Villa Bôrik. This is how our neighbours build their modernist houses

Villa Bôrik is located in the city of Žilina, Slovakia. Its design was prepared by a team of architects from the MNOGI and LABAK studios. The shape of the white building is reminiscent of the iconic houses of Modernism. This was also the architects’ idea; they wanted to create an iconic building.

The villa has a large surface area. The total area is 818 square metres and the usable area is 315 square metres, with a large part of it underground. The house has three levels, and each has been given a different functional layout. The heart of the building is a spiral staircase connecting all the floors. The architects designed it not in the middle, but on the side. It is a ‘projecting’ tube that is clearly visible from the outside.

Villa Bôrik is grand, but it was built on a typical street of detached houses. Each of the houses in the neighbourhood has a garden. The villa’s residents can also enjoy similar greenery. To make the house fit in better with the rather chaotic buildings of the neighbourhood, the architects opted for a white façade.

Despite its simple form, the building looks different from each side. The western part is more utilitarian. It is defined by a grid on the façade that separates the building from the street. This wall dampens the noise somewhat, gives a sense of privacy and prevents the interior from overheating. On the side opposite the ‘tube’, there is the entrance to the house. It is highlighted by a triangular canopy. In this way, the architects used all the basic shapes of geometry in their design.

photo by Maxime Delvaux

The ground floor is the living area. The architects designed this part with an open plan. It is one large room where the furniture has been quite freely arranged. The lack of partition walls means that sunlight streams in at all times of the day. The interior is raw, the floor and walls are grey in colour, which made it the perfect backdrop for the colourful furniture and accessories.

The bedrooms were created on the first floor. They have been placed in the corners, and bathrooms have been designed between them. The last usable level is the basement. The architects designed a sauna and technical rooms in it. This part of the house can also be accessed directly from the garden.

In 2024, the house was nominated in the Mies van der Rohe EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture for the most beautiful new architectural development in Europe.

photos: Maxime Delvaux

design: Martin Jančok, Michal Janák, Zuzana Kovaľová, Ruslan Dimov

Read also: Villas and residences | Single-family house | Modernism | Minimalism | Slovakia | whiteMAD on Instagram

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