Concrete production is highly energy intensive and contributes as much as 10% of global CO2 emissions. But when it comes to safety and durability, it's hard to beat. That's why KWK Promes' lead architect Robert Konieczny chose this particular material to build his own family home on a hillside in southern Poland. Called Konieczny's Ark, the home is slightly elevated off the landscape, allowing rainwater to follow its intended path.
Konieczny’s super-safe gable-roofed home is resembles an old-fashioned boat. But as the architect explains in the video above, its shape comes as a consequence of combating both, security concerns and the risk of landslides and rainwater coming down from the slope. The building is suspended a few inches to let water and debris naturally flows through, with only one corner in close contact with the ground.
Natural daylight floods the interior, which also benefits from cross ventilation through opposite floor-to-ceiling glazed doors. The house is accessible via a concrete drawbridge, which doubles as stairs and a window shutter.
To preserve the sweeping valley views that surround the property, no fences or gardens were built, as the owner believes ‘the best garden design would be lack of it’. The absence of landscape disruptions allows local farm animals like cows and sheep to roam freely – and even mow the grass.