Vilnius, LT


Blacwhite House

Architects: Arnoldas Gabrėnas, Agnė Gabrėnienė (architecture studio “ARARTE”);

Object: 2 apartments house, total area 132 sq m;

Main materials: Wood, straw;

Place: Palanga, Lithuania;

Year: 2017-2023 (designing and building process);

The house was built in a new part of the beautiful coastal town of Palanga, which has an old wooden building tradition. The new house was also built with a wooden frame filled with straw (straw fills the space within the wooden frame). This technology is very old but is being revived nowadays as people are looking for more sustainable, ecological building methods and a healthier living environment. The owners of the house wanted to have two apartments in the house: a larger apartment for themselves and another for guests. Thus, the house consists of two apartments, the main rooms of which all have a view of the nearby forest. A relatively long building faces the forest on the long side. The house has a more closed character to the street side and is more open to the forest and courtyard side (there are more windows, and the terrace).

The house belongs to the homeowners - a husband and wife, whose professions are intricately linked to the most important and contrasting aspects of our existence - joy and sorrow, life and death. Therefore, for the finishing touches of the house, wood panels were chosen, painted in white and black colors, creating a certain compositional harmony and unity. The facade cladding is made of different types of wood. Unplaned boards are covered in black, while planed boards and dots are painted in white. Painting is an essential method of wood protection common in these regions. The composition of white and black wooden elements in the cladding required meticulous design and later the work of builders. Aligning distances in a way that white elements always became accents on the edges was not a simple task. All protruding wooden elements are protected with overhangs, and a semi-concealed gutter system is installed. Overall, the black and white facade is like the professional attire of the homeowners - formal, subdued, speaking of maintained distance and regulated form.

Unlike the exterior, the interior of the building is colorful, diverse, unrestricted by rules and trends. Just like the homeowners themselves - always welcoming, highly communicative, sociable, and versatile. The main element of the interior of the main apartment is the hall with the library, which connects all the rooms. The floor is covered with light-colored tiles that allude to the sand by the sea, almost all the walls are covered with white clay. In accordance with the construction technique, clay was used for the thatched walls, resulting in curved corners of the window openings and some other features.

From the outside, the building is not tall, but inside, a special wooden construction was used so that the space looks high and wide, and the owners can use every centimeter up to the roof. The wooden construction was the key to the economical but spacious interior of the house. It was the lightweight wooden construction that allowed combining the attic space with relatively small rooms, making them more spacious.

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Status: Built
Location: Palanga, LT
Firm Role: Architects
Additional Credits: MB "Statybų parkas" (builders)