The AIR House design reacts to the contemporary demographic development in the Czech Republic;where senior housing presents a very imminent social topic (currently 20% of all households).
Our main inspiration comes from a typical Czech custom of spending weekends in "chata" – a cottage or cabin out in the country. During the socialist times from 1948 to 1989, the majority of the population had no money to invest in a „proper country house“, and a very unique type of unorthodox, folk architecture had developed for over four decades in the former Czechoslovakia. In composing the house´s volume and functions, we worked with the traditional features of a typical Czech farm house with shaded porch and barn in an L-shape configuration that creates a protected courtyard connected to the farm yard.
The concept combines a minimum interior living area with a generous outside area. The economy-sized disposition is based on the tradition of minimal housing, where an ingenious architectural design saves space and therefore saves purchase and operating costs. The flexible living space accommodates kitchen, living, dining and sleeping space. The technology module features a bathroom, technical rooom, outside kitchen and storage. The sun deck can hold different activities such as cooking, gardening, relaxation and storage. The integrated edible natural garden functions as a mediator between the house and the surrounding nature.
House within a house
The composition of AIR House´s main volumes is primarily based on the “house within a house” concept which works with the principle of two skins.
The First Skin is formed by a thermal insulation envelope of the living area that is made of massive wood panels in combination with natural wood fiber thermal insulation. Under this skin the main volume and all indoor functions of the house are contained.
The second Skin, formed by a solar wooden canopy, protects the First Skin from thermal stress caused by the sun and the wind, and generates electric energy and hot water via photovoltaic and solar-thermal panels attached to the canopy´s structural elements.The space between the two skins generates tension between the interior and exterior. It creates a unique atmosphere, a play of light and shadows. From further away, the house looks very compact and its volume appears a simple cubic shape.
An important aspect of the AIR House design is the creation of a strong link between the house´s exterior and interior. Our aim was to extend the relatively modest interior living space outside and allow the users to benefit from a shaded terrace for their activities. This terrace, thanks to the glazed wall that divides it from the interior space, can be fully functionally connected to the interior and serve many purposes – as a meeting space for social activities, as a dining room, kitchen, movie theater etc. Also, with the sliding doors open, the interior becomes immediately part of the exterior, and during summer evenings the inhabitants can fully enjoy the fresh breeze while still being protected from the eventual rain shower.
An edible garden is integrated in the terrace deck and acts as a mediator between the house and the surrounding nature.