Unique Hillside Property With An Integrated Wrap Around Road
Headstrong inflexibility powered the concept of this modern home design, for the client had ideas that could not be remoulded by the architectural team at KWK Promes. The owner of the beautiful hillside plot wished only to copy the tame interior of his existing flat, which disconnected the living space from the garden by being on the first floor. So, with interior changes off the table, the team redirected focus onto the road that would lead to and from the home at the centre of the large plot. They explored how they could lift the path and wrap it around the clients immovable ideas, before returning it to garden level–and the ‘By The Way House’ was born.
Restriction often breeds the most creative of ideas. After clashing horns at the beginning of the project, the client and the creative team have ended up with a terrific amalgamation of concepts.
The simple home interior that was requested by the client remains intact, whilst the exterior of the home is a sharp and innovative shell, fully integrated with a specially designed private road that leads to and from it.
The light concrete road to the house moves through the trees of an old orchard.
On the other side of the house, a path down toward the river was designed to wave across the topography without the need to cut down a single tree.
The concrete road rises straight up where it meets the house, becoming its walls, upper floor and roof. The concrete becomes light membrane as it covers the top of the house, wrapping it three times.
Cars from the road enter directly into a garage on the ground floor.
The ‘wrap’ around the first floor, expands outwards towards the river view with each twist.
Because the client remained adamant that the main living space would be on the first floor, the architects searched for a way to reconnect the living room with the gardens. So, the architectural wrap was designed to unwind at this side of the building…
… The band becomes an elevated catwalk that connects the first floor with the level of the garden, before carrying on through the trees, down the steep bank to the river and the beach.
An expanse of glass opens up the back of the first floor, and the entire ground floor.
The glass ground floor maintains full connection with the garden, and contains a double garage, home gym, and a number of guest rooms.
Although not much of a consideration at the start, the road became the main motif of the project.
The customer’s wishes of a first floor living room resulted in incredible views that can be enjoyed in the most sociable area of the home.
It’s due to the clients unshakeable ideas that the architects worked toward connecting the first floor with the garden, and so the design gained so much more.
Floor to ceiling panoramic windows absorb all that the natural beauty spot has to offer. Glass balustrades along the modern balcony leave the river views unobstructed.
From down on the riverside, only the first floor of the home can be seen over the treetops.
The glass box ground floor maintains privacy amongst the greenery.
At the top of the hill, the home glows like a beacon.
The band across the home entryway forms some protection against heavy rains, and strong winds from the west.
The architects explored the idea of splitting the home’s ‘wrap’ at the sides to create more views, but the client ultimately decided it would destroy his sense of privacy.
The separations in the ceiling that were created by the architectural banding were harnessed to conceal contemporary lighting strips inside the home.
Perhaps inspired by the end result of this unique piece of architecture, the client rethought his ideal functional interior. The final design is a crisp monochrome minimalist vision. A bold black sofa cuts an L-shape into a pure white minimalist living room, overlooked by an elegant black floor lamp.
A wall of mirrors is installed across the width of the home gym, reflecting the lush green views of the magnificent plot. The link with the gardens makes working out a much more pleasurable task.
An open and airy modern staircase design connects the floors of the home. A tall glass balustrade holds solid white stair treads with absent risers to create a floating effect. Dark wood partition walls divide up the floor plan.
In the minimalist bedroom, white wardrobes are installed in line with the external banding around the house. The resulting effect is clean and streamlined, and quietly exaggerates the unique architectural feature.
The modern bathroom is separate from the master bedroom, and enjoys its own stunning views of the river.
By night, artificial light and resulting shade only adds to the dramatic effect of the build.
Although at first the home appears to be secluded, it becomes evident that the riverside is a developed area…
… But nestled amongst the trees, this dwelling is well covered for perfect peace.
Ground floor plan.
First floor plan.
Drawing of the landscape terrain.
Home design including the path to the pier on the river.
Side elevation, illustrating the steep slope of the hillside plot.