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The Warsaw Voice » Other » April 23, 2008
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The New-Generation House
April 23, 2008   
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The new-generation single-family dwelling features glass panels, its own water supply, air circulation heating, and solar batteries and a wind turbine on the roof. And it has just arrived in Poland.

Building your own house has so far meant either commissioning a developer or finding a builder and supervising the work yourself. The first option can be financially risky, while the second can be costly in terms of time and energy. Now, you have a third option of ordering from an online catalogue. "Our catalogue has houses designed and built to order," says Jacek Michalski, chairman of Buma Building Systems. "We build residential dwellings that meet all building requirements different from traditional methods. Our unique construction concept is based on large glass panels. The entire building can be manufactured in the factory. The purchaser simply orders the final product. We deliver the modular building completely finished inside and out to whatever address is shown on the order. We then assemble the modules on the foundations laid down earlier on site. This system means building and assembly can be finished in one week."

Houses built according to the Bumati system are mobile, which means they can be assembled in offbeat places like lake shorelines, mountain slopes and beaches, and even on the roofs of skyscrapers. The only requirement is that there be enough space to maneuver the prefabricated building modules.

Single-family dwellings are increasingly using the sorts of glass panels and steel and aluminum structures normally associated with multi-level commercial buildings. These new generation homes have adopted and adapted these tried and tested technologies. Bricks and mortar have given way to new materials to produce homes that are both mobile and ergonomic. The Bumati system makes the home of the future available today. Experts have long been wondering what houses decades from now will be like. Some predict hi-tech, smart buildings fitted with automatically controlled heating, air-conditioning, water and electrical systems. Others foresee environmentally-friendly buildings, buildings equipped with advanced personal identification systems or just mobile buildings.

The idea of what constitutes a house has evolved throughout the ages. Modern architectural thought has its genesis in the large-scale introduction of innovations like ventilation and lighting that occurred during the 19th century. The architectural community of the day often disdained the innovators, most of whom were engineers and inventors. Attitudes only began to change during the 1920s. Le Corbusier's Pavillon de l'Esprit Noveau (Pavilion of the New Spirit) at the 1925 Paris exhibition was a manifesto of minimalist design that sparked a revolution in architectural thought. Ornamentation was to take a back seat to materials, technology and structure. Le Corbusier's idea of ornamentation was a beautiful interior. Tellingly, all this was made possible by rapid advances in technology. From that perspective, today's glass houses ordered from online catalogues can be seen as a similar step forward.

A house ordered from a catalogue calls for a whole new interior design paradigm. Architects and designers have been proposing modern furniture and accessories where everything is laid out in full view. This kind of interior, open to light and greenery, will have both its champions and detractors. The new-generation home is the home of the brave.

Anna Kępińska
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