New How Architects’ Vision for Kamenice: The Symmetrical Haven

In recent times, the quaint village of Kamenice has witnessed a burgeoning population and, consequently, a surge in construction activities. As the original village undergoes urbanization, a new wave of urban-style architecture is emerging, particularly in the village center. One notable project in this evolving landscape is the design of two striking villas by the esteemed NEW HOW architects. Situated proximately to the heart of Kamenice village, adjacent to the main urban axis of Ringhofferova Street, these villas are more than just dwellings; they symbolize an artistic gateway to the center of Kamenice.

The plot allocated for this innovative project is trapezoidal in shape, characterized by longer parallel sides and diverging shorter sides that face the roads. This geometric motif profoundly influenced the fundamental urban composition of the proposal, giving rise to two almost identical square-plan structures, with their external facades aligned with the shorter sides of the plot. Interestingly, these structures are meticulously rotated by 13 degrees from each other, forming an irregular communal space adorned with original mature trees. This unique rotational principle is not confined to the buildings alone; it is also mirrored in the design of the curved parking space, the roof, and the funnel-like widening access road.

Two villas designed by NEW HOW architects
Two villas designed by NEW HOW architects. Photography by Petr Polák.

The project encompasses a carefully thought-out division of functions within the site, structured along longitudinal strips. An access road to the parking lot is delineated along the eastern perimeter, while on the opposite side of the parking lot, a pedestrian walkway spans the site from north to south, linking Ringhoffer Street to the northern pedestrian walkway. The broadest strip of the plot, situated to the west, is dedicated to private housing. A central area, featuring original mature trees, exudes a park-like ambiance nestled between the two residences, fostering a semi-private space that encourages community interaction among the residents. Private front gardens seamlessly connect with the ground-floor apartments in the peripheral regions of the residential zone.

The central idea that propelled this visionary project was to seamlessly integrate two apartment buildings into a mature green environment without overshadowing the neighboring structures. The result: two charming villas boasting square floor plans and diagonally pitched roofs, perfectly in harmony with their surroundings. Characterized by dynamic facades and wooden cladding, these villas radiate a welcoming and civilized expression, blending seamlessly with the natural elements of their surroundings. Their architectural design embodies a universal principle that elegantly addresses the unorganized development prevalent in the wider center of Kamenice village.

Both villas adopt a single-staircase building typology, ensuring accessibility to all apartments on a floor from a singular vertical communication space. Spanning three floors, including an attic on the top level, each villa accommodates eight apartments, varying in size from 2+k’ette to 4+k’ette.

The structural elements of the buildings, such as strip footings, ceilings, and balconies, boast monolithic reinforced concrete, underscoring their robustness. The load-bearing walls, on the other hand, are constructed from durable brick blocks. The roof structure is meticulously finished with a grey PVC membrane, supported by wooden rafters and steel purlins. External walls are impeccably insulated with mineral wool and adorned with vertical wooden slats crafted from Siberian larch. The covered parking space features a sturdy composition of steel profiles and trapezoidal sheet metal roofing, exuding a contemporary appeal. Additionally, the roof is adorned with an extensive green cover, seamlessly blending with the surrounding nature. The access road to the parking lots is thoughtfully designed, showcasing concrete grass blocks filled with fine gravel, reflecting a commitment to sustainable and aesthetically pleasing urban planning.

NEW HOW architects have masterfully epitomized a harmonious coexistence of contemporary living with nature and tradition in the village of Kamenice through their visionary design of these twin villas. Their architectural prowess has set a benchmark for sophisticated yet functional design, epitomizing a symbiotic relationship between human habitation and the environment.

All images © by NEW HOW Architects and Petr Polák. Don’t hesitate to browse through the Architecture section on WE AND THE COLOR for more inspiring projects from all over the world.

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