Richard Meier & Partners has unveiled the design of the Oaks Prague Villas, the firm’s first residential project in the Czech Republic. Located outside of Prague in the Nebřenice countryside, the villas will join the Oaks Frontline Apartments (also designed by Richard Meier & Partners) as well as structures by top architects including Eva Jiřičná and John Pawson in creating a new modern residential community called the Oaks Prague Development.
The two villas will be made up of similar elements that react to the location on the site in different forms. The 740-square-meter (7,965-square-foot) Villa 1 is oriented parallel to the adjacent golf course in a linear footprint, while the 620-square-meter (6,674-square-foot) Villa 2 will be a more compact volume. Both will be organized with a clear programmatic separation, with public rooms on the lower floor and private rooms above. Sunken gardens will divide the house from the street, and rear terraces with a pool and fireplace will create a “gradual transition between the house and nature.”
“Each villa consists of a series of private spaces located on the second floor and public spaces on the ground level where residents meet and entertain, both open to the extensive views of nature.” states Mr. Meier.
“The general concept and design of the villas is driven by the stringent local zoning and planning regulations which mandate a traditional pitched roof,” explain the architects. “The proposed solution is as simple as it is ingenious: a gable roof with a rotated ridge, resulting in a structure that, while recalling the pitched roof of traditional Czech villages, reinterprets it in a sculptural and contemporary building.”
“We saw the challenge in designing a sloped roof based on the zoning requirement for the Oaks Prague Villas as an optimistic opportunity to deliver a recognizable structure with modern aesthetics while embodying clean geometric lines to the overall building,” said Vivian Lee, Design Partner-in-Charge.
Composite panels with cedar-panelled undersides wrap the villas, contrasting the striking exterior profile with a warm interior texture. Sun screens are strategically positioned on the exterior of the most open spaces to filter sunlight and reduce glare and heat.
“The connection between the living spaces to nature was an important relationship to establish, not just visually towards the sweeping views outside, but also by employing materials such as oak and cedar to bring nature inside, creating a warm and welcoming environment,” Lee added. “The interplay of light and shadow from the screens on the South facing façade animate the light-filled interior spaces throughout the day, while the more static volumes and planes at the North anchor the structure.”
“Each villa is a complex yet simple composition of clean, straight lines and sharp edges. It is a highly ordered study in balancing transparency and natural light with various degrees of privacy for a residence” states Mr. Meier.
“I am pleased to be working again in the Czech Republic and to collaborate in this unique residential project with Arendon Development Company,” commented Richard Meier. “The architecture of the villas reflect the fundamental design principles of our firm defined through the siting and entrance procession, clear public and private programmatic organization, as well as a structural and façade system based on a rigorous architectural design grid.”
Now under construction, the Oaks Prague Development will feature, among other amenities, 250 homes, a boutique hotel, a spa, a PGA National golf course, a country club, an equestrian center, and a tennis academy.
News via Richard Meier & Partners.
LocationNebřenice, 251 01 Popovičky, Czech Republic
Design PrincipalsRichard Meier, FAIA, FRIBA; Vivian Lee, AIA
Project ArchitectJeremy D. Keagy
CollaboratorsGrigorios Dimitriadis, Peter Liao, Xiaodi Sun, Steven Sze, Xiao Wang
ClientArendon Development Company a.s.
Associate ArchitectCUBOID ARCHITEKTI s.r.o.
PhotographsBloomimages, Courtesy of Richard Meier & Partners Architects, Jan Tichý and Richard Meier & Partners Architects