KWK promes completes safe house in warsaw, poland
KWK promes completes safe house in warsaw, poland KWK promes completes safe house in warsaw, poland
aug 18, 2010

KWK promes completes safe house in warsaw, poland

located on the outskirts of warsaw, poland, ‘safe house’ by katowice-based architectural office KWK promes is a two-storey residential house that aims to provide a feeling of maximum security for the residents. true to its name, the most distinguishable element of the design is the moveable exterior wall components that allow the house to be completely closed to its environment or open and connected to the rural landscape. while the initial read of the design might seem confining, the house, when in its open state, offers immense transparency while establishing a strong relationship to the site.

all images by aleksander rutkowski, courtesy of KWK promes



from the street side, the dwelling lends little in terms of windows or visual openings. the entrance is lined by a thick exterior fence with two slideable gates. when the set of 15 meter-long retractable walls on the eastern and western side are slid all the way out, the entry plot is enclosed into a temporary courtyard space. the back of the house, which faces an expansive garden to the south, features a 6 meter-high roll-down gate that completely opens up the interior to the exterior. floor-to-ceiling windows provide a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape, presenting the living space with an effectively contrary impression to the one offered by the solid mass of the building. the glazing, which acquires ample amount of sunlight and energy during the winter, is set back from the exterior shell to create an open terrace space.

east corner in its closed state



other mobile elements include large ‘shutters’ which essentially are hinging exterior walls ranging up to 3.5m in length. a drawbridge from the upper floor provides access to a roof terrace above the swimming pool. all the moveable components are mechanically operated with built-in electronic engines. the cuboid building is a concrete monolith, while its non-fixed components are composed of light steel trusses filled with mineral wool to ensure complete insulation. all exterior surfaces are clad with cement-bonded particleboards, then painted with a dark wood stain which resembles the shade and finish widely found in the neighboring houses and barns.

open state

street view in its closed state

open state

south corner in closed state

open state

west corner in its closed state

opened state

a draw bridge from the first floor provides access to the roof of the pool pavilion

terrace space on top of the pool pavilion

draw bridge

the interior space lends transparency when open

interior view when the house is in open state

outdoor space to the back of the house

open house in the evening

open patio space

pool in the foreground

looking into the dining area

south-east elevation in the evening

safe house in context

site plan
(left) closed house
(right) open house

(left) closed house
(right) open house

ground floor plan (closed house)

ground floor plan (open house)

first floor plan (closed house)

first floor plan (open house)

cross section

longitudinal section

north east elevation
(top) closed house
(bottom) open house

south east elevation
(top) closed house
(bottom) open house

south west elevation
(top) closed house
(bottom) open house

north west elevation
(top) closed house
(bottom) open house

  • Radical but I’d be worried if there was a power cut.

    Dr. Design says:
  • prison

    george says:
  • are the Germans attacking again? 😀 😀 😀 😀

    tikvarski says:
  • Very disturbing. This house (how can it be called a home?) speaks of deep alienation, not ‘safety’.

    john says:
  • give me 2

    is fantastic: nice, simple and secure…

    great work!!!

    Rodeux says:
  • hmm nice i want it above my nuclear shelter…

    Pavel says:
  • i would love lo live int that ‘prison’

    debles says:
  • how come you say ‘prison’? it is open, lots of glass…

    susy says:
  • conceptually this project is very interesting! realistically it appears it to be very impractical…

    $$$ says:
  • somebody’s ready for the zombie apocalypse!

    kinjiss says:

    MARCO says:
  • Perfect against any Zombies invasion~!!!

    Haz says:
  • No alterations or modifications,then just a house not a home any way it’s good creations..which shows very proud appearance.

    jayalath says:
  • beautifull !! well done – according to concept.
    still it is disterbing and non- functional socialwise.
    dont mind stupid respond – keep up the good work!!

    shahaf product designer says:
  • Crazy. A bit of paranoia?

    dana says:
  • Where’s the helipad on the roof? d’-) Seriously, while appreciating all the various elements in the design and the practicality of it, to my way of thinking the total use of right angles reduce the overall effect. Right angles are very rare in natural forms, if some curvature was put into the design, I feel it would have been more harmonious in its site. But, that’s just me d;-)

    Jetwax says:
  • This is quite an interesting piece of architecture, probably more in line with the paranoia of the American religious right than the average Polish citizen.

    Also I thought it looked quite safe…until I saw that menacing black cat! Meowzers!!!

    Matt Cool says:
  • I love it. It’s not too much, and who doesn’t love security? 15 minutes or more could save you…. more than 15% on youir house insurance hahah 😀

    C.S.M says:

    MARCO says:
  • Day 23: We have been living off the pool water and stockpiled canned goods. The zombies have finally penetrated the courtyard. This morning I was nearly ambushed when I cracked the monolith open for some daylight. It was a shame to have to repel him with a mies Barcelona ottoman, but I did. Why oh why didn’t we build a heliport on the roof?!!

    BleakFuture says:

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