Japan in Masuria – a house with a garden designed by KAG Architecture

House with garden – application of the golden section. © Adam Korulczyk | KAG Architecture

A house with a garden, embedded in the structure of the Masurian village of Ukta, is a solution that combines classical elements of local construction with traditional Japanese architecture.

Yoichi Iida – a Japanese living in Olsztyn who was interested in a project that draws on the spatial design canon in his home country – interviewed the design author, Adam Korulczyk, head of the architecture firm.

Adam Korulczyk and Yoichi Iida. © Adam Korulczyk | KAG Architecture

Yoichi Iida: Why Japan in Masuria?

Adam Korulczyk: Good question! Why Japan and not Peru, Congo or Egypt? Even during my studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk, I was fascinated by harmonious minimalism and sublime beauty, of which the Japanese gardens, which express respect for nature through the combining of art and skeletal construction, are a perfect example. Furthermore, my commitment to getting to know the land of cherry blossoms was reinforced by intensive karate and aikido training – also under the care of Japanese masters – which culminated in 2008 with the acquisition of a black belt. I met my current investor nowhere else but on the mat. As a result of this friendship, I was commissioned to design a house and garden that suited our mutual interests. I enriched the regionally typical arbour hut with references to Far Eastern stylistics and geometry.

Functional design of the plot and the house. © Adam Korulczyk | KAG Architecture

Yoichi Iida: What aspects contribute to the attractiveness of the object?

Adam Korulczyk: The two systems mentioned enter into a symbiosis, they mix and complement each other. Starting from the tectonic ground plan, the entire project was subordinated to the natural structure of the terrain. Exposed watercourses and underground drainage channel rainwater and the planned cascading stream into a reservoir located in the central area of the site and on to the drainage system. I designed the site together with the buildings, the pedestrian paths and the green spaces according to the principles of the golden section. The façades and the inner and outer partitions were defined in the same way. Three holiday houses are located in the depth of the area, accessible via independent paths separated by green spaces. In this way, the builder achieved an effect of cosiness and intimacy in each zone.

The interior surprises with an open, naturally lit space. It has a cantilevered openwork staircase that leads to a mezzanine and a green area with trees. The living room and bedroom have excellent south-west lighting. There are terraces on the south and west sides, and a connecting arcade has been created on the ground floor on each of the four sides. The interiors are executed in the old Japanese technique of yakisugi.

I have placed the structure of the main building in the most favourable position on the site, which offers an attractive view of the garden. The green zones, the architecture and the communication interlock. Thanks to the use of large-scale mobile and glazed walls, the garden visually penetrates the building and connects the two spaces. When you are in the house, you have the impression of being in the garden, which gives the feeling of complete integration and a lively dialogue with the surrounding nature.

Vision of the building in context. © Adam Korulczyk | KAG Architecture

Yoichi Iida: When do you plan to complete the facility?

Adam Korulczyk: If all the formalities are taken care of, they will start this year. The investor has planned about ten years for the construction and completion of the building. It will certainly be one of the most interesting architectural projects in the Masurian Landscape Park. Despite its exoticism, it is clearly more in tune with the spirit of the region than most post-war buildings.

Vision of the building in context. © Adam Korulczyk | KAG Architecture

Yoichi Iida: So it only remains for me to wish you and the investor good luck with the implementation.

Adam Korulczyk: Thank you on my own behalf and on behalf of the investor. The complexity of the investment fills everyone involved with great satisfaction and gives hope for further progress in the architectural sector.

Interviewer: Yoichi IIDA

The article, which is available at https://www.architekturaibiznes.pl/japonia-na-mazurach-kag-architecture,11900.html was published in the renowned journal “Architecture & Business”.

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