KWK Promes received a brief from their clients to create a home with maximum security for their property near Warsaw, Poland. The need for security was the focus of the complete design and the result is an impressive concrete cube with no views to the interior when closed up tight, and yet when opened the clients are exposed to stunning views of their property. There is even a draw bridge that raises and lowers to become a bridge leading the roof of the pool pavilion. Nicknamed the “Safe House”, the home is built with a series of complex and technical elements including sliding walls, a draw bridge and shutters that swing open all the way until they lie flat against the home’s facade.
The Safe House is positioned close to the street and just like the house, the property fence is built out of concrete and features operable parts that can either be left open or closed up tight.
When the home and fence are closed, there is not much to see beyond the landscape. The Safe House becomes an impenetrable fortress.
When the home is closed up tight, the property presents a wide-open space that completely wraps the home.
When the lower concrete walls on either side of the home are slid open they uncover the lower level walls of glazings. As the home becomes exposed, the lower wall turns into a second privacy fence, separating the entry area from the rest of the property, creating a safety zone. These two walls are both 2.2mHx22 and 15mL.
On the 2nd storey, 2.8mH shutters with widths up to 3.5m open 180 degrees to expose the windows behind them.
The shutters and sliding wall do not have to be opened all the way, they can be stopped at any location. When the lower sliding wall is left only partly open, the safety zone of the entry is eliminated.
When all the privacy portions of the home are opened completely, the fortress appearance of the Safe House disappears.
Fully opened and from the back, the home appears to be more glass then concrete making the contradiction of elements complete.
There is even a 2nd storey patio as well as a bridge leading from the main house to the roof of the pool pavilion. The bridge is a segment of the safety wall that drops down 90 degrees when the home becomes exposed and raises back up to become part of the main house closed façade.
The pool pavilion is also a concrete structure with walls of glazings, but this building does not have the same safety elements of concrete coverings that the main house has except for the drawbridge that is or is not connected to it.
The drawbridge leads to the roof of the pool pavilion and from here the homeowners can enjoy uninterrupted vistas of their treed property.
Opened up the home has a terrace next to the pool pavilion where one can dry off and relax either in the outdoor lounge or dining area.
The main level of the home is connected to the terrace via large panels of glass that slide out of the way for a complete indoor/outdoor lifestyle. There is even a double-sided fireplace for enjoyment on either side of the exterior wall and both the master bedroom and exercise room can enjoy the same views through glazings on both their exterior and interior walls.
Beside the fireplace is the dining zone – both indoors and outside on one side and the lounging area, also both indoors and outside on the other. A large curved staircase leads to the 2nd volume at the back of the social volume.
The outdoor dining area is sheltered by the overhang of the master bedroom’s patio – both of which are behind the closed façade when the home returns to its fortress state.
When the home returns to its fortress profile, the drawbridge lifts up and an enormous 14x6m roll down gate covers up the back façade of the home, including the terrace.
Made of white anodized aluminum, the gate serves a second function – that of a movie projection screen for the homeowners to use as a massive outdoor theatre.
The gate was manufactured by a company that is used to working on such a large scale as most of their clients are shipyards and air companies.
During the fortress stage, the safety zone is limited to the building footprint, during its exposed stage, with gate walls expanded, the safety zone is expanded to include the gardens surrounding the home with the exception of the entry area.