House 1408 by STUDIO 1408

House 1408 situated in Balotesti, Romania, is a two-story brick residence recently completed by STUDIO 1408.

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About House 1408

An Unforgettable First Impression

Upon our first visit to the site, we were immediately struck by its captivating beauty. The location boasted a picturesque meadow encircled by a mature forest adorned with majestic oak trees.

Designing a Harmonious Home

We pondered the questions, “How can we design a house that complements the surroundings without overshadowing them?” and “What exactly makes a house great?” Although there are countless possible answers, we believe the most important one in this context is to forge a meaningful connection with the unique environment, nature, and the community. This conviction influenced the entire project.

A Versatile Loggia for All Seasons

At the heart of our design is a versatile exterior space – a loggia offering breathtaking views from two opposing sides, while sheltering its occupants from wind and rain. This makes it a comfortable space to enjoy year-round. The loggia is spacious enough to accommodate a dinner party for twelve, yet remains intimate enough for a single person to cozy up with a book on a rainy day. We envisioned these moments and tailored the spaces to accommodate them.

Maximizing Space on a Challenging Corner Lot

The corner lot presented a unique challenge, as it demanded a six-meter (19.7 ft) setback from both streets, leaving only a narrow strip of buildable land. To accentuate this unique feature, we designed a lengthy brick wall that fosters a sense of intimacy within the ground floor spaces.

The Symbolic Stone Bench

Attached to the brick wall, a stone bench holds symbolic significance. In today’s disconnected, impersonal neighborhoods, it can be challenging to feel a sense of community. Drawing inspiration from rural communities in Romania, where a bench sits in front of each house as a gathering spot for neighbors, our bench serves as an invitation for connection, community, and friendship.

The Staircase as a Sculptural Centerpiece

Finally, the house’s sculptural element – the staircase – leads us to the night spaces, which we envisioned as a nest perched atop the brick wall. This design detail completes the symbolism of the house, further emphasizing the bond between the home and its surrounding environment.

Photography by Cosmin Dragomir

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- by Matt Watts