In a wider context, the house is part of a grown historical building pattern of the former village of Tejnka near the Prague Castle district. The whole ensemble was declared as a protected conservation area significant by a high density small scale housing.
The initial rectangular building (15.6 by 5.4 metres) from the early 19th century was extended in the 1920s by a second floor and a gable roof. The longitudinal axis of the building is oriented along the north-south direction. The southern edge of the land with the gable wall directly neighbours the street. The adjacent retaining wall balances the height difference between the road and the lower ground level of the house and garden. The former outside entrance steps and sheds were built along this retaining wall. The whole structure made of a local sand stone was in very poor condition, caused by moisture and mould in particular. The retaining wall including fencing and sheds were completely destroyed, mainly caused by the traffic loads.
The architectural design is based on a new built homogenous three-storey in-situ structure (including new foundations) which is inserted into the historic walls and continued by the annex building and a raised inhabitable attic space. The basic volumetric composition consists of two elements: the restored historic facades and the new annex which is placed along the southern boarder as a compact object made of monolithic architectural concrete with a flat roof following the level of the adjacent street, creating space for parking and for entering the house.
The monolithic construction method of architectural concrete walls, ceilings and staircases is continued inside the original building. All surfaces are treated by the formwork made of natural timber boards. The floors analogically made as a machine-smoothed industrial concrete slab.
The entrance hall is placed at a split level of the building and leads directly into the half-landing of the new staircase, 2/3 above the ground floor, where an intimate court yard garden is surrounded by the L-shaped floor plan with an open dining and kitchen area directly linked to the four steps sunken living and library space. The upper floors serve the private zones of the house with the master bedroom, 3 children’s bedrooms, a guest room, study and two bathrooms. All rooms are accessible through the open staircase leading into a spine corridor which runs along the non illuminated western perimeter wall.
Location: Prague 6, Czech Republic
Architect: Jan Schindler / Schindler Seko Architects – www.schindlerseko.cz
Year of completion: 2013
Photographs: Ondřej Polák