Broken House KWK Promes

The notion of conceptual architecture is a contentious one: sometimes an architect takes a home design concept too far and the results are a kind of a literalist too-easy-to-understand aesthetic. At other times, though, a concept can be a functional and organizing principle around which an entire house is designed.

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Broken House KWK Promes interior

Inspired by unstable regional topography, this house by KWK Promes Architects appears to wind up from the ground, a warm wooden band corkscrewing skyward through an otherwise conventional-looking modernist white home.

Broken House upper level

Both inside and out, exposed steel frames the border between this intrusive band and the surrounding structure in order to clearly differentiate spaces for circulation and occupation and establish another layer of visual hierarchy.

Broken House KWK Promes ramps

The language of white-and-wood continues throughout the house, with wooden accents and surfaces defining warm and comfortable spaces within white volumes.

More than merely an aesthetic affectation, the introduction of this simple band provides circulation and indicates a heierarchy of uses throughout this entire modern home design.

Perhaps they didn’t build it with this intent, but what’s interesting about this modern home design is the fact that it’s a rare wheelchair-accessible multi-story house. The internal ramp is gentle enough of a slope to make getting from one floor to another a reasonable feat (just barely, though it would help if each ramp was longer).

Broken House front

More information on “Broken House” from architects KWK Promes:

“The building is located on the outskirts of Katowice, near a forest, on land deteriorated by 4th category mining damage, where tectonic faults are a possibility. Hence the connotation of uplifted layers of soil, interwoven with one another, which was the inspiration for the form of the house.”

Broken House back

“Its structural design comprises rectangular solids contrasting with the ribbon – like structure which winds around them after it emerges from the ground. It is the leitmotif of the building, combining a variety of functions: starting with the swimming pool to the living room with a fireplace and then to the bedroom upstairs. A noteworthy feature of the ramp is elimination of stoops. Such a solution was achieved by bending the surface of the course, which made it possible to keep its outer edges straight, without bends typical for such structures.”