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.
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.