This wedge-shaped construction in the Czech Republic replaces an old cabin on a site beside Lake Mácha in North Bohemia and was designed by FAM Architekti – the Prague office of British firm Feilden+Mawson – as a year-round retreat for a client with a keen passion for yachting.
Erected within the same boundaries as the former 1970s cabin, which was lacking suitable insulation and infrastructure, the simple wooden structure offers an improved connection with the forested site.
The use of wood answers the cabin’s environs and wood construction methods caused minimal disruption to the site. The cabin is raised above the forest floor on steel screws that allow the sandy terrain to continue underneath. The use of prefabricated construction techniques also helped to reduce the build time for the project, which was limited by the harsh winter weather. Components for the timber framework were laser cut and transported to the site, where they were assembled in just one and a half weeks. The client oversaw the rest of the building process over a period of ten months.
From the architects:
The replacement of an old cabin on a lake shore in Norther Bohemia respects the unique natural character of the site and follows the cabin’s original outline. The brief of the project was to provide an all year round retreat for the clients’ yachting passion, with minimum typology and maximum visual connections to the lake and the surrounding pine forest. The single pitch is a result of internal spatial planning as well as the relationship to the lake – shore axis represented by the mooring pier as a principle access point.
The interior of the cabin is accessible through the large window opening and is designed as a continuous space open to the roof. The tall end includes a sleeping gallery with a compact black box underneath containing minimal kitchen, toilet and shower facilities. The principle wall of the interior forms a deep full length cupboard for storage with a built in fire place. The continuity of the interior is enhanced by the unifying jangled timber cladding sealed in white oil finish, which gives it a feeling of a cave like retreat. The floor is a sand coloured cement screed relating to the sandy ground of the beach around the cabin.
The main focus of the space is on the vast views of the lake and on the relationship of the cabin with its natural surroundings. The exterior larch cladding reflects the verticality of the pine trees. One of the practical issues of the project was safety of the building when not in use. Fixed and folding shutters with identical larch cladding protect the openings and when closed result in a continuous elevation effect.
Architects: FAM Architekti, Feilden+Mawson
Location: Máchovo jezero, Doksy, Czech Republic
Area: 43.0 sqm
Photographs: Tomas Balej
Structural Engineers: Vittore, s.r.o.
Design Team: Pavel Nasadil, Jan Horky, Ondrej Freudl
M&E Consultant: Milan Mastalka, Zdenek Slavik, Vratislav Bilek
Quantity Surveyor: Jiri Sedlacek – Propos
Planning Supervisor: Feilden+Mawson Prague (FAM Architekti)
Lighting Consultant: Profilighting, s.r.o.
Main Contractor: Vittore, s.r.o.
Selected Subcontractors And Suppliers: Bernt Interiery, Zamecnictvi Tocimon