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N á c h o d ,  C z e c h   R e p u b l i c
Nature of project: strawbale family home study

Client: Ilona a Ondřej Hůlkovi, Náchod

Date: 2003

view from south east
view from south east

view from north east
from north east

ground floor plan

ground floor plan

a reflecting pool, b entrance, c herbal garden, d pool, e guest bedroom, f home office, g library, h stairs, i toilet, j bathroom, k shower, l outdoor shower, m car shelter, n storage of wood for burning, o terrace and backyard entrance, p utility, q bedroom

first floor plan

first floor plan

a landing, b outdoor dining - balcony, c woodburning stove, d kitchen, dining and living area, e void to ground floor herbal garden, f study, g master bedroom, h balcony, i stairs to roof, j bathroom, k toilet

lizard's eye   lizard's face   north   south   animation of unfinished interior
       This generous 5 bedroom strawbale house with inner courtyard was originally designed for Hůlek's family, before it was abandoned for much smaller version.

       However, it would be a pity not to introduce this project, because the design explores use of the site's limited capacity to maximal possible extend.

       Property's downfall is an obtrusive view towards south, offering exposed ugly massive green pipework - municipal heating - as well as other neighbouring houses, while the view towards east, down to valley, opens breathtaking image of Náchod city's centre. Facing west from the site, there is Náchod's castle towering above urbanized valley, at approximately same level as the building site, which is on top of another hill with considerable slope towards the east.

       In order to maximize solar gain, buildings longer facade faces south, which makes the houses volume project like a cannon above the sloping site towards east. This orientation also maximizes views so that the kitchen, dining and living area on the first floor blends seamlessly with countryside. Double storey internal courtyard with glazed roof slices cross the building and divides it into 2 parts. Eastern part is used during a day, while majority of bedrooms are situated west of the courtyard. Courtyard is fully glazed (towards interior as well as towards exterior), providing surrounding rooms with light, feeling of unlimited spaciousness and luxury. Greenery and water in the courtyard supply food, fresh air, stable temperature and humidity. Internal space and air quality is further enhanced by sculpted cob wall that wedges between the courtyard and landing with staircase. This way the cob wall is not only taking full load of heat from sun, but it's perforations filter sun rays through coloured glass into the magical space of this building.

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