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House Behind The Roof by Superhelix Pracownia Projektowa

Superhelix Pracownia Projektowa designed this innovative private residence located in the suburban zone of Krakow, Poland, in 2018. Take a look at the complete story after the jump.

From the architects: The house is located in the suburban zone of Krakow in Poland. The building is part of a housing estate consisting of 10 single-family houses. The estate is characterized by dense development resulting from high land prices. In order to ensure the privacy of the residents, the house is hidden from access road and northern neighbors behind the roof surface. This explains the name – House behind the Roof.

Due to the dynamic development of the city, more and more natural areas are used for development, therefore ecological designing approach was particularly important. The northern roof of the building is covered with succulents and photovoltaic cells were placed on a well-sunlit southern part.

The green roof has a 45-degree slope. It would be easier to design a traditional flat green roof, but local building law did not allow that – the roof had to be sloped. This solution was much more expensive, although the green roof surface significantly exceeded the area occupied by the building. Therefore, it can be said that what has been taken from nature has been given back with interest.


The characteristic element of the building is construction made of laminated timber with diagonally guided elements and undercuts at the edges of the roof. It has been exposed not only outside, it also penetrates to the interior of the building. At the connection of the two roof slopes there are windows letting in significant portion of light. Windows are mounted high above ground floor, when opened a natural ventilation works very efficiently.

In the Superhelix studio special attention is always paid to how building changes over time, what happens with used materials. The elevation of the building was covered with a Western Red Cedar planks. This wood has not been protected from weather conditions and insects – it simply does not require it, in time it will take on a noble patina and change its color to silver-gray. The green roof also does not need special care. It does not require watering, long-lasting dry periods are not an issue. It is guaranteed by the shady northern exposure and the plants water retention.

The house has been designed on a rectangular plan, has two floors and 189 square meters. Due to the suburban location of building, where public transport is poorly developed, the ihabitants mainly use car to commute. That is why the garage is placed inside the house, on the ground floor, near to living room and kitchen. Guest room, toilet and utility rooms were also located at this level. On the first floor there is masterbedroom with dressing room and bathroom, two bedrooms for children, children’s bathroom and kid’s play room – can be adaptet as needed, eg. in the case of family enlarging.

Photography by Bartlomiej Drabik

Find more projects by Superhelix Pracownia Projektowa: www.superhelix

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