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Prague’s Passive Solar Social Housing Project Makes the Most of Inexpensive Materials
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
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