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KARPIEL STEINDEL Architektura reinterprets traditional Zakopane style with modern Tatra House
Poland Architecture News - Apr 20, 2020 - 11:56 12342 views
Polish architecture practice KARPIEL STEINDEL Architektura has completed a modern villa in Zakopane, Poland.
Named Tatra House, glass, concrete and aluminum were harmonized with wood, designed by Jan Karpiel Bułecka junior and Marcin Steindel - founding partners of KARPIEL STEINDEL Architektura.
Tatra House translates the traditional Zakopane style into a modern house. Wood is the dominant element in Zakopane. No wonder, the Zakopane style, like the Heimatstil of the Alpine countries, is characterised by the art of timber construction.
There are few contemporary houses. Jan Karpiel and Marcin Steindel want to change this: "We want to give Zakopane a new, modern look," said Jan Karpiel.
This is their goal. One of the first objects that courageously points in this direction is their "Tatra House". A weekend house at the end of Zakopane with a unique view of the peaks of the High Tatras. And this view is at the centre of the concept, it is the attribute of the house. The view of the mountains should be restricted as little as possible. Karpiel and Steindel have glazed the entire south wall.
The panes are mounted in the floor and on the ceiling with recessed rails. This allows them to disappear completely and the unrestricted and admitted breathtaking view of the highest mountains of Poland is made possible. The steep roof in its classical form seems to hove as if by magic.
With the speed of light into the present
In addition to the glass on the south front, the house, as in Zakopane, is unusually made of wood, concrete and aluminium. These materials transport the slightly dusty Zakopane style into the present at the speed of light.
Today, the house has received many awards and is a prominent point in the Polish winter sports resort. The atmosphere during the construction was controversial. "The house is different. People aren't used to that here," says Marcin Steindel.
Adjacent to the property is a small church, the houses in the surrounding area are all in the classic style - with wood and stone.
"Concrete, on the other hand, is a kind of modern stone," said the architect. In terms of proportions, on the other hand, the house fits in well with its neighbours. "All this is a new language of architecture," emphasized Karpiel and Steindel.
"It is courageous. Too brave for some." But with the Tatra House they have developed their own style, their own signature. And now this style is in great demand.
"We get a lot of customer inquiries. They know our style and they want this style," says Karpiel, who knows that it was difficult to get there. "We've had to change the way people think and see things here."
"The architects are convinced of their vision, because they are translating the traditional Zakopane architecture into modernity. Aluminum is also playing an increasingly important role in their buildings. They like to work with it. "There is only steel in Poland," they said.
But aluminum has much better features and can be used many times over. It is particularly flexible and, above all, weather-resistant - and this is an important topic in winter sports resorts. Winter sports and mountaineering are also the shared passion of the two architects.
They go climbing and ski touring together - you have to be able to rely on each other and trust each other blindly. This Seilschaft works on the mountain like in the office they founded in 2006. And now they already have a second branch in Krakow.
Ground floor plan
First floor plan
All images © Daniel Rumiancew
All drawings © KARPIEL STEINDEL Architektura