Is it an exhibition pavilion or a romantic hotel? After all, that’s not what a single-family home looks like, that’s what comes to mind when you look at the circular, rounded front facade that unfolds like a fan. Thanks to its unconventional floor plan, the energy-saving building made of wood and concrete blocks stores energy and heat, which it removes from solar radiation, insulates and reuses.
Thanks to the southwest-facing all-glass facade, it captures the first morning and last evening rays and thus helps to use the sun’s heat in the cold months.
| Photo: Courtesy of Filip Šlapal
Křivoklátsko is still a paradise for cottagers. A farming colony in the southern part of Malé Kyšice is also used for recreation. The owners of one of them decided to live permanently in the enchanting region and replace the old cottage with a new family home. They wanted a building built with respect for nature, which needs to be protected. And at the same time with an awareness of future operational requirements. With this order they turned to the architects Ján Stempel and Jan Jakub Tesař.
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* Swimming pool
* Wooden and concrete blocks
* The first and last rays of sunshine
* The rooms resemble cabins
They easily found a common language. From today’s perspective, in the idyllic times before the pandemic and the energy crisis, a passive, sustainable single-family home project was created that opens its arms to the sun’s rays.
“The principles applied in construction will remain relevant even after we overcome the current distressing problems. And even when we finally accept the climate threat to which we have either consciously or in the haste of other problems turned a blind eye,” say the architects. The project was created in 2016 and construction was completed last year. However, the owners gradually began to settle in before their facilities were completed down to the last detail.
The swimming pond optimizes the use of rainwater
In addition to the new house, the garden was also redesigned under the direction of Lucie Vogelová from Studio TERRA FLORIDA. A swimming pond was created to retain rainwater.
A root canal treatment plant was also built, which makes it possible to use domestic wastewater for irrigation. No waste water is discharged from the property into the sewer system.
When the house was built, the garden was also changed. A swimming lake was created there that retains rainwater.
A pleasant swimming lake was created next to the house, which optimizes the use of rainwater. In addition, the retention of surface water in the garden has a positive effect on the climate in the immediate vicinity of the building. During the renovations in the garden, an underground system cellar made of recycled plastic was created. Used shipping containers are used by the family to store garden supplies and bicycles.
Wood and concrete blocks
The desire to build a building that was as energy efficient as possible had a significant influence on the shape and material solution of the building. The floor plan of the single-family home resembles the shape of a quarter circle, which is bordered by walls made of concrete blocks.
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“We designed the main structure of the building using a renewable material, namely wood. The beam construction respects the shape of the house and reveals the construction principles literally down to the last detail, including steel connections and tie rods,” explains Jan Jakub Tesař.
The building is protected from the windward side by walls made of concrete blocks. A sandwich wall with thermal insulation contributes to natural heat storage and thus the stability of the house. The owners have a two-story living space with a usable area of almost one hundred and sixty square meters. The front facade opens the interior to a large garden with extensive mature trees.
Ján Stempel and Jan Jakub Tesař.Stamps & carpenters
Prof.-Ing. Arc. Ján Stempel received his education at the Faculty of Architecture of the Budapest University of Technology, Ing. The architect Jan Jakub Tesař is a graduate of the CTU Faculty, where both architects now work as educators.
They founded the architectural firm in 2008. In recent years, their projects have received several awards, for example, they became finalists of the Czech Architecture Prize with the project of rebuilding an old mill, which they converted into residential buildings.
The first and last rays of sunshine
The house unfolds like a fan towards the sun’s rays. Thanks to the rounded, southwest-facing all-glass facade, not only the first but also the last rays of sunlight reach the interior. The facade consists of windows in anthracite-colored frames, complemented by shade-providing blinds.
The purpose is obvious. In order for the building to function in a truly energy-saving manner, it must not only absorb heat, but also prevent unpleasant overheating. In addition to blinds built into the triple glazing, the long roof protects the residents of the house from the summer heat. The first floor hallway is covered by overhanging wooden ceiling beams. The ground floor space is expanded with an outdoor terrace.
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A fireplace in the heart of the building with a heat exchanger also helps with self-sufficiency. Thanks to recuperation, the house effectively manages the exhaust air.
The rooms resemble cabins
The architects also used the contrast of concrete and wooden structures in the interior. They placed built-in furniture between the beams so that the individual rooms resemble huts.
On the ground floor, space was given to the living area, which includes a living room with kitchen and a dining room, from which an open staircase leads to the floor with four bedrooms.
The social part of the family house is on the ground floor. It includes a living room with kitchen and dining room, from which an open staircase leads to the first floor with four bedrooms. Bathrooms, technical and storage areas are arranged along the solid concrete sandwich walls.
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