Remarkable circular home merges seamlessly with Polish forest
Envisioned by Przemysław Olczyk Mobius Architekci as a section of tree trunk, the Circle Wood is an unusual circular home situated within a forest clearing in Poland. The residence takes its place remarkably well among the trees and hosts a private garden atrium at its center.
Structurally, Circle Wood consists of reinforced concrete covered with panels of Okume wood that were sourced from West Africa. Its partially green roof incorporates a skylight to maximize natural light inside, and also has a void to allow a tree to continue to grow.
"I thought of the house as a big piece of a tree trunk," explains architect Przemek Olczyk. "Designing through reduction looked like hewing pockets of rooms and cosy, semi-private, glazed alcoves into the wood. Consequently, users can feel as if they are continuously strolling through the trees. It is full of glazing that blurs the boundaries. The plot offers the freedom, or rather intimacy of communing with nature and architecture.
"However, the investor, who appreciates privacy, did not wish to hide away from the beauty of the surroundings enveloped by the Kampinos National Park. The answer to these seemingly impossible design assumptions was an atrium, soaring high into the sky, located in the central part of the spared pine trees."
The 400-sq-m (4,305-sq-ft) home is spread over two floors and centered around the garden atrium in a way reminiscent of the From the Garden House, another Polish home that has a garden at its heart. Interior decor on a circular home is notoriously tricky to get right (the designers of the Futuro house attempted to address this with custom curved furniture, for example) but Circle Wood's rooms are largely arranged into standard rectangular shapes, offering a more typical home layout than you might expect given its overall circular form.
Its first floor consists of the main living areas, as well as a two-car garage, while the upstairs hosts another lounge, plus the bedrooms and bathrooms. Glazing is generous throughout and offers a view of the surrounding forest as it changes through the seasons.
"The alcoves cut out in the huge trunk allow for clear zoning of individual functions, ensuring a sense of privacy and contact with the surrounding nature," adds the firm. "The house is characterized by restraint to detail, which emphasizes the elegance of the materials and its simplicity. Direct contact with nature means that the house changes depending on the surrounding aura - weather, time of day and year."