Black Cube is a house redevelopment project located in one of Wrocław's districts. Previously, the building was a typical "white cube", representing the architecture of single-family houses of the 1960s and 1970s.
Kameleonlab Architects, while remaining faithful to the minimalist aesthetics of the existing building, transformed a rough, communist-era building into a modern house. The project met the expectations of modern residents and in terms of colour matching the context of the older, dark grey houses in the neighbourhood.
The reconstruction of the building assumed the improvement of the façade condition (the so-called "face lifting") and, above all, increasing its cubature and creating a new layout of rooms. Almost twice as much space has made the interior lighter and more spacious. The house has been extended in two lanes: the northern one (where there is a night zone for parents and an exposed entrance) and the southern one (with a day zone with a living room, located on two floors, and children's rooms on the first floor). The shape itself has become more attractive by replacing the white plaster with black spruce boards. The entrance, although hidden in a cut-out cube, has been exposed by the use of lime-coloured plaster contrasting to black.
The house is located in a district of single-family houses, on a small plot of land, therefore the privacy of users has become one of the fundamental design issues for architects from the very beginning. From the garden side, an intermediate terrace zone, the so-called "in between", which is already outside the home, but not yet a garden. This zone was created by an overhang with the parents' bedroom, overlooking the terrace, and an openwork steel structure surrounding the terrace space, on which additional elements can be installed (e.g., wooden slats or fabric curtains). This will cover the household members from the neighbours’ side, and also help to diffuse intense sunlight in the summer. The "in between" zone is part of the house, but outside of its volume. This allows, among others. for a natural combination of internal and external space, ensuring the maximum opening of the living room to the garden. As requested by the client, the front elevation has almost no windows, which makes it seem closed and inaccessible. On the other hand, large glazing has been designed from the side of the garden.
The light supply to the entrance hall was ensured by designing 5 m high glazing made of opaque but translucent Pilkington Profilit™ glass, transmitting and evenly diffusing the light entering the interior, as well as by using several skylights.
Photography: © Tomasz Zakrzewski