Contemporary Czech House 2014
It is important to choose the location of the plot wisely for a country family house. The slope, size, commute distances, facilities in the region, closeness to nature and kindness of future neighbors all are important aspects of a plot. The chosen plot lies on the edge of Velké Chvojno village in ústecký region. It is basically flat, 60 x 30 m big, 10 km distance from Ústí nad Labem and 50 km distance from Dresden both ensure enough facilities in the region, mountains and ponds and forests are also nearby, our kindness is guaranteed and so is our neighbors’.
Gardens are indispensable parts of country houses, they fulfill the essence of country life by offering both relaxing and challenging activities like crop and animal husbandry or sports. Placement of country houses on a plot is usually determined by the surrounding streets and fences in stead of gardens, which loses part of their potential. For this reason, most of the southern facade is glassed and, together with the terrace, open towards the garden. The house is percieved uniformly from the whole garden thanks to it’s symetrical form.
The house can act as a fence itself thanks to it’s extensive length and minimal openness to the north, thus saving the plot from useless fencing.
Most important concepts of the design are glassed southern facade, illumination of the upper floor by roof windows only, separation of the living room and the kitchen by stairs and the open corridor connecting the upper floor.
16m longitudinal usable space of the house is divided into two 3m parts on both sides and into two 2m parts in the middle. That means it is six parts overall which are 3 or 2 m large. 4.75 m cross usable space is divided into two uneven parts, one of which is the 1.2 m wide open corridor and the rest is used for functions.
The stairs together with the open corridor serve as a link between the common spaces (dining room, kitchen, living room) and the more private spaces (bedroom, study, bathroom, children’s room). Open corridor’s 1.5m width, freedom in space and great view also provide other uses than walking like comfortable seating area, growing plants, chatting over the fireplace or playground for children. It also allows for convenient placement of artificial lighting from below.
The spaces are divided both geometrically and rationally: southern facade is glassed symetrically, terrace in the middle, rooms on the sides, study with a glass wall to lighten the upper floor mass, bedroom not disturbed by the bathroom, stairs in the middle, floor of the kitchen and the dining room is cast while the living room has wooden flooring. connecting spaces are above each other, WC and boiler-room by the entrance, bathroom above the kitchen, it is possible to walk under the second flight of stairs from the living room.
The bedroom, the study, the bathroom and the children’s room all have only roof windows that are oriented to the north. 26,5° slope of the roof ensures sufficient insolation levels of these spaces. The fireplace is energy and construction wise located at the center of the house and it’s chimney is defining the building from both the inside and the outside.
The extensive length and rectangular shape of the house enables it to easily connect to the surrouding buildings if need be. Similiarily the entrance into the house can be oriented towards both the north and the west. The western solution was chosen because it keeps the corridor and the view to the other side of the house in one axis. Thanks to it’s clear definition, the upper floor allows for many variations regarding the room arrangement, altough for the price of two-story space in the living room. In case the upper floor’s corridor is surrounded by rooms, Trombe wall might be a possibility. Sliding glass frames could be installed into the southern facade for better connection between the living room area and the terrace.