A Contemporary Riverside House Split Into Two Contrasting Volumes

An important part of every architectural project is determining the type of relationship that a building will have with its surroundings. A lot of residential projects focus on establishing a close bond between the actual living spaces and the outdoor areas surrounding them and many put an emphasis on the views which can be admired from inside and outside the house.

The riverside house has expansive terraces on all the floorsView in gallery
The riverside house has expansive terraces on all the floors

The Herba House was an interesting project in that regard. It’s located in Torun, Poland, on a piece of land placed between two protected zones, near the historic city center. It was designed and built by architecture office Pracownia Projectowa Jakub Sucharski and it offers 700 square meters of living space in total which are organized on several different floors without various degrees of privacy.

This section of the house rises above the river valley and the tree canopies and offers a really great viewView in gallery
This section of the house rises above the river valley and the tree canopies and offers a really great view

There are two main sections of the house. One is a structure adjacent to the street, with a black exterior and a gabled roof and the other is a much more open structure with big glass walls, terraces and a flat roof. The first volume contains the garage, laundry room and a series of service and technical areas. The other one is where the living spaces, kitchen, bedrooms and a few other spaces are situated. It has a beautiful view of the river, with big lush trees framing it from both sides. A lot of attention was given to the indoor-outdoor relationship, a major objective for the architects being to blur the boundaries between the house and the surroundings. They managed to do that through a series of different strategies which involved using the same type of wood for the floors of the interior and the exterior spaces, hiding the window profiles and including several mini indoor gardens and green spaces throughout the house.

The roadside section of the house is closed to the street and has a minimalist black exteriorView in gallery
The roadside section of the house is closed to the street and has a minimalist black exterior
The gable roof and the dark exterior give this section of the house a distinctive contemporary lookView in gallery
The gable roof and the dark exterior give this section of the house a distinctive contemporary look
Large floor-to-ceiling windows and glass walls reveal the magnificent view of the river areaView in gallery
Large floor-to-ceiling windows and glass walls reveal the magnificent view of the river area
The living areas are very open and spacious and they seamlessly transition outdoorsView in gallery
The living areas are very open and spacious and they seamlessly transition outdoors
The kitchen and the dining area have a black-based color palette balanced out by the warm wooden floorsView in gallery
The kitchen and the dining area have a black-based color palette balanced out by the warm wooden floors
The ground floor living areas have easy access outside through a series of sliding glass doorsView in gallery
The ground floor living areas have easy access outside through a series of sliding glass doors
The connection between the indoor and outdoor spaces is reinforced by the use of matching wooden floorsView in gallery
The connection between the indoor and outdoor spaces is reinforced by the use of matching wooden floors
Transparent glass railings frame the outdoor spaces and ensure an unobstructed view towards the riverView in gallery
Transparent glass railings frame the outdoor spaces and ensure an unobstructed view towards the river
Several indoor gardens were included into the design as a way to bring the outdoors in and to blue the boundaries between architecture and natureView in gallery
Several indoor gardens were included into the design as a way to bring the outdoors in and to blue the boundaries between architecture and nature
The interior design is generally very simple and has a clean and contemporary aestheticView in gallery
The interior design is generally very simple and has a clean and contemporary aesthetic
A variety of sculptures, decorations and designer accessories are sprinkled throughout the house, giving it a sophisticated vibeView in gallery
A variety of sculptures, decorations and designer accessories are sprinkled throughout the house, giving it a sophisticated vibe
The black staircase is beautifully integrated into the decor, featuring a black wall backdrop and glass railingsView in gallery
The black staircase is beautifully integrated into the decor, featuring a black wall backdrop and glass railings
The interior spaces transition seamlessly outdoors and enjoy a close relationship with their surroundingsView in gallery
The interior spaces transition seamlessly outdoors and enjoy a close relationship with their surroundings
Large mirrors give the bathrooms an airy and spacious lookView in gallery
Large mirrors give the bathrooms an airy and spacious look
Accent lighting highlights the beautiful finishes and textures included in the interior designView in gallery
Accent lighting highlights the beautiful finishes and textures included in the interior design
This large dressing room features a mirrored island at the center and an oversized mirror leaning against the wallView in gallery
This large dressing room features a mirrored island at the center and an oversized mirror leaning against the wall

Photographs: Kuba Szopka, Jakub Certowicz