- Architects: PAO Architects
- Location: Vilnius, Lithuania
- Lead Architects: Paulius Petkus
- Area: 203.0 m2
- Project Year: 2017
- Photographs: Leonas Garbačiauskas
“Black Box” is a contemporary modern family house designed by PAO studio architects and may be considered as one of the impressive examples of Nordic minimalism. This family residence is designed on 0.25 acres of land property which is situated in one of the prestigious living areas in Vilnius (LT). The neighborhood is impressively fulfilled by natural context where pine forests are playing over city panoramas, colorful landscape views, and impressive sunsets. Moreover, the land plot is perfectly balanced in terms of world orientation, with river view on the south-west, while the neighborhood with the street is situated in north-east.
Residents of this house are four-member family, very vibrant and modern living people with strong attitude and perception about modern architecture and minimalist design. Single story house concept was picked after intensively sketching. The architectural issue was not to spoil or distract existing environment which is the biggest value of the property. In this case, our design team was defined to design significantly simple shape integrated into the natural layout, with the focus on client budget and convenient functionality only. Planning structure during this project was not so tricky since existing landscape and property situation was not very challenging in terms of design issues.
The residence is designed as extruded irregular rectangle 30×10 placed adjacent to the north border of the property and were stretched almost 30m along the street. With 2m cantilever eves on the opposite sides (south-north), with massive outside skylights for vegetation areas. These micro-green zones were planned on the north side to achieve visual privacy from the street. All living rooms, kitchen, and office studio are flooded with sunlight from massive panoramic openings on the south side which also opens access to roofed deck with an impressive view of the river. On the opposite side of the house, all utility premises like bathrooms, walk-in-robe, and other technical rooms were placed.
Initially burnt cedar wood siding, based on old Japanese wood preservation “shou-sugi-ban” technology, was designed for the exterior, however, after few attempts to find a reliable supplier, black painted larch timber planks were selected. The complete architectural concept behind this family residence exterior and interior was inspired by two different wood using cultures Japan feat. Scandinavian – based on sustainability and convenience, to give up unnecessary and unimportant details. Concept based on the well-known idea “less is more” supplemented with strong contrast principal where black-white is oppositely playing in exterior-interior. The same concept is implemented in interior decoration where Scandinavian minimalistic style contrast is taking place behind custom furniture and finish materials cold-warm, light-dark, etc.