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Dublin: 1 °C Monday 18 November, 2019
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Who would live in an armoured, transforming house like this?

For very private people: a house which turns itself, at the touch of a button, into a seamless concrete bunker.

Bunker, sweet bunker
Bunker, sweet bunker
Image: Aleksander Rutkowski via Robert Konieczny - KWK Promes

EVER WANTED TO just shut out the outside world? A team of Polish architects have just the place for you: A house which transforms itself, at the press of a panic button, into an armoured concrete block.

The Safe House, the brainchild of Robert Konieczy at KWK Promes, has two modes. As a home, it is bright and airy, with large windows to take in the view of the Warsaw suburbs, and a spacious verandah with outdoor dining area for those long summer evenings. There’s even an indoor swimming pool – albeit one housed in a separate building and accessed via retractable drawbridge.

But as soon as the first undesirable salesperson or election candidate appears, it’s a very different story. Thick concrete blocks hinge into place across the windows – powered by hidden electronic motors – and a vast steel shutter bars off the front of the building. “The clients’ top priority was to gain the feeling of maximum security in their future house,” according to the architect’s description.

And as if that transformation wasn’t enough, there is also an imposing perimeter wall with gateways that swing closed, leaving not so much as a letterbox open to the outside. You need never receive another unsolicited takeaway menu ever again.

Who would live in an armoured, transforming house like this?
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  • Panic House

    The home looks out onto an idyllic setting of grass and trees, just outside Warsaw in PolandSource: Aleksander Rutkowski
  • Panic House

    It features a bright, spacious living area...Source: Aleksander Rutkowski
  • Panic House

    ...a verandah for picnics and barbecues...Source: Aleksander Rutkowski
  • Panic House

    ...and even an indoor swimming pool...Source: Aleksander Rutkowski
  • Panic House

    ...accessed via your very own castle-style drawbridge.Source: Aleksander Rutkowski
  • Panic House

    It's light, modern, and has every convenience. But at the touch of a button...Source: Aleksander Rutkowski
  • Panic House

    ...a huge metal shutter descends and heavy concrete panels swing over the windows...Source: Aleksander Rutkowski
  • Panic House

    ...and on the other side...Source: Aleksander Rutkowski
  • Panic House

    ...the drawbridge lifts...Source: Aleksander Rutkowski
  • Panic House

    ...and hey presto! It's a featureless concrete fortress.Source: Aleksander Rutkowski
  • Panic House

    And just to make sure, a wall slams into place around the perimeter.Source: Aleksander Rutkowski

Images courtesy of Aleksander Rutkowski via Robert Konieczny – KWK Promes

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About the author:

Michael Freeman

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