House Under the Castle Most

The elevation in Most on which Hněvín castle stands forms the dominant landmark of this northern Bohemian city. The southern slope is covered with vineyards, and the northern slope with allotment gardens. The latter has been undergoing a gradual transformation away from recreational use by cottage gardeners, towards the year-round inhabitation of individual residential properties. The land plot in question, which is located in the upper half of the northern slope, has several peculiar aspects that had to be dealt with: a conical, irregular shape; undersized access via a local one-way road; a significant downhill gradient – but also, and in spite of all this, a gorgeous view across the ČSA strip mine of the Ore Mountains, a massif crowned with wind turbines. This particular spot, as well as the city at large, are full of contrasts. A landscape violated by the declining coal strip mining industry is juxtaposed against the primeval vista of the massif that is the Ore Mountains.

The specific character of the plot had fundamental impact on where to put the house, and how to resolve its mass composition. The footprint of the house follows the line of the extant support wall. The house is inserted into the hillside on a platform such that its mono-pitched roof traces the inward slope of the road above the land plot. In this manner, the bulk of the house interferes minimally with the road, and does not obstruct the view of the valley below. The overall composition culminates in the upper floor, reminiscent of a spire, which affords the best views of all rooms inside the house. The interior is dominated by clean shapes and lines, with a basic color palette of white, grey, and yellow. The large windows create framed landscape panoramas – ever-changing pictures of the outdoors.

build: 2013

photo: Martin Kocich

award: Wooden building of the year 2013