape over the centuries. The log churches present on Polish soil represent an extremely valuable and unique architectural value. As elite works of carpentry, they have become a distinct phenomenon on a European scale, retaining their individual identity. The area of their occurrence was strictly limited as far as the characteristics of timber architecture were concerned – to the west by the timber-frame construction commonly found there and to the east by the barrier of the Byzantine-Ruthenian culture.

The main architectural form constitutes of a concrete base leaning on the slope. Two other dominating forms are laid on it as if on the basis. Additionally, they were contrasted with a translucent level. Static cuboid forms refer to traditional houses made of wooden trunks. Dynamic and light of the upper form which covers the entire building was, in turn, inspired by old perpendicular timber log churches. These two detached forms together create intriguing spatial dialogue of contrasts.

„I do believe that architecture at large should be entwined with the man and the nature in reference to place, history and tradition. Vision of the future (as architectural project inherently bears) which is rooted in the tradition – makes a piece of art more valuable and long-lasting. Additionally, it brings access to abundance of artistic creation for the architect. I reckon – architecture which is bereft of this relation will eventually become anonymous and lack of innate spirit”

Bogusław Barnaś

“The Polish House is one of the first and, at the same time, the most interesting example among the projects in contemporary Polish architecture, the concept of which is based on a seemingly contradictory ideas: namely pure geometrical minimalism and often forgotten and postponed elements of local construction. Provincial bourgeois architecture, various rural huts and unnumbered log churches constitute the main basis of inspiration for Bogusław Barnaś. The form of the house is very modern, but this modernity naturally results from the appropriate interpretation of the tradition to which the house directly refers. BXB studio creates a new, unprecedented quality from the peripheral, vernacular architecture and locality. Two storeys – the lower, linear and economical, and the upper, characterized by dynamism and a certain expression – harmoniously coexist with each other.”

Filip Maciejowski, art and architecture critic, Oslo

Drawing inspiration from Polish tradition, we have created the design of a Contemporary Polish Roof, which matches the rhythmic design of the dynamic load-bearing structure at the lower level. By breaking the gable surfaces, we have created a newly defined design of Contemporary Polish Roof with the form of a futuristic dormer window. The advantage of the building is its functional and formal diversity based on a game of linear contrasts.

The layout of the house is organized in the way that the positive aspects of the plot’s landscape are maximized. The living room storey was fitted with glass. The basic concrete form was deliberately devoided of any vertical lines as to adjust it to the sloping form of the roof and landscape. Here there is a spacious living room with a fireplace open to a panoramic terrace, a dining room and a kitchen adjacent to the access road and the nearby forest.

In the overhanging part of the building covered with shingles, there is a private area – a children’s room, a high and spacious master bedroom with a bathroom and a dressing room, an adjacent mezzanine open to the living room below, while at the very top of the structure there is a contemplative (viewing) room inspired by the soaring towers of wooden churches. The atypical triangular windows located in the roof of the bedroom and dressing room are a contemporary interpretation of traditional dormers.

On the ground floor, in a rectangular log block, there is an entrance area, a dressing room, a second kitchen, a bathroom and guest rooms. This zone has been designed so that in the future it could constitute an independent, separate residential zone. Above the garage there is a green panoramic garden accessible through the guest bedroom. It is to be an alternative private garden for a separate residential area.

In the basement there is an office, a utility room and a garage. The ground floor has also been arranged so that the office and garage overlook the lake.

The building features system filtering light and shutters so that the building can be opened up and closed down, depending on the weather. The shutters also underline diagonal lines of the entire construction.

Unusual triangular windows located in the roof of the bedroom are interpretation of traditional protruded dormer windows. The Polish House fulfills the function of the multigenerational house as well as a recreation place for tourists.

Polish House was shown at London Festival of Architecture as part of Wallpaper Directories 2014.

The project was shortlisted for 15th cycle of the 20+10+X World Architecture Community Awards.

The Polish House is the winner of the ICONIC AWARDS 2022 in the category: Innovative Architecture

The design of the Polish House won The Plan Award 2022

The Polish House was nominated for the finals of the World Architecture Festival 2022

The Polish House

Project: BXBstudio Bogusław Barnaś
Team: Bogusław Barnaś, Elena Casado Castrillo, Paulina Dobrzańska, Magdalena Fuchs, Bartłomiej Mierczak, Justyna Duszyńska, Urszula Furmanik
Location: Poland
Date: 2013-2022
Total area: 561 sqm
Client: Privat

Another project with a similar structure but smaller area, which uses the idea of ​​the Polish Roof, was also created in BXB studio. It is a POLISH COTTAGE covered with thatch, which has a characteristic undercut of the gable wall.

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