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House in a Steel Corset by Šépka architekti

House in a Steel Corset by Šépka architekti

Address: Osvobození Nr. 442/22, Prague – Suchdol
Investor: Králova Family
Author: Jan Šépka /Šépka architekti/
Collaboration: Jan Kolář
Supplier: Mastavby s.r.o.
Project: 2010 – 2014
Implementation: 2015 – 2019
Area of the building plot: 708 m2
Built-up Area: 188 m2
Total floor area: 310 m²
Roof terrace: 165 m2
Total enclosed space: 1410 m3
Author of the photography: Aleš Jungmann

It is the construction modification of a family house in Prague, which was completed and reconstructed several times as an originally recreational building from the 1930s for permanent residence. Considering these interventions, its stability was no longer sufficient. The fundamental decision was thus to complement and in general stiffen the construction with a steel corset. Another problem was the original mansard roof, which had a thickness of only 15 cm. The removal of the entire roof, which we decided for in the end, allowed not only a more effective resolution of the problem of the weatherproofing but also adaptation of the layout on the second floor above ground so that it met the demands of the investor.

The second floor is also expanded by a new room in the space of the former terrace. The steel corset is not only a technical element; it is intended also as a trellis for climbing plants, and consolidates the entire building in terms of the architecture. The whole corset is comprised of the same steel prisms welded from L profiles in a module of 1280 mm.

This module made it possible to ideally preserve the existing openings of the retained part of the building. The masonry construction of the second floor from lightweight concrete blocks complements the bearing steel part and helps carry the new roof reinforced concrete slab, which will serve as a walkable terrace with a garden modification. Access to the roof directly from the garden is made possible by a service staircase, which is designed from the side of the building within the steel construction.

The interior of the second floor leaves the concrete blocks and concrete ceiling visible. Along with the supporting steel structure, all materials are therefore admitted in their natural form. This rough interior is complemented by mobile furniture made of birch plywood in the form of sleeping cells, cabinets that divide the rooms and solitary furniture. An integral part of each room was the design of the curtains. Every family member chose his or her colour solution on the same selected theme. The interior and exterior of the building create a platform that will change over time.