This industrial minimalist house was built in Poland a short distance from the sea by Ultra Architects and features some of my favourite building materials: concrete and vertical timber cladding. The unique design of Seaside House and the extensive use of concrete isn’t just for its minimalist aesthetic; the architects had to battle a low water table due to the plots proximity to nearby coastal sand dunes and this waterproof, super strong material made it possible to go below ground.
Concrete in its reinforced form also has remarkable weight bearing properties which allowed Ultra Architects to open up these huge wide aspect windows in the first floor living area that offer views over the surrounding coniferous trees and the sea. Seaside House sits nestled amongst these trees and Ultra Architects took care when designing the house to displace as few as possible.
The living room also plays host to this absolutely amazing log burning fireplace which is housed within a glass cube with a brutalist concrete chimney ascending from it. A neat little recess adjacent to the fireplace is used for log storage.
An interesting aspect to this house is that all four elevations are based around the same template and are therefor more or less identical. For example all faces have a wide window on the first floor stretching roughly two thirds of the length of the wall starting at the left hand side. Broad openings also exist on the lower right areas of all four sides of the house and in the example pictured below, the landscaped garden slopes down offering access to a basement with indoor swimming pool.
There is something undeniably corporate about the interior of this house though. The lift for example with its red-lit number indicating which floor it is at and of course the bathroom with the row of sinks and mosaic tiles. I think it would be possible to give this house an industrial interior design style without resorting to such utilitarian fixtures and making it feel at times like an office.
Seaside House does have a distinctly industrial feel though which is added to by the ingenious chain link fences which serve as barriers in the stair cases. The frequently used concrete is detailed by vertical lines and an overall rough texture which at times begins to look like grey wood. However the dark grey colour never becomes too overbearing in this monolithic house as the interior also features many highlights of neat, white painted, plastered walls and warm coloured wood flooring throughout.
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