The Safe House

Luke Riley Luke Riley
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Privacy and security. Two things that most people take very seriously in regard to their home because, let's face it, nobody wants their home to be at risk of being burgled or to have their lives on display for the whole world to see. For these and other reasons, we all take the appropriate measures needed to ensure these types of things don't occur. However, you'll soon find out that certain individuals take these precautions to another level. 

KWK Promes were presented with a curious design brief from their clients who outlined their desire for a home that was completely enclosed. This meant no windows facing the street and high walls surrounding the property. The Safe House was KWK Promes' design response. It's a design that will divide opinion but we welcome you to take a moment and see it for yourself. 

Open safe

Standing proudly as the newest addition to the street is the Safe House. It’s design appears to defy all the rules associated with the conventional home and domestic architecture. Moveable panels either slide open or are pulled out to reveal glazing and windows that allow natural sunlight to flood into the home. However, this invites the question of what does the home look like with the shutters closed?

Closed safe

Here we see the home in safe mode: the windows (2.8m high and 3.5m wide) and sliding walls (2.2m high and 15~22m long) are completely closed and the home essentially becomes an impenetrable black box. The home seems to be completely shut off from the rest of the world,with no sign of life inside. The appearance is industrial and unnerving but considering the design brief, this is a success for the architects. The interior still remains a mystery…

The whole package

All opened up we can see how alluring the internal setting of the home is! Inside is bright and open, offering the perfect setting for comfortable family living. The ground floor accommodates the main social areas, providing space for entertainment, relaxation, leisure and exercise. Through the glazing we can make out the open plan layout of the ground floor, consisting of the kitchen, living and dining areas. It forms a perfect sanctuary where all the owner's needs are met. 

Merging indoors and out

L-shaped decking has been incorporated into the design of the ground level, forming an inclusive area that's fully integrated with the indoor setting. It’s an inviting space that can be used to host guests or more simply for the morning coffee. 

An important aspect of the deck design was for those dining to be protected from the elements. This was achieved by an extended roof line that covers the area below. Dining remains uninterrupted even when bad weather arrives. 

Lap pool

A generous sized lap pool is the home's second most breathtaking feature. The whole space is punctuated by an all-white scheme that looks simply stunning during the day when the natural light streams through the glazing. Whether the owners wish to swim laps or simply relax, this pool is a beautiful feature of the home

Movie screen

Wow! The home's southern elevation is closed by an enormous roll-down gate of 14m and 6m, manufactured by a company that usually supplies shipyards. It is made from white anodized aluminium, which makes it possible to function as a projection screen. From any movie lover this would be a huge selling point: no more waiting in line at the cinema required!

Isolated

Our departing picture of the Safe House captures a particularly beautiful image of the home. We see the owner of the home standing in the centre of the courtyard, which is completely enclosed from all sides by the high grey walls and main building. The blank space is devoid of any details or features, resulting in a powerful aesthetic.  

Overall, it’s an unapologetic design that succeeds in achieving the client's vision while still managing to create a beautiful and liveable home. It's not for everyone but the owners have fallen in love and are happy with their new domain. 

For more unique homes be sure to check out: The Cliff Hanger House.

Is the Safe House too contempary for your taste? Or perhaps you love it? Let us know in the comments, below.
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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