A garden pavilion amidst the greenery. Wooden building opens up to nature

The clients for whom this small garden pavilion was designed have a large garden in the city centre, which is only a 10-minute walk from their flat. When staying on the plot, the family tries to spend as much time as possible outdoors and approached BYRÓ architects with a specific and perhaps somewhat paradoxical task. They wanted to erect a new building on the site of an old, dilapidated cottage, but at the same time did not want to close themselves off from the surrounding nature. The building was to offer only a modest space, primarily in inclement weather, and to allow for occasional overnight stays during the summer months. An additional function for the winter season was to provide storage space for plants, somewhat resembling a winter garden.

The architects considered how best to connect the building with the surrounding garden and eventually came up with the idea of a folding panel that allows one of the house’s walls to be completely open. In this way, the interior seamlessly integrates with the surroundings and the garden penetrates into the building, creating a kind of paraphrase of the loggia, which was the primary architectural inspiration here. When opened up, the polycarbonate wall also acts as a roof, thus enlarging the covered space in which to stay during rainy weather. The panel mechanism consists of steel cables, pulleys and counterweights, so that one person can easily open the entire facade.

Ogrodowy pawilon

The garden pavilion is located on the foundations of an original wooden cottage on allotments near the Vltava River. It is located in a setting where, in addition to the lush garden, there are greenhouses and gazebos, as well as several other small cottages, most of which are used as storage and storerooms. The cottages are similar to each other, mostly dark, almost windowless and characterised by a romantically imperfect and irregular form. The character of the surroundings has been tried to blend into the new building, which is made of dark, burnt wood (shou-sugi-ban technique) with a natural texture. With the shutters closed, it blends in with its surroundings and resembles other buildings in the area.

The building is designed as a timber-framed structure. The interior walls are plastered and the back wall with integrated bookcase and ladder leading to the first floor is lined with wood. The structure of the library and the upper floor is made of wooden slats, which creates a subtle atmosphere and lets in natural light. Thanks to the windows oriented in three directions in combination with the polycarbonate panel, the light mood in the building changes throughout the day, and even when closed, the interior does not feel cramped.

Ogrodowy pawilon

The dimensions of the floor plan are minimal – 3 x 5 m, and the building height is less than 5 m. The building is not connected to any power grid, it only has a photovoltaic panel that covers basic energy consumption and provides lighting.

Studio: BYRÓ architekti
Authors: Jan Holub, Tomáš Hanus
Project location: Prague, Czech Republic
Year of completion: 2023
Photographer: Alex Shoots Buildings

Read also: Architecture | Summerhouse | Wood | Czech Republic | whiteMAD on Instagram

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