Architectural marshmallows. A cloud-resembling villa from KOS Architects takes Internet by storm


The project designed by Polish and Shanghai architects has been named the “cloud-villa” for its remarkable central internal staircase. The project is ingeniously subtle – no wonder that the most significant architecture and design portals find it amazing.


Anna Jastrzębska
Photos: KOS Architects


Shanghai – one of the most extreme metropolises in the world identified with Chinese Manhattan, is a real architectural challenge. Populous, chaotic, enormous, and loud – it may be difficult to live in. Architects from the Polish studio KOS Architects together with the Shanghai Atelier Zerebecky have found a solution to this difficult city. Cloud Villa, which was completed a few weeks ago, emanates silence and peace, it wraps us in white – but this is not even the best part.



The project of a three-story private house covering an enormous area of 800 sq m is concentrated around the sculptural white piece, the spiral stairs (with glazed “barriers”). The construction connects all floors and is not only the backbone of the house, but also its “lungs” – it allows the space to breathe, creates an incredible lightness, makes the house seem almost weightless.



The stairs allow for a smooth passage between levels (previously floors were not vertically connected by a single staircase). The living spaces are located around them: living room, kitchen, children’s room, gym, and bedrooms.



All interiors are stylish, minimalist, decorated in white and gray, with impeccable design. The house manifests the status of the ordering party, but in a modern and non-intrusive manner (which is not an obvious choice in China, where luxury and wealth are still identified with French classicism and Versailles). At the same time, the house is a great answer to the dynamics of life in a metropolitan behemoth, where architecture develops in a violent, unbridled manner, and where the inhabitants simply need a break from the city from time to time.


Realizations that are conscious, effective, but avoiding ostentation, are a rarity (not only) among Polish architects. No wonder that enthusiastic publications about the “villa – cloud” have been flooding the best architecture and design portals for several weeks. The popular online magazine “Dezeen” has already nominated the Polish-Shanghai project for the best residential interior 2018 award. We expect it to win a number of important prizes – also in Poland. Because (as it often happens with Polish success that we should be bragging about) it caught the attention of few Polish journalists…