Nature Meets Modern Lifestyle in Bespoke House Design

How do you create a design that is both refined and modern yet which is also seamless with its surrounding nature? This was the challenge architectural design studio ArchLAB, led by Marijus Vroblevičius, faced with Bridge House.

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Based in Vilnius, Lithuania, ArchLAB is the architecture studio behind Bridge House. The landscape design was completed by Asta Grabauskienė and interior design by JP interjero studija.

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Highlights of Bridge House include a bridge extending over a stream, the integration of trees through grooves in the roof and a Vilnius Little Angel sitting atop the guest house. Natural light wades in through the glass facades making the design just as captivating as its surrounding nature.

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We spoke with lead architect Marijus Vroblevičius.
 
THE PLUS: What were your initial thoughts when you visited the site for the first time?
Marijus Vroblevičius:
The first time I visited the site I understood that this place is special. It was the client’s desire to find an oasis in nature with a small creek or river. He spent a few years searching for it.
 
TP: What’s the surrounding area like?
MV:
The area is a not far from the capital city Vilnius – actually, it is within the administrative borders of it. But the site is not built up, there are pine forests on two sides of the lot which provide wonderful views.

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TP: How did the idea come about for you to incorporate the trees into Bridge House?
MV:
It takes a lot of time for a tree to grow so we wanted to save existing trees as much as possible. They became part of design giving the impression that the house stands at the site for a long time.
 
TP: What was the biggest design challenge with Bridge House?
MV:
The biggest challenge was to incorporate the new house into the site’s existing nature (the flowing water divided the land into two parts), all the while ensuring the house was fully functional. The decision was to design two main volumes: the home of the owner and a small house for guests. These two parts are connected with an open bridge, which becomes the axis of assembly and face of the house.

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TP: What kind of emotions strike visitors of Bridge House?
MV:
Friends of the owners told that it is a work of art. People who have visited the house say that the atmosphere is very calming and relaxing: you can hear the water, see the surrounding forests, and the trees which cross the roof. It feels like the house has been standing there for a long time as though it is an integral part of the place. The owner said that even pets of their neighbours like to come to their terrace and sit there for a moment.
 
TP: What do you like about residential projects?
MV:
Small scale architecture is closer to the human, it’s more private, and it’s also closer to nature. Such buildings reflect many things, such as the personality of the owners as well as the specific site. Every house becomes different and individual.
 
TP: Nature plays a big part in the design. Do you think that the natural lifestyle is more appealing nowadays?
MV:
Nature is a very valuable feature in architecture, especially nowadays when urbanisation is increasing around the globe. In my opinion nature will be appreciated even more in the future.

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Floor Plan:
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