House Inside a Ruin

Studio ORA were approached to reconstruct a fascinating building. They found a house that suffered significant damage, a former homestead rebuilt under the communist regime in the Czech republic, into a granary. 

The house was looted and reorganised for another purpose. During the first site visit, they analysed its joints, niches and protrusions, discovering the original forms.

Despite its previous inconsiderate rebuilding, the house had not lost any of its grandeur. On the contrary, the way it is situated, the way it rises to the sky and the way its raw matter resists time, have proven to be of the highest quality.

It was a ruin to the bone. All that was left of the original house was a brick envelope with a roof. Together with the building owners, ORA asked themselves whether the house had a place to return to. Any attempt at a traditional repair would mean losing the original character of the ruin.

Relatively soon, therefore, they rejected a speculative reconstruction of the original state, as well as any other imitations. They proposed to fix the current state of the romantic ruins and enter the house anew.

ORA proposed to tear down the inner parts of the building and return its original layout with two floors instead of three, as well as the original scale.

Related to this is a return to the original division of the facade. Without sentiment and depending on the needs of the layout, they opened other large openings where needed.

The house combines low and high. ORA have inserted a new current layer, differing in its purpose from all the previous ones. A ventilated gap is maintained between the new and the original structure, and the structures do not touch.

The new structure is sometimes slightly shifted from the old one. The windows do not fit precisely the openings in the old wall, and it some places, the old wall is also present in the interior.

Guests of the house meet in a generous double-height living space with a tiled stove and a kitchen.

It also offers the conveniences of modern living. Stairs in a generous hall lead guests to individual rooms with bathrooms.

There, they can enjoy the tranquillity of the space and look out into the open landscape through the massive old walls that frame the views; or surrender to the silence that reigns here.

The round table in the hall communicates with a massive oak table outside, where you can move when the weather allows and be even closer to the surrounding landscape.

There is a visual intertwining of the two worlds. The new building penetrates through openings in the old wall, and on the contrary, the old wall enters through new windows.

Photography by Boys Play Nice

Architecture & Design by Studio ORA

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