Black Cube House

Wroclaw, Poland
area: 235 m2
project: 2008
completion: 2009-2012
architects:  Kuba Woźniczka, Rafal Specylak
collaboration: Marek Woźniczka
interior design: Daria Kieżun
photo: Tomasz Zakrzewski


The project demonstrates a ‘total makeover’ of a typical polish family house from 70s of XX century. Clients have bought a site with existing 2 story small building and their main objective was to make this house almost twice as big, whilst incorporating the old structure of a building and to completely change the elevations. At the end of a ‘face lift’ old white cube became a ‘Black Cube’.
Existing house was extended in two directions, towards garden and west site boundary, achieving extra space for a living room on the ground floor and new parents bed room with wardrobe on 1st floor.
Privacy has been the most important issue.
The site is located in urbanized city zone in residential area of high density, where achieving privacy, so important for clients, was main project issue. This was influencing most all design decisions – from site plan to elevation treatment.
Following client wish to minimize possible views into the house form outside, front and side elevations have just a minimum number of openings which was compensated by few skylights and 5 meter height channel glass wall lightning up stairs and hallway.
House layout was reorganized to separate different zones in very regular mode.
Open plan on the ground floor is dedicated for whole family and their friends, whereas top floor is strictly private with parents rooms on one side of a house and kids in the other.
Smooth transition from inside to outside space. Terrace as a `in between zone`
One of very important aspects of this project was to create  smooth transition between house and landscaped area. From the garden side steel frame has been designed surrounding terrace  and supporting projected ‘bedroom box’. This has created another space- somehow enclosed but already in the garden. Steel frame will serve as a construction for timber louvers to maximize privacy and create shade in summer months. This ‘in between’ zone will serve as a living room extension, where sliding glass  facade make it possible to connect with outer space almost seamlessly. During summertime and spring this will be ideal  for BBQ, garden party’s and will serve as kids playground.
After carefully  searching for adequate elevation treatment architects have decided to clad this house with timber painted black, thanks to this achieving  very strong, almost  ‘graphic’ effect and same time using environment friendly materials.
To highlight ’empty parts’  of the structure (where solid mass is subtracted) – entrance zone and terrace zone, colored and white render was used instead of timber.

The project has been featured in :


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