House 1408 connects with its natural surroundings and community

The first time STUDIO 1408 visited the site of this house in Balotesti, Romania, they found the location absolutely impressive. A beautiful meadow surrounded by an old forest with huge oak trees.

They asked themselves “How do we design a house that compliments the surroundings, but does not overshadow them?“, “What exactly makes a house great?“. They felt that the most important answer in the given situation was to create a meaningful connection to the special surroundings, a connection to nature and the community. And this belief shaped the whole project.

They designed the house around a comfortable exterior space, a loggia with beautiful views on two opposing sides, yet protected from the elements, and thus making it comfortable to use in all seasons. It is a space big enough to hold a dinner for twelve, yet cozy enough for just one person reading a book on a rainy day. “We imagined these moments and designed the spaces to hold them“. – STUDIO 1408

The corner lot the house is situated on is a particularly difficult one, as it requires a six-meter retreat from both streets, leaving a narrow strip as the buildable area. To emphasize this corner space, the architects designed a long brick wall that develops a controlled intimacy for the spaces on the ground floor.

On the brick wall, the stone bench has a symbolic significance. “Most of us live in disconnected, unfriendly neighborhoods, so it is difficult to feel we are part of a community. In rural communities in Romania there is a bench in front of every house where people gather and connect with each other. So, this bench is exactly that, an invitation to the neighbors, a place for community and friendship.” – STUDIO 1408

The staircase, the sculptural element of the house, leads to the night spaces that the architects envisioned as a nest, that sits protected on the brick wall, completing the symbolism of the house.

Design and info © STUDIO 1408

Images © Cosmin Dragomir

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