When it comes to designing smaller living spaces, there are a myriad of ways to maximize the limited space available. One could use multifunctional “transformative” furniture, or one could make the staircases retractable, or perhaps hide a carousel cupboard under your bed. Essentially, whether it is a micro-apartment, a small house, or a vehicle converted to a small house on wheels, there are many small space design ideas that can be translated and adapted to meet a specific need. wide variety of challenges.
In the South Bohemian region of the Czech Republic, boq architekti (formerly) successfully translated some of these useful small space design ideas into building a compact but comfortably efficient waterside retreat for a family. This area is well known for tourism and this pond-side house (or “Dům u rybníka”) is not only designed to maximize its small footprint, but to enhance the idyllic views of the water.
As the architects explain:
“On the edge of a small South Bohemian village, in an area interspersed with famous South Bohemian ponds, a mini-house has developed, serving as a refuge from the bustle of the city. [..] The glass facade is a key element of the whole house. The living space is elevated and thanks to the generous glazing the owners can enjoy a magnificent view of the countryside close to the water. ”
The cottage’s simple, gabled shape is inspired by what designers identify as the locality’s “classic rural archetype”. Yet it also sports a clean and minimalist look, thanks to its white plaster exterior walls, which contrast sharply with its dark gray galvanized sheet roof.
The addition of a long rectangular-shaped volume, which contains the bathroom and the sauna, helps to add additional space, as well as a certain dynamism to the external form.
Entering through a door in the side of the rectangular volume, one enters the entrance hall, where one can hang coats and store shoes.
This leads to another door which opens onto the main living areas of the kitchen and living room, which are oriented towards this huge glazed facade overlooking the pond.
The living room is not too big, but beautifully bright, thanks to the glass patio door and generous windows, all guiding the gaze to a peaceful view of the pond.
Much of the interior is done in a way that echoes the minimalist envelope while enhancing natural light and giving the illusion of a larger space, explain the architects:
“Inside, the supporting elements come into play. The steel I-beams are recognized and are complemented by a subtle steel staircase with wooden steps and other steel furniture. The whole is completed by wooden elements and accessories in neutral color. The main motif inside is the outside landscape, which literally changes every minute and thus creates a unique atmosphere. ”
The stairs are designed in a way that helps to emphasize the intention of the design towards lightness and airiness. Rather than being made of heavy, thick woods, the stair frame is made of light steel, while the stair treads themselves are made of thin pieces of wood.
The result is a slimmer profile for the stairs that still lets in natural light and the unobstructed view. With the addition of handrails on both sides, the shape of the stairs is slightly steeper than usual, allowing the stairs to take up less floor space, much like in the shipbuilding industry.
Behind the stairs, the dining room and the kitchen are located at the other end of the ground floor. The kitchen is laid out along one wall, while a large row of white paneled cabinets lines the other wall.
Unlike the neutral palette of the walls, we have a darker slate colored material for the cabinets and fixtures with a sleek black finish, which helps add depth to the space.
Upstairs, we have a mezzanine where the sleeping area is located. There is an opening window in one of the sloped roof walls that allows light to enter.
There is also an office here on the mezzanine which overlooks the living room below.
Back on the ground floor, from the kitchen side, we enter the rectangular volume which contains both the bathroom on one side and the sauna, which overlooks the pool, on the other.
The use of darker materials in the bathroom creates a cave-like atmosphere, which is balanced by a few shiny touches of metal and an explosion of warm-toned recessed lighting in the shower alcove.
By strategically opening the house to nature on one side and arranging the interior in a way that maximizes light and space, this little pond-side house ends up being quite cozy and feeling big enough. To learn more, visit boq architekti.