using straightforward and efficient construction techniques, ‘zen houses’ is a project based on simplifying the meaning of housing and development. located outside liberec, czech republic, the dwelling has been split into a residence and a studio, addressing the notion of combining living and working together. 

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petr stolin architekt, zen houses
all images © alexandra timpau unless stated (image here © filip šlapal)

 

 

realized by petr stolín architekt, the construction is split into two identical cubic volumes: one for residing in, the other for working. these rectangular forms –3 meters in width– with the height of two floors, sit adjacent to each other and positioned to frame a large a tree and face south. the exterior envelope is clad in transparent acrylic panels that has been mounted on a simple wooden frame to highlight the detail of the exposed timber structure.

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in between the two volumes, a garden area has been created

 

 

taking cues from japanese architecture, the experimental character of the houses deliver a deliberate austerity. both volumes contain a half mezzanine level and large recessed windows that frame the fields outside and floods the interiors with natural light. the living quarters is finished in black, whereas the studio is in white. furthermore, the project keeps with a low budget by using a basic palette of materials including chipboard, wooden beams, plywood, raw metal and rubber.

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the exterior is clad in acrylic panels to reveal the timber frame

 

 

despite the separation of programs, the residences have a mutual visual contact. a short elevated platform outside connects the two spaces together and allows for the void space in between to serve as a private garden and outdoor dining space.

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both volumes contain three external living areas; public, semi-public and private

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the office area on the mezzanine level frames the large tree houses

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chipboard, wooden beams, plywood, raw metal and rubber kept in the small budget

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despite the separation of programs, the residences have a mutual visual contact

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a pathway leads into the dwelling

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the living space is finished in black in contrast to the white studio

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openings on each face of the volume invites natural light and views of the rural setting

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the façade appears as a transparent layer allowing the viewer to sense the mass of the house

 

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