Standing in an idyllic hillside of Brenna, in southern Poland, is a curious residence striking a resemblance to a figurative representation of Noah’s Ark from the Genesis flood narrative. How exactly did a cautionary tale from yore become the main visual inspiration behind a minimalist project? Well, for starters, it must be said that any similitude was merely consequential. Architect Robert Konieczny built his family residence with adaptive design in mind, not symbolic representation.
The functional nature of Konieczny's Ark is a direct result of a watchful analysis of how the residence would adapt to a steep hill, a working pasture all around, and how the daily life of the family would unfold. The monovolume was chosen as a practical and aesthetic choice taking into account all these factors. The building’s poured concrete shell and closed-cell-structure foam insulation creates a dexterous protection for the family, and any possible hazards from the surroundings was taken care of with an ingenious solution: mud or water would slide down through the house in an empty subdivision below.
A clever and resourceful drawbridge was installed as main access to the house, making for a good humoured and beautiful entrance. As the large windows celebrate the peaceful surroundings, the interior design keeps it light with a limited count of objects, plenty of mirrors and dainty wood textures.
As the project slowly came into life, it was clear with every element that a resemblance and adoption of an Ark was fitting like a glove. As it is no surprise, a minimalist foundation can easily jump into figurative realms if necessary. Konieczny's Ark is a project for the ages, a masterful case study in architecture and design.
Photography by Jokub Certowicz and Oslo Studio.