A dramatic riverside residence is wrapped in the white concrete of its own driveway to provide a private retreat for a demanding client. The By The Way House is the result of years of negotiation and a visionary design by KWK Promes, one of Poland's leading architecture firms.


The client wanted the floor plan for his new home to be identical to that of his existing apartment. That, and maximum privacy. Architect Robert Konieczny's solution was to elevate bedroom and living areas to the first floor with a wall of glass to provide views over an old orchard to the river.

The stroke of genius was to wrap the building in its own concrete driveway. The site demanded both a long drive and a path giving access to the river. This ribbon of white now encases the house. "The wrapped part makes the ceiling, the roof, the walls," says Konieczny, "while in the middle the client's 'perfect' structure remains."

What Konieczny calls "a catwalk" winds from the upper level down to form the path to the river. A gym and guest rooms downstairs have floor to ceiling windows. The obstinate client is, understandably, delighted.

Images by Jarosàaw Syrek

Looking for more of the world’s finest contemporary architecture? Then you need to see the remarkable Canyon House in San Diego.