Text description provided by the architects. The house called Zilvar, is located on the outskirts of a small village in Eastern Bohemia, surrounded by fields and forests.
The client’s wish was to design an open-plan, low-energy wooden house to improve the closeness of all three members of the family and provide direct impact by the surrounding nature. A microclimate of frequent rain, strong western winds and eastern sun was taken into account, together with the need for calm and peace, away from the busy, modern world, to make for ideal year-long living.
The inspiration for Zilvar’s shape came from the client’s 4 year-old son, who wanted the building to represent an anthropod, sloping towards the enormous oak tree. The southern sloped-roof, leaning away from the crown of this oak, makes you feel you are in the tree itself, whereas the northern sloped-roof, turned in the opposite direction, provides a wonderful view over the distant countryside.
The open-plan house consists of a lounge, kitchen and dining area downstairs, which open out to the bedroom galleries at opposite ends of the house upstairs, by industrial-shaped staircases either end, providing communication between all sections of the house. Moreover, an optical illusion of an even larger space is created by the very large glass panes and sliding doors, which link the living area inside to the eastern terrace outside and also by using the same flooring throughout. An outdoor space, protected from the rain, surrounds the northern entrance and is graduated on the east side, providing a dry, outdoor area all year round.
Zilvar is designed as a low-energy house; the outer structure is a diffusion-open wall assembly. The larch timber-framed structure (2 by 4) is designed using KVH construction timber profiles. The facade, roof and interior are all made of larch boards; however, the outside wood cladding uses a “burn and stain” technique, for longer–lasting life. The main living space has large-format glazing to take advantage of solar gain in winter, whereas in summer, the large wooden sliding shutters provide protection against the sun radiation.
Each part, both inside and out, together with the sunlight, dramatically changes the shape of the house and makes you feel like an explorer in a canyon. It is a very refreshing and peaceful haven for its residents and their visitors.
Originally published on September 08, 2015