Safe House by Robert Konieczny

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Safe House by Robert Konieczny

This house outside Warsaw by Polish architect Robert Konieczny transforms from a villa by day to a fortress by night. Update: this project is included in Dezeen Book of Ideas, which is on sale now for £12.

Safe House by Robert Konieczny

Called Safe House, the residence shuts down to a safe central core with a drawbridge, a shutter that drops down to cover an entire facade and massive wall panels that block out all the windows.

Safe House by Robert Konieczny

The thick courtyard walls slide back into the house.

Safe House by Robert Konieczny

The drawbridge leads to the roof of an adjacent building that houses a swimming pool.

Safe House by Robert Konieczny

Photography is by Aleksander Rutkowski.

Safe House by Robert Konieczny

More stories about projects in Poland on Dezeen »

Safe House by Robert Konieczny

Here is some more information from Robert Konieczny:


Safe House

 

Location

The house is situated in a small village at the outskirts of Warsaw. The surroundings are dominated with usual "polish cubes” from the sixties and old wooden barns.

Safe House by Robert Konieczny

Idea

The clients' top priority was to gain the feeling of maximum security in their future house, which determined the building's outlook and performance. The house took the form of a cuboid in which parts of the exterior walls are movable.

Safe House by Robert Konieczny

When the house opens up to the garden, eastern and western side walls move towards the exterior fence creating a courtyard.

Safe House by Robert Konieczny

After crossing the gate one has to wait in this safety zone before being let inside the house. In the same time, there is no risk of children escaping to the street area in an uncontrolled way while playing in the garden.

Safe House by Robert Konieczny

Movable elements interfering with the site layout

The innovation of this idea consists in the interference of the movable walls with the urban structure of the plot. Consequently, when the house is closed (at night for example) the safe zone is limited to the house's outline.

Safe House by Robert Konieczny

In the daytime, as a result of the walls opening, it extends to the garden surrounding the house.

Safe House by Robert Konieczny

New type of building

The sliding walls are not dependent on the form of the building.

Safe House by Robert Konieczny

That is why this patent can be applied to both modern and traditional, single- and multi - storeyed houses covered with roofs of different geometry.

Safe House by Robert Konieczny

This universal solution we came up with gives a new type of building where not the form but the way of functioning is the most important. The name: "safe house” gains a new meaning now.

Safe House by Robert Konieczny

Mechanic...

Accomplishment of this idea required the use of technically complex solutions.

Safe House by Robert Konieczny

The most significant are the sliding walls (both 2,2 m high, 22 and 15 m long), which allow to interfere with the urban structure and determine the safe zone of the plot.

Safe House by Robert Konieczny

They are not the only mobile elements of the building.

Safe House by Robert Konieczny

Apart from these, there are large shutters (all 2,8 m high, with a width ranging up to 3,5 m, opening up to 180 degrees) and a drawbridge leading to the roof terrace above the swimming pool.

Safe House by Robert Konieczny

The southern elevation is closed by an enormous roll-down gate of 14 and 6 m manufactured by a company normally supplying shipyards and air companies.

Safe House by Robert Konieczny

It is made with white anodized aluminum which makes it possible to function as a movie projection screen.

Safe House by Robert Konieczny

All the movable elements are based on built-in electronic engines, that guarantee safe operation.

Safe House by Robert Konieczny

The whole building is a concrete monolith, while it's mobile parts – for the sake of considerable size – are light steel trusses filled with mineral wool.

Safe House by Robert Konieczny

As a result, the building is perfectly insulated when closed.

Safe House by Robert Konieczny

The whole house as well as the mobile elements are clad with cement-bonded particleboards - Cetris and waterproof alder plywood fixed to a steel construction and painted with dark wood stain, which resembles the wood widely found on the surrounding houses and barns, and makes it fit well into the rural landscape.

Safe House by Robert Konieczny

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... to Organic

Once the house opens, it's bright and spacious interior merges extensively with the garden.

Safe House by Robert Konieczny

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Wide glazings behind the movable walls let the building acquire energy during the day (winter) or prevent the sun's heat from going into the house (summer).

Safe House by Robert Konieczny

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At night, when the house is closed, the thick outer layer helps the building to accumulate the gained energy.

Safe House by Robert Konieczny

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Such a solution together with the hybrid heat system (most of the energy is gained from renewable sources – heat pump and solar systems supported with gas heating) and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery makes the house become an intelligent passive building.

Safe House by Robert Konieczny

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Every day the house acts in a similar way – it wakes up every morning to close up after the dusk. This routine reminds of the processes occurring in nature – the house resembles a plant in its day and night cycle.

Safe House by Robert Konieczny

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architect: Robert Konieczny
collaboration: Marcin Jojko, Łukasz Zadrzyński
interior design: Magdalena Radałowicz-Zadrzyńska
site area: 2500 m2
usable floor area: 567m2
volume: 1719m3
design: 2004-2005
construction: 2005-2009

Safe House by Robert Konieczny

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Dezeen Book of Ideas out now!

Robert Konieczny is included in our book, Dezeen Book of Ideas. Buy it now for just £12.

  • http://stevenalice.it vrebos

    I read on another blog(sorry) the client wanted to zombie-proof his house..
    anyway I love the drawbridge!

  • http://cargocollective.com/arcalign ArcAlign

    A strong concept rigorously executed. Those monumental sliding doors and hinged shutters are awesome.

    • KAla

      yes but then they are made of plywood, just to know
      :)

  • achille

    'After crossing the gate one has to wait in this safety zone before being let inside the house. In the same time, there is no risk of children escaping to the street area in an uncontrolled way while playing in the garden'

    Wait, is this house for one of those guys who keeps women and children locked up in a dungeon basement?

  • Mert

    This isn't a new type of building as the architect claims…the typology was hundreds of years ago; it's called a prison.

  • Kim

    Looks homey!

  • http://lanevatile.com Lisa L.

    What about emergency egress? This place is a tomb if there ever needed to be a quick escape and the house is all closed for the night.

  • Andrew Owl

    I hope you don't loose the keys when is all closed…

  • justin

    this is the nicest prison i've ever seen!

  • pistabaci

    i'll bet my monthly salary this is a house for a mob boss…

  • http://twitter.com/bobleung @bobleung

    Love the fearsome looking cat sitting at the drawbridge. Is it the official security guard?

    • http://www.dailygrail.com Red Pill Junkie

      I was waiting to see a crocodile-infested moat, but I guess they opted for a less conspicuous demon cat instead :P

  • http://www.malawski.com piotr

    I wonder what kind of a social relations this project maitains in the local comune. It is so typical for Poland to see fences and boundries everywhere. But here it is taken to the level of absurd. What do you take your children from the city to the countryside for? To keep them locked in the concrete bunker?

    I am really surprised and disapointed to see Robert Konieczny signed under this design.

  • Ummmm

    It makes you think wether this is the future: superhouses for a few superrich people, while the rest live in ugly small (but overpriced) apartments.

  • edward44

    Yeah, this house raises interesting questions about the client. , I wonder if he knows the plans for his redoubt are being splashed all over the net?

  • Dare

    I simply love the green fields warming the house.
    They really know how to make use of such big space.
    Just dont forget to invite me to watch worldCup Soccer outdoor ;).
    Big space is a luxury, one can simply do anything with it.
    And this work shows that they can and fun doing it. Congrats

  • http://www.studioko.fr Nabil

    Outstanding Design! I laugh at silly comments like "nice prison" wonder what social relations it maintains… This project clearly doesn't mind this, good design happens with lack of consideration to the surrounding sometimes… To me it relates to it's garden, and landscape, it looks like it's keeping this relationship to the nature secret when the owner is away. i love that Idea…

    This project reminds me of a mix of Campo Baeza's geometry, David Adjaye's Radicality and love for raw and uncommon facade materials, and a touch of Sean Godsell's play with opening and sliding planes…

    This project is to be considered as a prototype, and case study house rather to what other classical house should look like or mind.

    • pistabaci

      "good design happens with lack of consideration to the surrounding sometimes…" are you serious??!

    • http://www.malawski.com piotr

      I disagree with you, however do not lough at your 'silly' comment.
      I also think this is a great looking piece of architecture. Estetically designed and consequently executed. I have been following Robert's work and find him really good architect.

      What I criticize is an idea that there is nothing more to the architecture than its pure estetical side. It should establish relation between nature, city – village, local context. It does not ignore surrounding – it respects it, questions and establishes intelligent dialog.

      Here, I can't see any good narration, just fulfillment of an idiotic need of a client. Wonder how the children will grow up in there, never meeting anyone 'from outside'. What walues will it bring to the local comune, to the structure of the village, at last, why it does not make use of the wildeness of the countryside landscape – surrounding everything with a 3m heigh wall. I don't think you get more out from this project than from the flat in the block in the city suburbs.

      anyways architect wins – This house is like a rock dropped on the green field – wether you like it or not – you can't miss it, it gives me thrills and a chans to dicuss his design.

      • http://www.dailygrail.com Red Pill Junkie

        I agree with you. And yet, isn't it true that most of us wouldn't react the same way to the traditional view of a medieval castle on a hill top, full of moats and parapets? Maybe it's the same with the pyramids: whereas i see a grand testament to the will and ingenuity of the ancients, others see an ego-driven monument built with the sweat and blood of countless slaves.

        Forgive me, i don't know where I'm going with this :)

  • hilla

    to Nabil:
    the design is strong, but the concept behind it is very frightening, and that is what the prison-comments were aimed at. it refers to a dystopia, where everyone who can afford it is locked up in their homes with guns and security systems, basically cold war between all citizens.

    I sincerely hope this house will never be considered a prototype for more of such housing. The design ideas could be used for something more human.

  • H-J

    I'm almost sure the client made the architect 'an offer he couldn't refuse', no more horse heads in the bed, was all the brief stated.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Zafar-Tashmukhamedov/100000846182818 Zafar Tashmukhamedov

    looks too massive and i hope it works easy, it looks like big TV set !

  • boardbrown

    I think the 'design' here is naturally subjective and ultimately irrelevant. What really makes this project remarkable in my mind is the ingenuity displayed here. I mean…holy cow! And bravo!

  • chris

    "Makes it fit well into the rural landscape" Not sure what this guy has been smoking. Sadly it isn't actually concrete, but particle board.

    • http://www.dailygrail.com Red Pill Junkie

      Ixnay!! there might be zombies reading Dezeen!

  • nico

    The comments for this post did not fail to disappoint. Too bad the owner will have the last laugh when he, Will Smith, Cillian Murphy, and friends are having a nice swim while the rest of the world is outside trying to claw their way inside for some brains…

  • noyz

    I don't understand a single thing, if the client is so concerned about security, why does he let the project to be published on a blog read by thousands of people?. Oh, I see, criminals don't read architecture blogs.

  • Guest

    This house is a built obscenity.

    It wastes energy on a pathetic "message" to the surrounding community, while it displays little observance to millenia of fortress architecture or to modern concepts of defensible space.

    It invites a hijacked dump truck or a couple of RPGs to turn it into rubble.

    It is a "white picket fence" with barbed wire… Yech.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cpinus Carlos Pinheiro

    "It is a "white picket fence" with barbed wire." – best descripton yet. ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/sawyerskevin Kevin Sawyers

    thank you to the architects and owner for new ideas in a world full of the banal.

  • Timo

    The client must have some seriously dangerous enemies!!! ;)

  • Daniel

    I see no point in spending so much for ‘protection’ in a house that is secure only half the time…

  • K@B

    What good is a dream house if you havent got a dream ? (Julius Shulman)
    K@B

  • perry

    Well, the "one percent" have to live somewhere!

  • turtle

    OSAMA, are you in there?????

    • 5thfoot

      No. Dick Cheney is. Ahem.

  • http://knowonesbeans.com Kenny Burrell

    It’s not real… it’s just a concept house.