ERA21 #04/2023 Family Houses Today II

kniha editorial

Family Houses Today, Again

Alžběta Nováková

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kniha completed project

Timber Showroom. Kloboucká lesní Office Building in Brumov-Bylnice »

Mjölk architekti

Due to a major shift in the climatic conditions of our planet, the wood industry has been going through turbulent changes recently. The new headquarters of the Kloboucká lesní wood processing company was therefore designed as a flexible shell with ample spatial reserves, which would allow the building to accommodate unexpected expansion. The new building occupies a prominent spot in the factory complex. Its north side turned to face the village and all approaching visitors; it blocks the rest of the regular manufacturing halls from view. The modular structure of the building combines a heavy timber frame, concrete core and steel reinforcements. The modules are then filled with different types of facade according to interior layout. Most of the timber frame is made of glulam, a material produced only a hundred meters away, from spruce wood harvested in local forests.

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Analysing Sustainability »

Jan Fabián

If architecture is to honour its commitment to lower environmental impact and focus on circularity, then material reuse and recycling need to become common practice in the construction of family homes as well. The works of Jan Fabián show how it’s possible to design and create using leftover and found materials and objects.


The Family Home as a Representation of Architecture »

Petr Pištěk

In many ways, family homes represent a unique type of building. Nearly a half of the domestic population uses them as residences, in addition to that, tens of thousands of people decide to build a new home every year, and therefore participate in determining the shape of our landscape and our settlements for hundreds of years to come. Individual experience with single family homes and ideas for possible solutions are strongly influenced by the common view of architecture as a service. Trade magazines, by publishing and reviewing family homes, also play a considerable role in shaping the public image of the profession. 


In the Picture. Villa in Vonoklasy, Twenty-Six Years Later »

Hana Lesáková

The second series of our summer visits to famous homes and villas, which have been tried and tested by many years of use, was kicked off by our trip to Vonoklasy near Prague. In the case of this villa by architects Ladislav Lábus and Lenka Dvořáková, an incredible quarter of a century has passed since it was completed.


View From the Top. Villa on the Barbořina Hill, Twenty-Two Years Later »

Hana Lesáková

Some say it looks like a sphinx, others compare it to wealthy factory owners' functionalist villas. As it sits on the Barbořina hill, right above the town of Kroměříž, it certainly could be many things, just not ordinary. For the then thirty-year-old architect Svatopluk Sládeček, this villa was one of his very first projects.


Berbers Near Prague. House in Zdiměřice, Seventeen Years Later »

Alžběta Nováková

The House in Zdiměřice, designed by architect Stanislav Fiala, then working as part of studio D3A, has appeared in quite a few movies in the sixteen years since its completion. This summer we sat at the same oblong kitchen table with the owner where once Jan Budař, Czech Made Man, drank expensive alcohol, the fireplace and the back garden appeared in a commercial for a home improvement store, and several well-known actors have previously relaxed in the luxurious whirlpool opened towards the main living space. But the same owner still lives in this same house.


Incomplete Silence. House in Včelná, Sixteen Years Later »

Filip Landa

The building of the family home in Včelná near České Budějovice, designed by Ivan Kroupa, had a difficult fate. Misunderstood by neighbours, mishandled by workers, and still waiting to be fully completed. But it stands. Confident and contextual. A bit reserved at first, but warm and welcoming inside. Truly reflecting its owner's soul.


Home. Work. Life. ZEN Houses in Liberec, Ten Years Later »

Filip Landa

It’s not often that one can visit a prefabricated house and spend two hours there, drinking in a nice and peaceful atmosphere. But when it comes to the first ever winner of the Czech Architecture Award, you get almost a zen experience. ZEN Houses in Liberec—the home and studio of Petr Stolín and Alena Mičeková—celebrate ten years of existence. 

kniha interview

Architecture Should Be a Cause for Joy. Svatopluk Sládeček Interviewed by Filip Landa »

Few local architects can work with site context and a design brief as originally as Svatopluk Sládeček. For the informed public, his “figures”—houses of unusual shapes and characteristics—are very well known even with their idiosyncratic nicknames. Our conversation with Sládeček covered his playfully figurative architecture as well as his inspiration in modernism, his view of architecture as a fundamental part of culture, and his search for the origin of joy, which some buildings inadvertently tend to emanate. When the interview was finished, we immediately set off to Kroměříž, to satisfy ourselves to the degree of which these ideas factored into the design of Sládeček’s early project of the Villa on the Barbořina hill.

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completed project

From the Ground Up. Family Home Retrofit in Prague Zbraslav »

Martin Neruda / Martin Neruda Architektura

An existing building damaged by fire was successfully retrofitted to provide a comfortable home for a family of four. The design focused chiefly on removing old extensions to achieve a clean architectural form, simplifying the interior layout, and completely remodelling the garden with a new garage added. The completed home follows the original building footprint except for a wide, glazed vestibule. A significant increase in floor area was achieved by adapting the attic.

completed project

Vamberk House. Storage Space Transformed into a Weekend Home in Vamberk »

Martin Kožnar / Architektura srdcem

The 120 years old house, which was originally used as a storage space, is situated near the old town square, in a quiet yard between the first and the second row of buildings making up the shape of Vamberk’s historic town centre. The site ends with a rock edge holding the ruin of an old liqueur factory and opens up views to Zdobnice river valley. The client decided to retrofit the building for weekend stays. New windows and an outdoor patio connect the interior with the yard. By pulling down a few vaults and raising the roof by 75 cm, a single airy living space with a sleeping platform was created, complemented by a large wall bookcase, and a kitchenette and bathroom next to the entrance.

completed project

House With a Break. Family Home in Pyšely »

Tomáš Hanus, Jan Holub / BYRÓ architekti

An unassuming family home works with the context of a narrow and sloping site, overlooking a typical village landscape of houses, extensions, barns, and sheds that layer one after the other on the hill. The building mass follows the terrain, with one part moved half a storey down. This, together with an offset roofline, opened up views to the garden from all living spaces, and helped to divide the mass and scale of the building to fit in with the surrounding context. The mirrored gable silhouettes and broken roof planes then naturally affect the arrangement of the interior spaces, especially in the double-height rooms upstairs.

completed project

Thoroughly. Family Home Retrofit in Central Bohemia »

Tereza Čudová Ajmová / ta-architektura

Despite originally being commissioned only for an interior remodel of the 2008 family home, the architect succeeded in convincing her clients that a complete retrofit was a better option. The simple volume of the building, a box with a pitched roof and no overhang, has been stripped of ungainly extensions and details. Larger windows let in more sunlight. Black steel, warm wood, and grey stucco dominate the restrained interior palette, with smaller furniture and textiles providing the occasional accent of colour.


Renovation Options for Standardized Family Houses II »

This March, the Slovak Environment Agency in association with the Slovak Chamber of Architects issued a trio of competitions for renovating typical family homes built here in the second half of the 20th century. It focused on the standard home types: “veranda house,” “passageway house,” and “row house.” The aim was to find new design options for adaptations, extensions or transformations of these home types and, simultaneously, ensure the result would meet current living and energy efficiency requirements. Understandably, the future character of the house with added thermal insulation layers was a critical point. The competitions are loosely tied to a similar 2022 trio of competitions (see ERA21 #04/2022).



Iva Bastlová


Juraj Hazucha


Jan Stavinoha


Filip Pšenčík

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