Terca Patrimonia Opus, Semmelrock La Linia combi pavers in light grey, AirPave Monaro porcelain slabs in grey
Flowing spaces, seamless transitions, free configuration – this is what sets apart this private home in the small town of Otopeni, Romania, which appears from the outside to be half brick and half simple white.
Private home in the small town of Otopeni
The building envelope is supposed to be unassuming at the aesthetic level – the uninterrupted flow between interior space and garden was paramount for the builder. The combination of three materials, brick, glass and metal, creates an unmistakable language of colours and shapes, which also strikes a definitive contrast between the rustic sand-blown brickwork in Terca Patrimonia Opus of the façade and the white upper storey. “Our top priority was the visual communication between the interior spaces and the garden area through the large window panes separating the living area and the terrace. At the aesthetic level, we decided on a clear and unmistakable architectural language with simple volumes and a limited number of textures,” explain the architects.
The choice of materials is in keeping with a slightly industrial look: Metal pergolas and anthracite-grey woodwork, large window panes and roughened brickwork with yellowish-white inlays that take on a uniform appearance only when taken all together. The yellowish-brown ribbed brickwork on the façade also lends the building an elegant vintage flair. The upper storey is kept simple and modern and is indicated on the main façade with only a single window. It is perched like a truss on the lower storey and projects slightly forward.
Without any fuss
The main façade faces southward towards the road. On this side, there is only one window in the upper floor, for two reasons: Privacy and protection against the summer heat. For the same reasons, the window in the lower floor was bricked in with clinker bricks in a perforated pattern, which meets the functional requirements while also serving as an eye-catching variation in the brickwork and giving rise to changing lighting effects in the interior. Two different product solutions were utilised on the exterior, which served to set more representative areas of the garden apart from paths for private use. AirPave Monaro porcelain slabs were used on the path to the front door of the house and on the terrace, and thanks to their large format they give an impression of openness and create a pleasantly cool feeling when walking outside in the hot Romanian summer.
Small-format La Linia concrete pavers in light grey were laid around the house, giving the footpaths a classic look. The garden forms a barrier against the street and the neighbouring properties since the design consciously avoids creating any discontinuity. The architects and builders did not wish to create a shift in paradigms but rather to integrate the home aesthetically into a simple residential area.
Facts & Figures
Project name: Cube House, Otopeni, Romania
Architecture Razvan Barsan+Partners and Hertz Studio