Architecture

Bizarre family home stands on one leg

Bizarre family home stands on ...
The House in the Orchard sits on a single concrete stilt
The House in the Orchard sits on a single concrete stilt
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The interior of the House in the Orchard looks a little cramped and awkward, but it is certainly unique
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The interior of the House in the Orchard looks a little cramped and awkward, but it is certainly unique
Heat for the House in the Orchard is produced by a wood-burning stove
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Heat for the House in the Orchard is produced by a wood-burning stove
The House in the Orchard has a total floorspace of 80 sq m (861 sq ft)
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The House in the Orchard has a total floorspace of 80 sq m (861 sq ft)
The House in the Orchard is laid-out over three floors
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The House in the Orchard is laid-out over three floors
The House in the Orchard's main living area 
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The House in the Orchard's main living area 
The House in the Orchard's bathroom
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The House in the Orchard's bathroom
Stairs lead up to the House in the Orchard's bedroom and ensuite
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Stairs lead up to the House in the Orchard's bedroom and ensuite
The House in the Orchard's kitchen has the proportions of a tiny house 
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The House in the Orchard's kitchen has the proportions of a tiny house 
The House in the Orchard's interior is very utilitarian
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The House in the Orchard's interior is very utilitarian
View to the main living area in the House in the Orchard's ground floor
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View to the main living area in the House in the Orchard's ground floor
The view towards the House in the Orchard's bathroom
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The view towards the House in the Orchard's bathroom
The House in the Orchard's uppermost floor looks well suited as a study 
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The House in the Orchard's uppermost floor looks well suited as a study 
The staircase to the House in the Orchard's second floor
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The staircase to the House in the Orchard's second floor
The House in the Orchard's interior is very utilitarian
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The House in the Orchard's interior is very utilitarian
The House in the Orchard has a total floorspace of 80 sq m (861 sq ft), spread over three floors
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The House in the Orchard has a total floorspace of 80 sq m (861 sq ft), spread over three floors
Access to the House in the Orchard is gained by footbridge
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Access to the House in the Orchard is gained by footbridge
Architect Jan Šépka told us that the unusual concrete stilt the House in the Orchard sits atop was used because it was much cheaper than typical foundations would be on such a sloped site
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Architect Jan Šépka told us that the unusual concrete stilt the House in the Orchard sits atop was used because it was much cheaper than typical foundations would be on such a sloped site
Access to the House in the Orchard is gained by steel footbridge
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Access to the House in the Orchard is gained by steel footbridge
A fixed steel bridge leads from a platform to the House in the Orchard
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A fixed steel bridge leads from a platform to the House in the Orchard
The House in the Orchard is located in Prague, Czech Republic
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The House in the Orchard is located in Prague, Czech Republic
A ladder appears to be to allow rooftop access
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A ladder appears to be to allow rooftop access
The House in the Orchard sits on a single concrete stilt
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The House in the Orchard sits on a single concrete stilt
Architect Jan Šépka told us that the unusual concrete stilt the House in the Orchard sits atop was used because it was much cheaper than typical foundations would be on such a sloped site
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Architect Jan Šépka told us that the unusual concrete stilt the House in the Orchard sits atop was used because it was much cheaper than typical foundations would be on such a sloped site
The House in the Orchard is located in Prague, Czech Republic
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The House in the Orchard is located in Prague, Czech Republic
The House in the Orchard has a total floorspace of 80 sq m (861 sq ft), spread over three floors
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The House in the Orchard has a total floorspace of 80 sq m (861 sq ft), spread over three floors
The House in the Orchard is covered with waterproofed polyurethane closed cell foam insulation, which lends the home its grey appearance
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The House in the Orchard is covered with waterproofed polyurethane closed cell foam insulation, which lends the home its grey appearance
Architectural drawing of the House in the Orchard shows an almost Tim Burton-like vision for the project
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Architectural drawing of the House in the Orchard shows an almost Tim Burton-like vision for the project
Architectural drawing of the House in the Orchard
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Architectural drawing of the House in the Orchard
The House in the Orchard is built from wood and features an intricate frame that was computer modeled
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The House in the Orchard is built from wood and features an intricate frame that was computer modeled
View gallery - 29 images

This bona fide architectural oddity in Prague, Czech Republic, by local firm Šépka architekti, looks very unlike most other family homes. Situated on a steep slope among some trees, the roughly pear-shaped House in the Orchard is raised on a single concrete stilt to cut down on building costs.

The House in the Orchard has a total floorspace of 80 sq m (861 sq ft), spread over three progressively smaller floors. Structurally, it comprises a complex computer-modeled timber frame, with waterproofed polyurethane insulation on the outside lending the home its gray appearance.

According to architect Jan Šépka, its unusual styling is influenced by practical concerns on the site, such as the existing trees and its orientation. In addition, Šépka told us that the reason the home sits on a single concrete stilt is because it was far cheaper to build it that way than to use traditional foundations on the sloped site – though we've no word on what the budget actually was.

The House in the Orchard is laid-out over three floors
The House in the Orchard is laid-out over three floors

Access to the House in the Orchard is gained by a fixed steel footbridge and the decor is very basic inside, with support beams left on show and no paint or splashes of color. There is a nice view towards a nearby valley however, and the living area glazing faces towards it. A skylight also increases natural light inside.

The ground floor includes the living and dining area, bathroom and kitchen, while moving upstairs reveals a bedroom and second bathroom. The uppermost floor features a single room with a window, probably intended as a study, though perhaps it could also serve as another bedroom.

One issue with such a quirky home is that it makes installing livable spaces and comfortable furniture a challenge, and the House in the Orchard does indeed appear rather cramped in places. The kitchen looks like the kind of space you'd see in a smaller tiny house and the main living space would no doubt seem a lot smaller once you add a couch, too.

Source: Šépka architekti

View gallery - 29 images
3 comments
Fairly Reasoner
Just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean you SHOULD.
Don Duncan
I didn't like it 'til I saw the comparison to surrounding choices. Images were not very revealing, e.g., one shot of the two most important rooms?
Jerry
Looks as comfortable as a bed of nails.