Brilliantly renovated Rusty House is wrapped in a layer of rusted steel

November 21, 2017 by  
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Exposed raw steel wraps around this small house in the Czech Republic , renovated by OK PLAN ARCHITECTS . Covered with a vibrant layer of pre-rusted sheet metal (CorTen), the Rusty House is a minimalist residence that surprises passersby with its unusual exterior and layout maximizes the potential of its tiny plot. After living in the house for twelve years, the owner decided to renovate the interior of the house and “soften” the appearance of the main living space. OK PLAN ARCHITECTS helmed the renovation process which included landscaping  the surrounding garden. Related: Rusty tin shed transformed into beautiful two-story studio in Sydney Exposed concrete, galvanized steel and corrugated sheet metal dominate the house. The architects added layers to the interior, including oak ceiling panels, in order to improve the organization of the interior and its acoustic performance . Custom-made furniture and fixtures were added to bring an element of modernity to the place. Older kitchen cabinets were replaced, and a new fireplace installed in the living room. The architects blended the old and the new to respond to new functional and aesthetic demands, while preserving the rawness of the original structure. + OK PLAN ARCHITECTS Photos by BoysPlayNice Photography

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Brilliantly renovated Rusty House is wrapped in a layer of rusted steel

Sprawling Villa H in Prague adapts to a steep plot with a creative 3-level layout

September 13, 2017 by  
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Terraced gardens and arched layout allow Villa H to adapt to its steep sloping site in Prague, Czech Republic . Architecture firm Atelier 6 designed Villa H to hug the plot in a creative and unique way in order to utilize as much of it as possible. The two-story building sits on a property located on a residential villa in Prague’s Podolí district. It takes an L-shaped form that opens to the west in the garden and to the attractive view of the Vltava river and the cityscape. Related: Jestico + Whiles’ Intelligent Czech Villa The ground floor houses the main living quarters in the northwest wing and a bedroom part in the southwest wing. A deep terrace occupies the space that connects the two wings. A centrally positioned elevator connects all three levels of the building, as well as the garden. Related: Zaha Hadid Architects to transform a brownfield site in Prague The roof extends to cover the west facade of the northwest wing, as well as the terrace in front of the main living space. Different cladding materials used in the exterior create a mosaic that accentuates specific parts of the house and create diversity reflected in the interior. The entire building balances between two principles–privacy and openness. + Atelier 6 Photos by Martin T?ma and Jakub Skokan / BoysPlayNice

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Sprawling Villa H in Prague adapts to a steep plot with a creative 3-level layout

Light glides softly inside this cylindrical modern church in the Czech Republic

August 29, 2017 by  
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A beautiful modern church that looks like a sculptural work of art has popped up in a Czech village. Brno-based studio Atelier Št?pán designed the Church of St Wenceslas that combines inspiration from the historic rotundas built in the 10th century with contemporary and minimalist styles. The church has become the new focal point for Sazovice, a village that had sought a new church since before World War II. The Church of St Wenceslas was carefully placed at the heart of Sazovice to “amplify the spiritual sense of the church.” Instead of a rectangular form, the architects opted for a simple cylinder that’s roughly the same size and proportions as the old rotunda at Prague’s famous St. Wenceslas Chapel. The newly built church in Sazovice also contains relics of the saint. The architects wrote: “My aim was to dematerialize the building. When you observe the volume, you feel the lightness made by design principle of tapering the walls into tiny lines. It’s like cutting a paper cylinder and exploring its possibilities. I created the windows by pushing and pulling the cuts and letting the light glide softly on the walls. The church invites us inside and provides a sense of quietness and peace. You can experience being alone with God if you want. The interior is very personal and it’s better to come and live it out.” Related: Athens’ Placebo Pharmacy Is Wrapped with Light Infusing Braille Perforations Unlike its richly decorated predecessors, the Church of St Wenceslas is deliberately minimalist in order to create a meditative environment. The white exterior is made of reinforced concrete covered in plaster while the interior features light colored timber pews, furnishings, and ceiling. The altar takes on a sculptural appearance with its shiny bronze shell crafted with an organic shape. A variety of window sizes and shapes punctuate the curved walls and roof to let in glimpses of the outdoors and natural light. + Atelier Št?pán Photography by Jakub Skokan and Martin T?ma – BoysPlayNice

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Light glides softly inside this cylindrical modern church in the Czech Republic

House by the Forest gets a retro remodel that helps it blend into its surroundings

August 8, 2017 by  
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Architecture firm kaa-studio used classic building materials and techniques to reconstruct a simple suburban house in Czech Republic and revamp it as a retro-styled weekend getaway. With its dark grey-brown facade, the House by the Forest blends into its natural surroundings and channels the simplicity of rural living. The architects preserved as much as possible of the original structure and focused on reorganizing its interior to open it up towards the garden and bring natural light inside. They decided to demolish the original vestibule, reorganize the entrance area and only keep the central supporting wall and the staircase on the ground floor. This allowed a more contemporary layout of the living space and reintroduced the connection to the main garden. Related: Skylights stream light into tiny cantilevering home in German forest A strip of window was made across the entire width of the building in order to provide natural lighting and views of the neighboring forest. Similarly, a strip of large roof windows brightened the attic. The height difference between the main entrance and access to the garden was solved using field banks/green hills reinforced with rough stone. + kaa-studio Photos by BoysPlayNice

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House by the Forest gets a retro remodel that helps it blend into its surroundings

16th-century Czech home reborn as a guesthouse imbued with history

June 7, 2017 by  
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ORA architects transformed a 16th-century home in the former Jewish quarter of Mikulov, Czech Republic into Štajnhaus, a beautiful bespoke guesthouse and residence. Built in the Czech Renaissance period, the old house has been damaged, rebuilt, and transformed numerous times over hundreds of years. The architects carefully peeled back those layers in the palimpsest-like home to uncover unexpected architectural elements. In upgrading the old home, the architects also worked to preserve many of the original details such as old plasterwork and stone steps. In hopes of preserving these historic features—many of which continued to unexpectedly turn up in the process—the architects let these discoveries inform the renovation to keep the building as organic as possible. The old and new features are meant to blend together, giving every room a unique character. Materials, such as timber beams and bricks, salvaged on-site were reused as tiles and furniture. The vaulted brick wine cellars beneath the home were also brought back to life. The aboveground walls were painted white to reflect light and give the building an airy, spacious feel. Related: This Czech archaeological museum springs from the ground like a series of caves “We came to a ‘pudding stone’. The more individual layers, spaces and surprising circumstances we uncovered, the more revisions and alterations our project we had to make in our project; and this lasted, in fact, until the end of realisation,” wrote the architects. “In the beginning we did not have a clue where we would come to in the end. We were looking for a limit what time we could come back to and for a point when we should rather go on a new journey. But we still wanted to preserve the house as an organic unit. You will not find a straight wall or a rectangular opening in the house, so we had to reinvent and remake to measure all the elements, which the investor was compliant with.” + ORA architects Via ArchDaily Images by Jakub Skokan, Martin T?ma / BoysPlayNice

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16th-century Czech home reborn as a guesthouse imbued with history

This amazing shipping container hotel can pop up anywhere in the world

May 2, 2017 by  
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Prague-based firm Artikul Architects has managed to combine two of our favorite things: shipping containers and wanderlust. The ContainHotel is a small boutique hotel made out of three repurposed shipping containers that can be easily disassembled and transported to different locations. The eco-hotel is made out of three large shipping containers , but has a total of five rooms that can accommodate up to 13 guests at a time. A horizontal row of four rooms was built into a 40-foot high cube container, which is supported by two perpendicular 20-foot containers on the bottom level. The ground level containers house the sanitary facilities, a technical room, a storeroom on one end and a four-bed guest room on the other. Related: Luxury Hotel Made from 35 Recycled Shipping Containers Opens Next Month in China Although compact, the rooms are open and airy, with minimal, but elegant features on the interior. Large windows provide tons of natural light for all of the rooms. The interiors are clad in birch plywood, which was also used for the custom-made furniture. All of the rooms open up to an elongated shared balcony that provides great views of the surrounding nature. Currently located in in Treboutice, Czech Republic, the hotel was designed to be a self-sufficient, eco-friendly hotel that can be easily demounted and transported to multiple locations. The structure was built on railroad sleepers to leave minimal footprint no matter where it is assembled. The building is connected to a local electric power source and has an integrated water reservoir that supplies the showers and sinks, all installed with water saving taps. To save on heating and cooling, the hotel awnings, which were made of reclaimed wood planks from a local sawmill, insulate the roof and provide shade in the summer months. + Artikul Architects Via Contemporist Photography by Michal Hurych

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This amazing shipping container hotel can pop up anywhere in the world

World’s first zero-emissions hydrogen train aces maiden voyage

March 24, 2017 by  
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The world’s first hydrogen-powered train recently took its maiden voyage, reaching 50 miles per hour in a passenger-free trial run on a test track in Salzgitter, Germany. The zero-emission Coradia iLint train leaves only water vapor in its wake, is completely silent, and integrates many different innovative elements to propel it down the track. These include clean energy conversion to create electricity, flexible energy storage via batteries, and smart management between traction power and available energy. It’s based around the frame of a regular diesel train and designed to run on traditional, non-electrified tracks with a combination of sustainable operation and high performance. “This test run is a significant milestone in environmental protection and technical innovation,” said Dieder Pfleger , vice president of Alstom Germany and Austria—the company that manufactures the train . “With the Coradia iLint and its fuel cell technology, Alstom is the first railway manufacturer to offer a zero-emission alternative for mass transit trains. Today our new traction system, so far successfully proved on the test ring, is used on a train for the first time – a major step towards cleaner mobility in Europe.” Related: Germany unveils world’s first zero-emission hydrogen-powered passenger train White tests of the train at the Salzgitter plant only go up to 50 miles per hour, testing at a facility in Velim, Czech Republic have seen the train travel up to nearly 90 miles per hour. Hydrogen gas used for testing the train is essentially a waste byproduct of industrial processes, and the company has plans to use wind energy to produce the hydrogen fuel needed in the future. + Alstom Images via Alstom

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World’s first zero-emissions hydrogen train aces maiden voyage

Czech zoo to remove horns from rhino herd after poacher attack in France

March 16, 2017 by  
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A zoo in the Czech Republic announced Tuesday that it plans to preemptively remove the horns from its herd of rare rhinos. The decision comes a week after poachers broke into a French zoo, shot dead an endangered white rhino and hacked off its horn. As extreme as it sounds, the surgery could be potentially lifesaving. “It’s for the sake of rhino safety,” Andrea Jirousova, spokeswoman for the zoo in the central Czech town of Dvur Kralove nad Labem, told AFP . “The attack put us on alert, the danger is really intense.” The March 7 death of 4-year-old Vince from Thoiry Zoological Park outside Paris sent shockwaves through the wildlife community. Experts say that the animal’s death likely marks the first time a rhino has been killed in a zoo. The message the tragedy sent was chillingly clear: No living rhino, not even one held in captivity, is safe from poachers. The Dvur Kralove zoo currently houses 21 black and southern white rhinos, including three calves who will be excluded from the surgery. At up to $60,000 per kilogram, rhino horn sells more on the black market than gold or cocaine. Most of the demand for horn comes from China and Vietnam, where it’s prized for its purported medicinal and aphrodisiac properties. Related: Poachers broke into a French zoo to kill a rhino and steal its horn Jirousova said that the rhinos would be kept under anesthesia for the procedure, which involves removing the horns with a chainsaw, then filing down the edges. The move, she added, is entirely unprecedented. “We have never done this because of poachers,” Jirousova added. “We did it for other reasons like transport or health concerns.” Via AFP Photos by Flowcomm and Son of Groucho

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Czech zoo to remove horns from rhino herd after poacher attack in France

Twin live and work cubes demonstrate superior material and spatial economy

December 8, 2016 by  
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If you’ve ever dreamed of shortening your commute to mere steps, take a look at this brilliant project in the Czech Republic. Petr Stolin was commissioned to design two identical buildings using structural insulated panels (SIPs) – one for living, and one for working. The corresponding design, called Zen Houses, demonstrates a flair for spatial and material economy without compromising on style. Located in a rural landscape outside Liberec, the double-story cubes, which are just 10 meters wide, are clad in transparent acrylic sheets that reveal simple timber framing and surprisingly voluminous interiors. The two buildings, which lie side-by-side, were constructed with a variety of low-budget materials that give them something of a shabby chic aesthetic, including chipboard, plywood, wooden beams, raw metal and rubber. The cubic buildings are connected by a simple walkway and create a series of public, semi-public and private areas between them. They are carefully designed to frame views of the surrounding landscape, while ensuring plenty of natural light reaches the interiors. Related: Green live / work space is a modern update to the vernacular barn The interior of the studio half of the duplex is finished in white, while the residential building is finished in black – providing a subtle distinction between the two. Each building has a half-mezzanine, which increases the interior volume and living space. Its minimalism was inspired by Japanese design . “The experimental character of the houses was the conceptual starting point,” the architects write in their design brief. “Yet the deliberate austerity of the achieved forms definitely brings new lifestyle qualities to an environment built in this way.” + Petr Stolin Architekt

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Twin live and work cubes demonstrate superior material and spatial economy

Czech archaeological museum springs out of the ground like a modern-day cave system

November 29, 2016 by  
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In a project that joins modern architecture with ancient archaeological finds, the Czech Republic’s new Archeopark in Pavlov houses a museum where visitors can get an up-close look at many Paleolithic-era tools as well as skeletal remains of early humans and their artwork. The brainchild of Czech architects Radko Kv?t and Pavel Pijá?ek , the museum’s design is unique, as multiple parts of the structure appear to spring forth from the ground themselves, just as their precious archaeological treasures did. The Archeopark museum opened this year, with more than 10,000 square feet of exhibits that tell the story of early human evolution, and most of the museum is actually underground. Paleolithic artifacts are common to this region of Europe, and the majority of the items on display within the Archeopark were found within a small radius of the museum site. Exhibits include early tools made from stone and bone, the skeletal remains of anatomically modern humans, as well as the artwork produced by those same civilizations. Related: Poland’s National Museum in Szczecin wins World Building of the Year 2016 The museum ‘s design is decidedly modern, with sharp and unexpected angles at every turn. From the outside, the museum structures appear cold, harsh, and blank—concrete shapes dotting the site like a child’s discarded jacks. Oak and glass round out the building materials, confirming the museum’s understated style. Inside the museum, pitched ceilings with odd angles, winding pathways, and the occasional skylight produce an atmosphere more cavelike than modern, perhaps in a direct attempt to remind visitors that they, too, are a part of human evolution. Via Yatzer Images via Gabriel Dvo?ák for Radko Kv?t Architecture

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Czech archaeological museum springs out of the ground like a modern-day cave system

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