Four alpine apartments rise from a green-roofed complex in the Czech Republic

October 25, 2019 by  
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Czech architecture firm ov-a recently replaced a former 1980s department store in the mountain town of Pec pod Sn?žkou, Czech Republic with Apart-hotel Svatý Vav?inec, a modern mixed-use complex with 90 apartments that celebrate the alpine surroundings. In place of the barrier-like shopping complex that had obstructed views into the village, the architects created a green-roofed commercial plinth topped with four timber-clad apartment towers. Dubbed the “meadow,” the accessible green roof serves as a semi-private open space with room for an outdoor grill with seating, a children’s playground and private terraces for individual suites. Taking inspiration from the local alpine vernacular, the architects created Apart-hotel Svatý Vav?inec with natural materials and simple gabled forms to blend the architecture into the landscape. The commercial plinth is clad in stone and topped with an intensive Optigrün green roof . The four gabled apartment towers on top vary in size and orientation and are clad in cedar and large windows that embrace views of the outdoor landscape. If apartment owners choose to rent out their units, guests can enjoy access to a complete hotel experience with a reception and cleaning services. Related: A new eco-minded neighborhood in Utah ski resort emphasizes land stewardship The commercial plinth also offers new amenities for the greater community, including a supermarket, a pharmacy, a sporting goods store and a ski and bicycle service shop. The commercial spaces can be accessed through the interior of all of the apartments as well. The building has two underground garages on different levels. “The core character of the area is shaped by the individually standing buildings along the main street that are in close contact with the surrounding nature,” the architects explained. “The atmosphere is captured by a road rising through the valley alongside streams and by the openings between houses that allow a view of the further planes of the village and the cabins scattered on the meadows. The design of four apartment buildings continues the thread of these qualities and develops and further elaborates on them.” + ov-a Images via BoysPlayNice

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Four alpine apartments rise from a green-roofed complex in the Czech Republic

Controversial climate change-inspired skyscraper could become Czech Republics tallest building

October 18, 2019 by  
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Inspired by the apocalyptic imagery from climate change projections, sculptor David ?erný and architect Tomáš Císa? from the studio Black n´ Arch have proposed a visually striking skyscraper that’s sparked controversy with its inclusion of an enormous shipwreck-like structure. Dubbed the TOP TOWER , the project proposed for Prague rises to a height of 450 feet, which means that if built, the tower would be the tallest building in the Czech Republic. The project is led by developer Trigema who aims to create a multifunctional, LEED Gold high-rise that includes rental apartments, a public observation area and commercial uses on the lower floors. TOP TOWER has been proposed to be located near the metro station Nové Butovice on the new nearly one-kilometer-long pedestrian zone in Prague. This location is outside of the protected urban conservation zone and would be far enough away from the city center that it would not disrupt the historic city skyline. Taking advantage of its height, the building would offer a public observation area at the highest point of the building where visitors can enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view of Prague .  Rental housing will make up the majority of the mixed-use TOP TOWER, while offices, retail and a multifunctional cultural center will be located on the lower levels. Parking will be tucked underground. The rusty shipwreck-like sculpture integrated into the building will offer opportunities for outdoor spaces and additional landscaping. Related: Computer modeling informed the whimsical design of this experimental home “We have been preparing the TOP TOWER project for more than two years and the final version was preceded by eight other alternative solutions. During this time, we have collected and are still collecting suggestions from experts, state and local authorities, and of course the local public, whose representatives have already been and will continue to hold a number of participatory meetings,” says Marcel Soural, Chairman of the Board of Trigema a.s. Trigema estimates that the construction for TOP TOWER will begin in 2021 and take less than three years complete.  + TOP TOWER Images via Trigema

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Controversial climate change-inspired skyscraper could become Czech Republics tallest building

Vuntut Gwitchin is the first indigenous nation to declare a climate emergency

May 28, 2019 by  
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Last week, the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation became the first indigenous tribe to declare an official climate emergency . Like other nations that have made similar declarations, the announcement is not backed with funding but rather is an official call to action. Chief Dana Tizya-Tramm is hopeful that the declaration will spur a domino effect among indigenous groups and lead to an Indigenous Climate Accord. “The indigenous peoples have been left out of the Paris Climate Accord,” Tizya-Tramm said. “We’ve gotten a nod in the preamble, but where are the national and international public forums for indigenous voices?” Related: In a world first, the UK declares a climate emergency In June, the Gwitchin Steering Committee is planning an Arctic Indigenous Climate Summit and hopes that many different groups will come together to discuss their shared climate problems and possible plans of actions that are stronger than even the Paris Agreement . The Vuntut Gwitchin is a northern tribe in Canada’s Yukon territory, where melting icecaps are an unavoidable daily truth. “We’re seeing it in the priming of furs, in the emptying of lakes, in the return of animals , such as, this year, the geese coming before the black ducks, which we hadn’t seen before,” Tizya-Tramm said. “It’s about bringing that to the rest of the community, nationally.” Few media outlets reported on this major declaration from May 19, but indigenous groups have been prominent climate activists across the globe, including leading pipeline protests at Standing Rock and leading water justice actions. Traditional knowledge will likely be a critical ingredient for determining solutions to reduce the climate crisis, but international discussions largely ignore indigenous voices. Other nations to declare climate emergencies include the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland and the Czech Republic. + Vuntut Gwitchin Via Earther Image via Bureau of Land Management

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A former Czech distillery is transformed into a vibrant co-working space

July 31, 2018 by  
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Czech architecture practice KOGAA Studio has transformed a former distillery into the Social Reactor, a new co-working space in the heart of Brno, Czech Republic. The redesign preserves the 19th-century building’s post-industrial charms while inserting a bright and modern aesthetic. The formerly vacant building now serves as an active gathering space with the power to regenerate a post-industrial area. Completed this year, the four-story property was originally part of a distillate factory founded by a Jewish family more than 200 years ago. The adaptive reuse project is accessed via an arched entryway that connects the street to a spacious outdoor entertaining space. This area, called The Yard, is complete with a pop-up bar integrated into a historic elevator — the cabin has been repurposed into a prep area, and the elevator shaft serves as the installation duct — and casual seating. The Yard also connects to a variety of indoor areas that include co-working spaces , offices, a dining area and a multipurpose events space. An upper floor houses a studio and workshop. “One of the latest and most impactive structural interventions was carried out at the second and third level of the building, where the central beam system was removed to create a double height hall and two balconies facing the central space,” the architects explained in a project statement. “The former is meant for presentations, lectures and workshops , while the upper balconies are dedicated to designers’ ateliers and offices. The new program is distributed across all three levels of the building, and the multiple functions are spread out across different spaces, creating a dynamic and challenging working environment.” Related: A former leather tannery is transformed into an apartment trio in Lisbon One of the most recent additions is a two-story timber volume — built from recycled materials and clad in polycarbonate and corrugated plastic — that houses a shared meeting room, kitchenette, library and extra co-working spaces. + KOGAA Studio Via ArchDaily Images © BoysPlayNice

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A former Czech distillery is transformed into a vibrant co-working space

Sebastian Maluska’s pop-up rooftop tent converts any car into a camper

July 31, 2018 by  
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As a student of the renowned art and design univeristy ECAL, designer Sebastian Maluska has come up with some seriously innovative designs, and his latest creation is no exception. Geared towards the adventurous spirit in us all, The Nest is a simple, pop-up rooftop tent – made out of nothing more than aluminum and fabric – that turns any vehicle into a home in mere seconds. Maluska designed The Nest tent’s shape and size to provide a compact shelter for on-the-go adventurers that takes up minimal space on top of a car’s roof. According to Maluska, his inspiration for the concept came from the sailing world – specifically, using lightweight but durable materials that don’t create resistance against the vessel. Related: The Tamarack Constellation Rooftop Tent Boasts an ‘Emergency Unisex Urinal’ The tent consists of two lightweight aluminum frames covered in a waterproof sailing fabric with two side windows. The tent’s fabric was key in creating a sturdy protective cover, but was also incorporated as a structural element. Rope is used to connect the fabric to the frame and the car’s rooftop, creating a more comfortable sleeping experience. When closed, the upper frame of The Nest overlaps the lower frame, which creates an aerodynamic angle that doesn’t drag down the car. Pulling on a pin at the front of the tent opens the frame automatically thanks to a simple gas spring. The tent’s ladder, which is stored in a fabric pocket underneath the sleeping surface, can be pulled out and hooked on both sides in a matter of minutes. Once opened, the tent provides plenty of space for two people to sleep comfortably. Two side windows open up the interior space, and there is ample room to sit up while still being protected by the tent’s roof. As an additional bonus, sleeping bags can be stored inside when the tent is closed. According to Maluska, The Nest design’s was inspired by the need to create a more affordable and simpler way to sleep while on the road, “I spend a lot of time outside doing sport[s] like skiing and surfing,” said Maluska. “It is always nice to be the first on the mountain or the first in the water. Therefore I have to sleep right at the spot.” + Sebastian Maluska Via Dezeen Images via Sebastian Maluska

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Sebastian Maluska’s pop-up rooftop tent converts any car into a camper

A former ski lift station takes on new life as a bold mountain lodge

July 12, 2018 by  
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A small mountain lodge has replaced an old ski lift station on the Krkonoše mountains in the Czech Republic. Czech studio ADR designed the ?erná Voda, named after a nearby stream, to serve as a place of respite for short-term guests of a nearby lodge’s owner. The isolated retreat stands in a meadow apart from the Horní Malá Úpa village, among tall trees and lush shrubbery that shroud the cabin in serenity. Stepping inside the ?erná Voda, guests will find a bright, minimalist design. Light timber, which covers the walls, floors and ceilings, creates an open, airy feel. The kitchen space offers a sharp contrast with blackened wood cabinetry. The simple interior draws focus to the large windows and their picturesque views of the mountains , including Sn?žka, the highest mountain peak in the country. One window opens to the outdoors and allows a breath of fresh air into the cabin. Upstairs, a sleeping loft outfitted with protective netting offers a quiet space for visitors to rest. As natural light filters into the ground floor at daybreak, the loft benefits from the pitched ceiling and retains some darkness for guests who prefer to sleep in. During cooler months, a small wood-burning stove keeps the cabin toasty and inviting after a long day of exploring the outdoors. The mountain lodge blends into its forested surroundings in the summer with its dark metal and blackened wood cladding. When the landscape becomes blanketed in snow, the gabled cabin stands out boldly in its environment. On the west end of the home, a deck extends the living areas to the outdoors. The ?erná Voda mountain lodge has been nominated for a 2018 Czech Architecture Award , which promotes projects that embrace the public and the environment by both new and seasoned architects. + ADR Images via Jakub Skokan and Martin T?ma / BoysPlayNice

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This off-grid, lunar lander-inspired tiny home is out of this world

July 12, 2018 by  
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If you’ve ever dreamed of going to outer space, prepare to swoon over this spacecraft-inspired tiny home  perched on the edge of the Columbia River in Central Washington. The holiday home — named the Lunar Lander — was designed and built by Kurt Hughes, a naval architect of Kurt Hughes Sailing Designs , who applied boat-building techniques to make the unique structure habitable, comfortable and environmentally friendly. Elevated off the ground on steel pillars, the off-grid, geometric abode measures only 250 square feet and weighs 3,000 pounds. Inspired by the image of the Apollo 11 spacecraft, Hughes sought to create a tiny house with futuristic features, both in appearance and in function. Drawing on his years-long experience with boat- and home-building, Hughes used the latest marine composite technology to construct the dwelling, which is waterproof, airtight  and resistant to vermin, mold and insects. An air-to-air heat exchanger provides comfort and ventilation. The Lunar Lander has neither roofing nor siding, and it is primarily built of plywood, epoxy and fiberglass . Related: Subterranean fridge pod: keep food cold without electricity “The Lunar Lander is not only an interesting configuration, but an homage to a time when people did new things,” explained Hughes of his desire to push the envelope. “Innovators were prized, not feared. And what’s more, the actual Apollo astronauts trained some 25 miles from where this project is sited. The Lunar Lander can rest comfortably on drastic, uneven terrain, with virtually no environmental footprint .” Related: Sail your worries away on this solar-powered floating tiny home Topped with a transparent geodesic dome that fills the tiny home with natural light, the interior features external modules for the bathroom, galley, dining space and storage. A stairway leads down to the sleeping space. Solar panels are affixed to the top of the structure, and the unit is optimized for minimal maintenance. Hughes has also expressed the possibility of making larger models of the Lunar Lander in the future. + Kurt Hughes Sailing Designs Images via Kurt Hughes

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This off-grid, lunar lander-inspired tiny home is out of this world

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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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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