Poland’s Reversed Atrium, the Aatrial House

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Challenged to design a residence with an awkward access angle, Polish architects Kwk Promes responded with a meandering sunken driveway that leads under and inside the neo-modern Aatrial House.

The home located in Opole, Poland, is a transformed version of the 1970s cubic nomenclature characteristic of the surrounding residences. The architects began the design by dividing a solid cuboid into several segments, sliding and rearranged them on the foundation to form staggered, monolithic concrete walls. Floor-to-ceiling glass was added along with dark woods to soften the stern exterior.

In an effort to preserve the continuity of the surrounding gardenscape, the long granite driveway slips momentarily beneath the home to rise again in its center. This inner recess elegantly conceals the garage so that the peripheral gardens remain uninterrupted.

The resulting design resembles a reverse atrium: the home opens outward towards the terrace and gardens instead of closing them in. Accordingly, the external courtyard is accessible from all sides of the home through the terrace while the interior opening is only accessible by driveway or sun ray. To complete the house, an understated reflection pool was added that departs the home disguised as a glossy sidewalk.


Keara Wright

Aspiring creative author and astrophysicist, with degrees in Physics, Mathematics, and Psychology.

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