in the czech replublic, jan šépka — formerly of HŠH architects — has constructed an unconventionally shaped dwelling that appears to hover above the ground. as its name suggests, ‘house in the orchard’ is surrounded by six fully grown trees on a sloping plot that overlooks the valley below. through both its scale and overall character, the three-storey family residence seeks to blend into its natural setting.

jan-sepka-architekti-house-in-the-orchard-prague-czech-republic-designboom-02
all images by tomáš malý

 

 

the house is entered via a steel footbridge that takes into account the plot’s change in elevation. šépka placed the property’s main living area at ground level, where a secluded double-height space maximizes external views. a kitchen, a bedroom, and washroom facilities are also found on this storey. access to the next above is from a staircase that leads from the living room to the master bedroom above. a private office is contained within the uppermost storey, with a floor-to-ceiling window providing daylight and views.

jan-sepka-architekti-house-in-the-orchard-prague-czech-republic-designboom-02
the unconventionally shaped dwelling is surrounded by six fully grown trees

 

 

designed as a wooden house that sits on a single concrete support, the scheme’s complex timber frame was entirely prepared on computer. before work began on site, beams were precision-cut using a 3D milling machine — resulting in an easier and more efficient construction schedule. in order to assure the home’s structural stability, its irregular shape has been divided into planar triangles. externally, the building has been insulated with polyurethane and protected from the elements with a waterproof spray.

jan-sepka-architekti-house-in-the-orchard-prague-czech-republic-designboom-02
the residence is supported with a reinforced concrete foundation

jan-sepka-architekti-house-in-the-orchard-prague-czech-republic-designboom-02
the house is entered via a steel footbridge

jan-sepka-architekti-house-in-the-orchard-prague-czech-republic-designboom-02
the property’s main living area is at ground level

jan-sepka-architekti-house-in-the-orchard-prague-czech-republic-designboom-02
a secluded double-height space maximizes external views

jan-sepka-architekti-house-in-the-orchard-prague-czech-republic-designboom-02
a staircase leads from the living area to the master bedroom above

jan-sepka-architekti-house-in-the-orchard-prague-czech-republic-designboom-02
a private office is contained within the uppermost storey

jan-sepka-architekti-house-in-the-orchard-prague-czech-republic-designboom-02
the three-storey family residence seeks to blend into its natural setting

jan-sepka-architekti-house-in-the-orchard-prague-czech-republic-designboom-02
an aerial view of the site

jan-sepka-architekti-house-in-the-orchard-prague-czech-republic-designboom-02
the sloping plot overlooks the valley below

 

 

project info:

 

author: jan šépka
office: šépka architekti (prague, czech republic)
co-operation: vítězslav kůstka, jan kolář
client: private
enclosed area: 342 m3
total gross floor area: 80 sqm
project: 2011
realization: 2014 – 2016
main materials: concrete, wood, polyurethane
main providers: hobst, fortna stav, truhlářství davídek, pur-izolace
photography: tomáš malý

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