Small Country Home with Dramatic See-Through Wall

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By Patrick Sisson / Published by Dwell
A traditional floor plan gets a minimalist update, complete with a classic porch.

When a client approached Slovakian architect Peter Jurkovič about building a home in semi-rural Čunovo, outside of the capital city of Bratislava, Jurkovič decided to stick with tradition. "Living small, it resonates," he says. His spin on country living kept true to centuries-old tradition while staying as simple as possible, with a straightforward three-room scheme on the ground floor, a north facing glass wall under the gabled roof that reduced the need for sun shading, and a traditional "ganok," an under-roof porch that looks tailor-made for a rocking chair, possibly even strumming a guitar if the mood strikes. Jurkovič talked Dwell through his 915-square-foot ode to simplicity.

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The north wall of the IST home functions as a cut-away, offering a peek inside an efficient yet cozy dwelling. Architect Peter Jurkovič built the home for a woman who had sold her flat in the big city of Bratislava and wanted something that reminded her of the village life of her childhood.

 

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Built by a crew of three, the home makes a virtue out of being unfussy and straightforward. The north-facing glass wall under the gable, with a triple-glazed facade, doesn't require shading or insulation. The quick-to-build structure—which consists of just structural insulated panels (SIB) made from OSB panels with a foam core, and a concrete floor that retains heat—doesn't include any complicated systems or require much maintenance.

 

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The garden-facing "ganok," an under-roof porch, connects the home with the outdoors. A key part of traditional homes, according to Jurkovič, the ganok gives these narrow buildings on small plots of land more outdoor space.

 

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Inside, the custom-built casework and splashes of blue and red stand out. Jurkovič designed a central "service box" on the ground floor, so open space wraps around the plywood-encased core which contains the kitchen, bathroom, toilet, stairs, and storage.

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The kitchen and dining area benefit from the light that pours in from the glass wall. A set of Hay J77 chairs and a YES Crane Light wrap around the table.

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606 Universal Shelving designed by Dieter Rams for Vitsœ maximizes space in the media center of the home. The near-Tiffany blue that wraps the door frame is a traditional touch, according to Jurkovič.

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Balanced above the central core, the office offers an ideal perch for work with a west-facing skylight that provides natural illumination for the shared desk space.

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The back bedroom and small bathroom benefit from warmer, more playful flooring, including the geometric black-and-white pattern below the tub.