‘Bunker House’ – Seclusion in the City
Unusually, ‘Bunker House’ was influenced by bunker architecture constructed by armies during World War II. Vaslab architects are the creators behind this magnificent concrete edifice. Minimalist house design is the preferred style of the firm and in this case the client. The dominating features of ‘Bunker House’ are a robust secure design and totally modern angular appearance. Concrete is a flexible but sadly much maligned material. Overuse in cities across the globe has created bad press for the substance. This is largely because, unless properly maintained, concrete can become unattractive in appearance and associated with areas of urban depravation.
Nothing could be more opposite to this dismal scenario than the appearance of the splendid ‘Bunker House’. This displays concrete construction to its very best advantage. Known for its remarkable strength and versatility since classical antiquity, it was concrete that enabled the construction of such remarkable monuments as the domed Pantheon in Rome. Reinforced concrete remains the ‘material of choice’ in relation to minimalist house design.
‘Bunker House’ is typical example of the ‘Vaslab’s design portfolio. The Influences of ‘ …provocative Art and architecture movements such as Cubism, Abstract Art, Modernism, Dada, Surrealism, Deconstructivism…’ are evident throughout. This is a powerful minimalist house design which makes a serious statement. It appears impenetrable on the outside and palatial in its minimalist interior design. It fulfils the client’s desires to remain hidden and private from outside and visible and open once inside the protective concrete shell.
To achieve a sense of openness within the exterior boundaries, the floor plan follows an asymmetric H shape. So the minimalist interior design incorporates space for two generous sized inner courtyards for outdoor relaxation and entertaining. A corridor linking the main house and the guest wing also divides these two exterior areas. In addition to the overall impression of sheltered seclusion, subtle reference to an army bunker design is apparent in the inclusion of the slot window opening to the balcony off the main bedroom.
The most likely image conjured by the notion of a wartime bunker is one of a dismal grey uninviting construction. Conversely, in this bold example of minimalist house design the impression is of total luxury comfort and warmth. The exterior planting and inclusion of wooden decked areas totally counteract any coldness associated with the building material. Warm subtle tones are used in the minimalist interior design scheme to ensure a welcoming ambiance in this spacious home. Furniture and light fittings become elegant and inviting focal points.