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Internal Landscape Villa by Atelier Štěpán

Internal Landscape Villa by Atelier Štěpán

Studio: Atelier Štěpán
Author: Marek Jan Štěpán
Contact E-mail:
Social media: @AtelierStepan
Studio address: Kremličkova 6a, 621 00 Brno-Řečkovice, Czech Republic
Design team: František Brychta, Lukáš Svoboda, Tomáš Jurák, Hana Arletová, Hana Myšková

Project location: Janáčkovy sady 2295/3, 741 01 Nový Jičín
Project country: Czech Republic

Project year: 2012 – 2015
Completion year: 2020
Built-up Area: 330 m²
Usable Floor Area: 351 m²
Plot size: 505 m²
1400 m3

Client: Miroslav Mixa / MIXA VENDING
Client’s e-mail:

Photographer: BoysPlayNice,
Contractor: Tomáš STRAUB, Abete dřevostavby

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About studio

Atelier Štěpán is an author’s studio whose modern architecture grows on conservative roots. It was founded in 1997 by Vanda and Marek Štěpán. Since the beginning it´s been dealing with architecture, public space and art, and developing archetypal concept of architecture.

It is rooted intellectually in Moravian and Austrian region. Their work is especially known for sacral architecture. This has been recognized several times, proved by the several important awards that it has received.

Among best known is the Church of Beatified Restituta in Brno Lesná (2020) with a magical rainbow dome, the Church of Holy Spirit in Ostrava (2007) with geometry based on basic shapes, the Church of Holy Spirit in Šumná (2008) as a reference to early Christian buildings, the round shaped Church of St Wenceslas or the area for the Mass of Pope Benedict XVI in Brno (2009).

Atelier Štěpán currently carries out civil, residential and experimental buildings. This year, the Winery Přátelé Pavlova project in Pavlov was completed, and the Conceptual Cloud installation for the Museum of Applied Arts in Brno is nearing completion. Recently, the studio was working on the concept of minimalist residential units Freedomky or the refurbishment of Café Fara in Klentnice.

Marek Štěpán was an external consultant for architecture for the head of the Office of the President of the Republic during the years 2006-2012. He is currently head of Sacral Space Laboratory and vice-dean of Faculty of Architecture, Brno University of Technology. Atelier Štěpán has won significant awards (for instance The 10 Best Buildings of 2017 – Azure Magazine).

“I wanted to try and create an inner disposition in which people can move naturally, where they can swim like a fish in the water. The kind of relaxed living where you subconsciously anticipate where everything is. The natural flow of the daylight is most important. As light flows through large windows as well as through circular openings in the roof. When I first visited the completed project, my eleven-year-old daughter unexpectedly stayed there for the next three days, because she loved the space so much.“ (Marek Štěpán – Naturalness)

This residential project is located very conveniently near the historical town centre. But also, in the close vicinity of large parklands that have favourable influence on the local microclimate. Another great advantage of this location is a fragile network of social connections to its surroundings, such as proximity to the places of work and schools, family ties and cultural events in the Nový Jičín.

The client wished to live largely in the open air, a brief that was not easy to fulfil as the plot was small and complex in terms of town planning regulations.

The two-storey residence is located on a gentle sloped terrain, which is fully reflected in the concept. The building is composed of an inner residential landscape facing inwards, into an inverted living experience, in parallel with providing openings into the outside world. The villa is horizontally divided into three different platforms.

The entrance platform at the street level is made of concrete and contains the utility rooms. The main living platform with the social area is elevated by a little less than a storey above the street level. The external atrium is elevated by another half metre.

The social and resting areas are constructed of timber, and are orthogonal to each other. Both areas are connected to a grassy atrium, the inner core of the whole house. A sauna with a small plunge pool closes the atrium separating it from the street.

The most important areas of the villa are compositionally emphasised. For example, above the dining table there is a large circular window that accentuates it with daylight. The fireplace, as a symbol of a loving home, is situated at the end of the entry axis into the house. A large romanticising motif of Lysá Hora (mountain) decorates the bedroom.

The facades of the house are simple and abstract. They express the material essence of the house. The ‘front garden’ is replaced by integrated elevated linear planters.

“The residence in Nový Jičín is a variation on a classical Greek atrium house, specifically Atrium Displuviatum, which means atrium without eaves/gutters as described by Vitruvius in his Ten Books on Architecture. It is an atrium with no columns and the rainwater is directed away from the atrium.“ (Marek Štěpán – The atrium)

Construction and materials

Describing it in simple terms – the bottom is made of concrete; the top from timber. The basement is made from faced white waterproof reinforced concrete. The storeys above the ground are constructed of large panels of Cross Laminated Timber.

The outside walls are clad with locust timber cladding. The interior floors are finished unpolished concrete or oak, and the outside terrace is made of locust boards and a grassed area. The black aluminium glazing system is triple glazed.

The villa is constructed to a low-energy standard. The inner climate is controlled by a recuperation unit with forced ventilation. Heat is provided by a gas condensing boiler unit and distributed by under floor hot-water heating system in combination with wall heaters.

A solar panel on the roof is used to heat the bathing water. The groundwater is high in the area so the basement is encompassed by an air chamber and there is a rainwater reservoir under the atrium.

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