The plan of a single-family house localized nearby the centre of Cracow.
8 meters high limestone crag, the remainder of an old stone pit, creates the character of the parcel, which is additionally emphasized by a very interesting panoramic view on the hills surrounding the city. The parcel consists of three levels: the level of green terraces created by means of the building’s project, the arms which create it, parcel where the building’s ground floor is located and parcel below the scarp, where the rest of the garden is.
On the ground where the building was built, very restrictive regulations have to be obliged, which determine aesthetics and parameters of newly built constructions, i.a. minimal roof pitch angle of 37 degrees, obligatory eaves etc., which were both obstacles and inspirations in the phase of creating the concept.
A three storey, single family house was designed with total space of 860 m2. The house was meant to be modern, but not deprived of connections to traditional forms. It was meant to be a hybrid of traditional building, built in accordance with law, and of modern, timeless architectural form.
Context is a very important criterion for a building. The building strikes roots into 8 meters high rocky scarp, towering above the ground with stony roof closed in uniform form, which is pierced by modern, linear, white elements. White, softly drawn arms unfold the plain terrain, forming the remaining part of the building’s cubature, penetrating its centre, creating numerous terraces and half-open interiors, finally overhanging stony crag. The overhang is created by spacious, white terrace, completed with dynamic, sharp edge and firmly slanted glass balustrades.
Soft lines of the white arms of the building from the side of the garage form a closed space of the entrance to the house, from the other side they create swimming-pool space with SPA area, which is opened to the garden. The two parts mentioned before creating the functions of the house join together by means of 18 m long footbridge, overhanging the half-open atrium terrace.
Krakow is considered as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Today, the second largest city in Poland is still referred to as the country's unofficial capital. Just four kilometres from the centre as the crow flies, a former quarry has become home to a residence with a striking slate roof: the Edge House. With an eight metre-high quarry edge, the extravagant plot location proved to be a major challenge. This was magnified by the zoning regulations. In this exclusive neighbourhood, gable roofs are a legal requirement. Nevertheless, the owners wanted an unusual solution for the location. Their search for a convincing design lasted two years. Several architects were commissioned, but their results never quite met the owners' expectations. Architect Przemyslaw Olczak from the internationally active studio Mobius Architekten in Krakow finally won their trust and was awarded the contract. His idea was to build the house on the quarry edge. He placed the residential complex on the rugged cliff, adapting it to the contours of the slope with steeply inclined façades and using dark slate to offset it against the existing light-coloured limestone.
The exquisite building is also made truly extraordinary through the differences in height. Viewed from the south, it looks like a single-level home, whilst the cliff side to the north reveals three storeys that integrate into the rocks. The owners also wanted the wild flower meadow to be incorporated into the design. In order to prevent the structure from overpowering the meadow-rich plot, the architects designed parts of the site to slope slightly downwards towards the south and west sides of the building. This reduced the height, whilst simultaneously creating a private living and pool area out of view. Several balconies and terraces enable the residents to choose the amount of sun they desire. Inside, a living area of 850 m2 is spread over three floors: a basement, ground floor and upper level. The entrance is at ground level and leads either to the spacious kitchen or through a separate hallway to the lounge and dining area. To the right of the entrance, there is a television room and one bedroom with a guest bathroom. The upper level hosts two large bedrooms with bathrooms and dressing rooms, in addition to a work and office space. In keeping with the exclusive architecture and elegant interior design, the Gira Esprit switch series was an obvious choice. A KNX system was installed for the complex building control.
The 'brain' behind the system is the Gira HomeServer, which brings together and evaluates all of the information and sends corresponding commands to the devices. Every room is equipped with a Gira push button sensor. The brilliant thing about this intelligent technology is that residents have the option of adding other functions at any time, without having to hack open walls.