Mountain House in Pernink / FAM Architekti

© Tomáš Balej

Architects: Pavel Nasadil / FAM Architekti
Location: Pernink,
Collaborators: Marek Nábělek, Hana Svobodova, Tomas Straka
Project area: 66 sqm
Project year: 2006 – 2010
Photographs: Tomáš Balej

© Tomáš Balej

A house has been built in the village of Pernink in the Krusne Mountains in west Bohemia, Czech Republic. The house is located 820 metres above sea level near the German border in a valley which is defined by a wild water stream.

The client imposed a free brief right at the start of the design which evolved over a long period. The house represents a hybrid typology of a small residential retreat and a guest house with facilities for local skiing and nature hiking.

model 02

The form and scale of the house are largely defined by topography and the orientation towards views of landscape and towards sunlight. The prevailing western winds are tackled with a narrow gable end to minimise their impact.

A small budget and harsh local climate have determined a simple method of construction which has been buildable in two short building seasons. The external walls are made of 500mm thick superinsulated prefabricated clay blocks, which are also used for the main loadbearing wall.

© Tomáš Balej

A sense of a cave like protection against climate is supported by the journey from entrance lobby to the upper living space which winds itself twice through this thick internal wall. The floor to ceiling height differs in hierarchy with the staircase zone being of minimal height and the living space being increased to 3m, which strengthens the effect of the landscape entering the building interior through large glazed openings.

© Tomáš Balej

The materials used are of high constructional standard and are left in their natural appearance without further treatment – hand applied stucco renderings, masive wood, exposed ceilings and floors and aluminium windows. The heating is built within the floors and powered by gass, with additional option of wood burning stove in the living space. The client was in charge of organizing the construction herself with the final costs added to a complete sum of 100.000 EUR inclusive of the plot and internal fittings and furniture.

Cite: "Mountain House in Pernink / FAM Architekti" 08 Feb 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 29 May 2015. <>
  • up_today_arch

    Perfect… New Zumtor?:)………………

    • archilocus

      nice work OK, but new Zumthor ?!? There are quite some architects doing that level of quality, Zumthor is one step above…
      He wouldn’t make such sliding door or roof details.:)
      But once again, don’t misunderstand me, it’s a great work, moreover when you consider the time an architect can spend (financially speaking) on a single house !

      • realarch

        Are you both being ironic?

  • shetu

    needs some furniture now.

  • Tomaz Bercic

    Hmm…country house with living room on the first floor?!!
    I don’t think so.

  • JJ

    This is a beautiful house. Works perfectly in the context.

  • liveload

    Definetly neo-Zumthor. Great looking looking sculpture, lots of surprises and variety for such a small home. Very austere, hermetic. Looks like a block left out in a field. Has a kind of stand-offish relationship with site, a very strict seperation between the building and the property. It’s hard to imagine spending any time at all outdoors in this house, there is no accomodation for exterior living at all. They should build a detached sauna or something.

  • Adrem

    Very clean plan and lots of ideas, but I have to disagree on the setting. In that context, this house looks embarassingly introverted.