Located a stone’s throw from the historic centre of the small Czech town of Nový Jičín, this new-build looks like your regular modern chic two-storey home. Yet the house features one remarkable exception: an indoor garden built at the client’s request to live “largely in the open-air”.
The indoor court takes its inspiration from ancient Greek or Roman atriums: what was once a central court of a property, often featuring a garden, fountains, and columns. For this project, the “atrium” was reenvisioned as an elegant, modern grass lawn in the centre of the second floor, sunlit through a circular opening in the concrete roof. It also features a small plunge pool and a timber seating area.
“The residence in Nový Jičín is a variation on a classical Greek atrium house, specifically ‘Atrium Displuviatum’, as described by Vitruvius in his Ten Books on Architecture,” explains the architect, Marek Štěpán. “It is an atrium without columns and gutters.”
This atypical structure has made the home popular with children. “When I first visited the completed project, my 11-year-old daughter unexpectedly stayed there for the next three days, because she loved the space so much,” Štěpán recalls.