superhelix studio layers and overlaps light-filled housing units with its 'house with gills'

superhelix studio layers and overlaps light-filled housing units with its 'house with gills'

polish-based superhelix studio generates a rhythmic method of residential organization with its ‘house with gills.’ comprised of three dwelling units — each with two apartments and two garages — the project is situated along the border of kraków in a neighborhood dominated by a repetitive language of nineties-era townhouses, or terrace houses. characterized by a row of interconnected residences, this local typology had recently been declared unsuitable by zoning laws in the centralized lot, calling for a more strategic solution which allows units to be both separate and filled with natural sunlight. through the layout of the house with gills, the design team develops an unconventional method of fenestration which fulfills these parameters while introducing a sculptural geometry.

superhelix house gills
all images by bartłomiej drabik



superhelix studio with DZMT develops the house with gills, with its unconventional organization, as a result of the strict parameters of the site. to fulfill the need for a densely-packed, light filled collection of dwellings, the design team introduces an imbricated string of units, each of which angles outward as it overlaps its neighbor. this layout offers the opportunity for natural sunlight from any direction while maintaining privacy as adjacent units do not face inward toward each other. this layering of angled units recalls the naturally occuring image of gills, a reference which led to the title of the residential project.

superhelix house gills



with the aim of maintaining a uniform and visually consistent object, the walls of each dwelling of the house of gills are clad in white plaster and lead to white standing seam metal roofing. while the white plaster materiality echoes that of the typical surrounding fabric buildings, window frames and setbacks are finished in black cladding, visually emphasizing the project’s unique gills. each building has two separate apartments. while the ground floor unit offers four bedrooms, the apartment above spans two levels and offers six bedrooms. strategic layouts and compact gathering spaces allow for a large number of rooms in a relatively small area.

superhelix house gills superhelix house gills superhelix house gills superhelix house gills superhelix house gills superhelix house gills superhelix house gills superhelix house gills superhelix house gills



project info:


project title: houses with gills

architecture: superhelix pracownia projektowa

lead architect: bartłomiej drabik

client: DZMT

completion year: 2019

location: zielonki, poland

area: 580 square meters

engineering: marcin matoga – konstrukcje budowlane

photography: bartłomiej drabik

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    502,528 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample