communal flats in dolní břežany

refurbishment and addition of tenement houses

Owing to an enlightened local council, Dolní Břežany became almost a synonym of good contemporary architecture and the care for public space. The community owns a dilapidated yet architecturally sound house in a historicist style. Aside of its renovation, an alteration of the courtyard buildings is being prepared where new flats should be built. Regarding the courtyard buildings, we had been inspired by additions ad hoc randomly tightly arranged we know from especially for example outbuildings of farmsteads in the Czech countryside. more

The designed fractured structure works with a typology of a family house primarily opened inward – that is inside the quiet corners of small inserted yards. In our opinion, the quality of housing is not harmed – on the contrary, it can become very comfortable and intimate. The houses get enough private space outside, do not cancel out and, moreover, enjoy the view of the central part of the garden. We can find their predecessors in historic Mediterranean dwellings (e.g. Apulian trulla) and in our country (Zlatá ulička/Goledn Lane) but namely in analogies with continuously added heterogeneous outbuildings that existed in similar situations perhaps most often. The common denominator is a micro-scale and irregular shapes of outer ‘residual’ spaces here. By the assumed (and newly re-told) volumes of masses and single-pitch roofs clinging to the border of the plots that we articulate by avant-corpses of masses of living rooms and their hip roofs we get a unique quality of lighting and sunlight in living areas inside – buildings do not block sunrays by casting a shadow. Material interventions to the old historicising building regard anything else but the roof. We replace the old entirely depreciated rafters a by new, also wagon-headed roof, yet with a higher ridge. We are getting better parameters of clearances and practical usability of the attic this way. We wanted to preserve the most authentic order of the roof possible intentionally. That was the reason why we did not opt for lighting the attic by adding new forms of dormers. Even roof windows would, in our opinion, spoil the classic appearance of the roof too much. That is why we opted for a belt window copying the perimeter of the house ‘cutting’ the roof through; nevertheless, from visuality reasons, we concealed it behind a finely perforated screen (transparent from the inside) aligned with the roofing level. The key element for the appearance of the courtyard house is its homogenous envelope. It is a traditional roofing of massive chipped timber shingles. This material allows obtaining the desired surface homogeneity without a border between the roof and walls; moreover, using it, the rounded roof shape can be flexibly followed – either convex or concave.

  • addressKe Zlatníkům 74
    Dolní Břežany
  • year2015
  • investorObec Dolní Břežany
  • design teamPetr Burian, Lenka Kadrmasová, Tereza Kupková, Robin Müller
  • collaborationfalse
  • photographs/visualizationsTomáš Herle
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