This Quirky Home in Prague Looks Like a Giant Mushroom

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By Michele Koh Morollo
Scaled to blend in with the surrounding trees, this Czech home rises from a concrete stem.

Set within an orchard on the outskirts of Prague, this unusual home boasts a modern, organic form that brings to mind iconic residences such as Antti Lovag’s Palais Bulles in Southern France and John Lautner’s Chemosphere house in Los Angeles. Czech architect Jan Šépka of Prague studio Šépka Architekti designed this residence for an old friend. 

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The steepness of the site inspired architect Jan Šépka to raise the house by resting it on top of a single, stalk-like concrete column.

The steepness of the site inspired architect Jan Šépka to raise the house by resting it on top of a single, stalk-like concrete column.

House in an Orchard rests upon a reinforced concrete foundation and resembles a mushroom with its organic shape.

House in an Orchard rests upon a reinforced concrete foundation and resembles a mushroom with its organic shape.

Constructed predominantly with concrete, wood, and polyurethane, the irregular, 861-square-feet dwelling was divided into planar triangular sections to allow for the stable arrangement of the birch plywood framework. 

Constructed predominantly with concrete, wood, and polyurethane, the irregular, 861-square-feet dwelling was divided into planar triangular sections to allow for the stable arrangement of the birch plywood framework. 

"Before the implementation, the beams were precisely cut on a 3D milling machine, and the construction was merely assembled like a construction set on-site," says Šépka. 

"Before the implementation, the beams were precisely cut on a 3D milling machine, and the construction was merely assembled like a construction set on-site," says Šépka. 

The ground floor plan is configured like a circle, which morphs to become two squares on the south side where the bedrooms, kitchen, and bathrooms are located.

The ground floor plan is configured like a circle, which morphs to become two squares on the south side where the bedrooms, kitchen, and bathrooms are located.

The windows in the first floor living area can be expanded to reveal gorgeous views of the trees to the north.

The windows in the first floor living area can be expanded to reveal gorgeous views of the trees to the north.

The window in the living area is oriented towards views of the Brook Rokytka valley, while the other rooms face the east and south.

The window in the living area is oriented towards views of the Brook Rokytka valley, while the other rooms face the east and south.

In the top floor study area, a large skylight draws sunlight from the south down to the two lower levels.

In the top floor study area, a large skylight draws sunlight from the south down to the two lower levels.

Inside, the three-story structure is covered in plywood sheets. Sprayed with a layer of polyurethane and clad in a gray, waterproof material, the facade resembles concrete or natural rock.

Inside, the three-story structure is covered in plywood sheets. Sprayed with a layer of polyurethane and clad in a gray, waterproof material, the facade resembles concrete or natural rock.

A ladder-like staircase leads up to the second floor where the bedroom and bathroom is located, then up to the third floor study area.

A ladder-like staircase leads up to the second floor where the bedroom and bathroom is located, then up to the third floor study area.

A bathroom is concealed discreetly behind the plywood walls.

A bathroom is concealed discreetly behind the plywood walls.

The organic form of the house, which was creating with computer modeling, was a result of Šépka's cost-effective structural decision. 

The organic form of the house, which was creating with computer modeling, was a result of Šépka's cost-effective structural decision. 

Project Credits:

Architecture: Šépka Architekti

Builder: Hobst, Fortna stav, Truhlářství Davídek