House transforms into safe room

 Images  Mbwqc
I like the brutalist bunker feel of KWK Promes' Safe House, a residence outside of Warsaw, Poland. Apparently, the only entrance is the retractrable footbridge. All That Is Interesting called it "The First Zombie-Proof House." From World Architecture News:
The body of the building is a cuboid in which parts of the walls are movable. When the house opens up for the garden, eastern and western side walls move towards an exterior fence, creating a courtyard. After passing the gate one cannot enter the house or the garden any other way but through the main door, waiting in that safety zone, for its opening. The innovation of this consists in an interference of the movable walls into the urban structure of the property. Consequently, when the house is closed (at night for example) the safe zone is limited to the house's outline. During the day, as a result of opening of the walls, it extends to the garden surrounding the house.

Accomplishment of this idea required a lot of technically complex solutions. The sliding walls (both 2.2m high, 15 and 22m long) are not the only mobile elements of the building. Apart from these, there are large shutters – all 2.8m high, with width ranging up to 3.5m, and a drawbridge, leading to the roof terrace above the swimming pool. A giant roll-down gate closing the southern elevation also functions as a movie projection screen. All the movable elements are based on built-in electric motors. The whole building is a concrete monolith, while its mobile parts – for the sake of considerable size – are light steel frameworks filled with mineral wool. As a result, the building is excellently insulated when closed. The whole house and all movable elements are finished with waterproof alder plywood. It resembles wood widely found on surrounding houses and barns, which makes it fit well into the landscape.

"Safe as houses" (Thanks, Greg Long!)


  1. Will it keep out DevGru/SEAL Team 6? Because if so, I think I know of some potential buyers …

  2. It looks like someplace i’d want to live, as long as it is open, very open/modern design, also drawbridges are always cool.

    If i was rich enough not to know what else to do with my money i’d get a house like this just to satisfy my inner paranoid conspiracy theorist.
    It certainly seems like more of a novelty than anything practical though, since if you can afford it you do not live anywhere you would find it necessary.

  3. It’s very unlikely to be real, given that they provided misleading comparison pictures. The lower image is clearly supposed to be the building “all closed up,” from the same vantage point, but you can see immediately that it’s most likely the same building from the back, or another building all together. Look at the grass and the trees.

    1. Woops, I guess David’s choice in pictures was what was (unintentionally) misleading. I should have RTFA. The original article shows the front shutting down.

    2. RTFA, the photos above are not presented as a comparison in the link. You’re right, the bottom is the view from another side with all the windows closed. The side pictured in the top photo has roll down steel doors.

      1. I changed the second image to make the comparison more direct. Thanks!

        And yes, JmJ, thanks! Just found out more about the house and so updated my post.

    3. I guess I am confused by your comment, the grass and trees look exctly identical… please point ut specifically wht you are talkigabout so that I might have a betterunerstanding of what makes you think that this is either fake, or a different house.


  4. I’ve seen this movie – now the horror is guaranteed to come from within!! Silly people. They should keep on the move.

  5. I wonder how long it takes to close up…If we’re talking old-school slow zombies, it probably doesn’t make a big difference, but if they’re the new breed I would want a master button which immediately slams all of the openings shut.

  6. Not to be a nit-picker, but as anyone who’s seen enough zombie movies can tell you, there’s no such thing as “zombie-proof”. There’s only “zombie-resistant”.

    1. True that. Let’s hope they have a garden and access to fresh water. The main problem with zombies is that they don’t get bored and seem willing to just wait until step out to get yourself a Twix or more ammo.

  7. Now THIS is the mansion Bin Laden wishes he had!

    Seriously, does that place have a fire-pole or slide to slide down on? I would imagine that would be necessary after hitting the big red button that folds the place up.

  8. This is pure awesome, I particularly like how the design allows for so much light to enter the property without compromising on its security goals. The bridge is a fantastic idea, as is the swimming pool on top.

    I wouldn’t want to be stuck inside at night under lock-down when a power-cut hit though. It’d be pure darkness inside.

    1. I’m sure the building has it’s own back up generator. Some solar panels too if they’re smart.

  9. Yeah, very secure. Until the damn thing catches on fire. I’ve already heard enough stories about people with security grills installed burning to death in their homes- this seems to be designed to give the occupants even less of a chance to escape.

    The second major flaw is that one would be living in a house with Brutalism design. Might as well live in a parking garage.

  10. That might actually come in handy if you live in areas prone to hurricanes or tornadoes.

  11. > “Apparently, the only entrance is the retractrable footbridge.”

    Apparently, you didn’t notice the sliding glass door in front. Or read that the footbridge just takes you to the roof, not inside the house.

    1. Apparently you didn’t rtfa. The drawbridge crosses the outer wall, and is the only crossing of that wall, to get down to the sliding glass door you’d have to jump off the drawbridge, or over the wall. Neither of which would be possible if the shutter were down.

      1. “The drawbridge crosses the outer wall, and is the only crossing of that wall, to get down to the sliding glass door you’d have to jump off the drawbridge, or over the wall. Neither of which would be possible if the shutter were down.”

        Do you really think I couldn’t scale that wall? :)

  12. The correct term for this building is ‘Keep’ or ‘Donjon’. When your castle is besieged you usually loose.

  13. As a reclusive misanthrope, I love it! My only suggestion would be to replace that flimsy-looking roll down gate with more concrete. Oh, and you can keep the footbridge, but instead of making it retractable, just mine it. Being able to open and close it at will suggests a lack of commitment to the spirit of apocalyptic hermitage.

  14. Safe from zombies, perhaps. Safe from house fires? I hope the electric drawbridge has a manual override.

  15. I call BS on at least some of this. Look at the clouds in the two photos above – they’re identical. Why photoshop something like this? Does it not really exist? Concept only?

    1. Uhh, they’re slightly different, actually. Almost as if the photos were taken at roughly the same time, only separated by just enough time for the building to close up half way. Oh!!

      1. Drag them into photoshop as layers and change the opacity of the top layer to 50%. They’re identical. Unless that door rolls down in seconds, or there was absolutely no air current in the stratosphere (or wherever that kind of cloud forms), it’s shooped.

        1. That kind of cloud didn’t even exist when these pictures were taken. i demand to see the occupancy certificate.

        2. Rudimentary image analysis fail. The way to visually determine if images if differ is to use the… wait for it… difference calculation.

  16. And when your power fails (be it solar, grid or generator) it transforms into a safe tomb.

    Presumably there’s an emergency hatch, though.

  17. 2011, and this is as close as we get to Morpheus’s house in “Forbidden Planet”? Now I know why my jet-pack hasn’t been delivered yet.

    1. 2011, and this is as close as we get to Morpheus’s house in “Forbidden Planet”?

      Given that that film was set in the 23rd century, we’ve plenty of time to catch up…

      It’s probably a good job your jet pack hasn’t been delivered because we kill enough people travelling at high speed in two dimensions.

  18. Nice place, but I’m a little leery of a zombie apocalypse happening any time soon.

    But I have no doubt the roof will leak. Flat roofs suck.

  19. Sure, it might keep out zombies, but what about velociraptors?
    The drawbridge is looking good, but I’d want to see the thickness of the sheet steel verticals.

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