Romantic Ruins Enclose a Modern House in the Czech Republic

Romantic Ruins Enclose a Modern House in the Czech Republic

By Tess Holland
The architects used as much of the original structure as possible—including the brick cladding and wooden beams—to turn this old granary into a quiet farmstead home.

When ORA undertook the project of revitalizing a structure in ruins, they were faced with a pressing question: could the house be saved? Taking in the scene of this dilapidated building—formerly a granary under the Czech communist regime—the architects had their work cut out for them. "It was a ruin to the bone. All that was left of the original house was a brick envelope with a roof," the architects share. Yet, they recognized the building's potential.

Set on revamping the structure—not demolishing it—ORA repurposed a great deal of the existing material to form an insulated, ecological home, naming it House Inside a Ruin. Delivering modern restorations to the original raw structure, "there is a visual intertwining of the two worlds," states ORA. 

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Returning the building to its original layout, the architects reinstated the home’s two-floor plan and "reused the structurally sound wooden beams as elements of ceilings and truss replacements," they share. 

Set between the old and new structures is a ventilated gap, which prevents the two forms from actually touching. This architectural element is visible through the home’s numerous windows, which give guests a glimpse of the original ruins—still exuding a quiet grandeur. 

Accenting the interior are glass mosaics, cement tiles, ash wood, and spruce boards. Outside, the garden is complete with verdant orchards, meadow lawns, and hawthorns.   

Related Reading: This Mountain Hideaway in the Czech Republic Burrows Into a Meadow 

Project Credits:

Architects of Record: Jan Hora, Jan Veisser, Barbora Hora, & Tomáš Pospíšil of ORA 

Structural Engineer of Record: Statika 3 Structure s.r.o.

Landscape Designer of Record: Atelier Stelar 

Building Owner of Record: Sýpka Arnoštov


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