Architecture

Remarkable circular home merges seamlessly with Polish forest

Remarkable circular home merge...
Circle Wood consists of a reinforced concrete structure that's clad in Okume wood sourced from West Africa
Circle Wood consists of a reinforced concrete structure that's clad in Okume wood sourced from West Africa
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Circle Wood consists of a reinforced concrete structure that's clad in Okume wood sourced from West Africa
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Circle Wood consists of a reinforced concrete structure that's clad in Okume wood sourced from West Africa
Circle Wood is arranged around a central garden atrium that offers a private area for the owners to enjoy
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Circle Wood is arranged around a central garden atrium that offers a private area for the owners to enjoy
Circle Wood's interior includes high ceilings and features lots of glazing to maximize the views of the forest
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Circle Wood's interior includes high ceilings and features lots of glazing to maximize the views of the forest
An eye-catching spiral staircase provides access between Circle Wood's two floors
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An eye-catching spiral staircase provides access between Circle Wood's two floors
Circle Wood's upstairs includes private areas like bedrooms and bathrooms, which overlook the central garden atrium
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Circle Wood's upstairs includes private areas like bedrooms and bathrooms, which overlook the central garden atrium
Top-down view of Circle Wood's spiral staircase
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Top-down view of Circle Wood's spiral staircase
Circle Wood's generous glazing and skylights ensure ample daylight inside
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Circle Wood's generous glazing and skylights ensure ample daylight inside
Circle Wood is likened to a large chunk of tree trunk by its designer
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Circle Wood is likened to a large chunk of tree trunk by its designer
Circle Wood measures 400 sq m (4,305 sq ft), spread over two floors
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Circle Wood measures 400 sq m (4,305 sq ft), spread over two floors
"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," explains Przemysław Olczyk Mobius Architekci
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"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," explains Przemysław Olczyk Mobius Architekci
View gallery - 10 images

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."

Circle Wood's interior includes high ceilings and features lots of glazing to maximize the views of the forest
Circle Wood's interior includes high ceilings and features lots of glazing to maximize the views of the forest

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.

Circle Wood's upstairs includes private areas like bedrooms and bathrooms, which overlook the central garden atrium
Circle Wood's upstairs includes private areas like bedrooms and bathrooms, which overlook the central garden atrium

"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."

Source: Przemysław Olczyk Mobius Architekci

View gallery - 10 images
4 comments
WB
Kind of perverse cutting down endangered wood species in Africa
(Okume wood is on the IUCN Red List - It is listed as vulnerable due to a population reduction caused by a decline in its natural range, and exploitation)

So these geniuses cut down that wood, then ship it half way across the world for a house in the middle of a WOOD forest. Why not just use the freaking wood growing 2 yards around you - or use the trees you had to cut down for the house. Completely tone deaf those guys!
WB
..and while we're at it.. here's some more info these architects seem to have missed. Turns out rare endangered wooeds like Okume really aren't ideal as building materials neither. Here some more info about Okoume:
Allergies/Toxicity: Okoume has been reported to cause skin, eye, and respiratory irritation, as well as other effects such as asthma-like symptoms, coughing, and conjunctivitis (pink eye). Why on earth would these guys put this into a home?
Rot Resistance: Rated as non-durable; poor insect resistance.
Sustainability: This wood species is on the IUCN Red List. It is listed as vulnerable due to a population reduction n the past three generations, caused by a decline in its natural range, and exploitation.

If I'd be the owner I'd want my money back! Sadly no one will bring back the beautiful trees that were cut down for this.
NMorris
They typically appear to offer to build enormous, resource intensive trophy houses, with little concept of the environmental footprints of their wealthy clients. One of their designs appears to incorporate an external gas flame to heat a large outside conversation pit.
Worzel
Larch would have been a far superior choice for cladding, on all fronts. Locally obtainable, and one of the best woods for cladding, as its naturally, highly bug and water resistant.
I suppose, as long as his clients are happy, and Przemek Olczyk, gets his large fee, both parties will be content, until the cladding rots off,
As usual, lots of glass, = lots of lost heat in winter, by radiation, and too much heat in summer. It's probably best that its hidden away in a forest, with no gawping tourists.
Architects must live in their own personal fantasy world, most of the time.
This house looks as much like a section of tree trunk as fairground merry-go-round.