Prague-based DaM Architects recently completed a tenement housing project in the center of their city that takes advantage of passive solar design, glazing, ventilation and green materials to give it a high degree of energy efficiency. The firm organized the social housing project by stacking a series of brick-shaped apartments modules in a way that maximizes space, light, natural ventilation, and circulation. They also focused on keeping the project's overall cost down through the use of inexpensive materials, however they still managed to maintain a high level of quality through precise workmanship.
At the base of the social housing project sits a brightly colored gym surrounded by translucent walls facing the street. The rest of the project was built by adding brick-shaped apartments to create a succession of layers. Each compact apartment has at least two openings on either side to encourage views, daylighting and ventilation. Voids left throughout the building encourage air movement while making the urban infill project seem larger.
The project is oriented to the south and it takes advantage of the sun for heating in the winter. Meanwhile, window “boxes” on the ends help reduce solar heat gain in the summer. These boxes act like shaded interior patios, that provide more living space for each small apartment. The project harnessed inexpensive materials and precise workmanship to achieve a high level of quality. The tight and energy-efficient envelope is made from glass fibre concrete panels on the outside, galvanized steel, moulded glass blocks, and timber window frames.
Images © Andrea Thiel