Legendary living

Zalewski Architecture Group creates a stunning modern version of a Polish mountain cottage

by Sian 15 October 2014
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    The greatest value of a house in the mountains is the opportunity of watching breathtaking views directly from your windows. Ledge House, a house designed for two families, is set on an artificial ledge so that its residents can fully enjoy the mountainous panorama of the Beskid Slaski mountains in Poland.

    Ledge House is a modern version of a cottage in the mountains. The architects from Zalewski Architecture Group decided to make use of the best elements of tradition, yet use them in a more efficient way, all of which is possible thanks to today's technology.

    Formerly, mountain cottages were built from what was available in nature. They were typically constructed on a foundation made from stones extracted from the slopes and wooden walls. Such a construction would be complemented with a gable roof - the most suitable in areas where there is a heavy snowfall. The houses were strongly connected to the ground.

    The architects from Gliwice in Poland were asked to design a house on the slope for a two-generation family. Their clients wished to have a house in the style of a mountain cottage with excellent views of the surrounding mountains. It was decided that traditional themes of regional architecture would be creatively expanded in this task.

    The house is intended for two generations. To ensure each of them a certain amount of privacy, the house is designed in the shape of the letter L - one arm for each family. The older generation has its own, more traditional single-storey wing, which is the part of the house most strongly connected to the ground. The younger generation - more hungry for thrills - received the partially levitating arm perpendicular to the slope - in the form of an overhanging ledge.

    Ledge House's stone foundation gives it a sense of stability. The walls are covered with wooden sheathing but large windows, no eaves, roof windows, and, above all, the reinforced concrete jib of the terrace with accompanying ramp, reveal the house's contemporary origins.

    All the parts of the cottage which are frequently used are widely glazed. Furthermore, the glazing in the younger generation's wing is enhanced by an uplift of the attic that gives the living room and the kitchen on the ground floor an impressive height and huge windows. The floor of this area is extended to the outside in the form of a terrace. The stone floor, which forms both the outside and the inside the house, gives the residents the impression of "camping" on the ledge, whether sitting in a room by the fireplace or on the terrace.


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