Nestled in the grassy foothills of the picturesque Beskydy Mountains in the Czech Republic, this weekend house by Czech practice Pavel Míček Architects is a contemporary chalet that filters the area’s vernacular architecture though a lens of minimalist refinement. Constrained by rigid building regulations that dictated the shape of the building, the architects conceived the house as an elemental dialogue between two contrasting materials, these being concrete and larch wood, which allowed them to instil a sculptural finesse into the building’s familiar shape, and conceptually evoke the morphology of the surrounding landscape.
The house takes the form of a typical, gabled roofed mountain cabin, stripped down to its elemental geometry: a rectangular block topped by a triangular prism. By using concrete for the former and timber for the latter, the architects have highlighted the building’s minimalist shape and accentuated the inherent heaviness and lightness of the two building materials.
Built on sloped terrain, the lower part of the house is half-buried which makes the A-frame timber structure on top appear to grow out of the grassy meadow as you approach the building from the uphill road: The integration of the house and landscape will deepen with time as the concrete will be overgrown with moss and become darker, while the timber roof will acquire a greyish-silver patina.
The contrast between the concrete base and crowning timber structure is picked up by the interior configuration, the lower level being divided into several rooms housing bedrooms and service areas, while the upper level adopts an open-plan configuration providing ample space for living and dining. Predominantly clad in larch wood, the interiors are imbued with warmth despite the minimalist interior design, which allows, courtesy of large windows, the surrounding landscape to take centre stage. With a flowing brook gurgling downhill, grassy meadows rolling uphill and the forested mountain peaks looming beyond, we wouldn’t have it any other way.