Situated on the outskirts of the ancient town of Olomouc in the eastern Czech Republic, Slunakov is a center for ecological and educational activities that acts as a gateway to the Litovelske Pomoravi natural reserve. Inspired by the shape of a solar eclipse, the beautiful biocenter is built along the curve of the land and takes full advantage of passive design by employing a southern facade of windows with adjustable blinds.
A beacon for ecological architecture, Slunakov supports public environmental awareness programs and acts as an information center for the nature preserve its built upon. The eastern side of the center is buried into the ground, allowing vegetation to form a verdant green roof that functions as a garden area for visitors. The sunny southern hall houses residential areas, offices, and a dining room, while the building’s essential appliances are located along the cooler northern hall.
Constructed almost entirely from sustainably harvested wood, glass and unburnt brick, the center maintains a natural look and feel throughout. In addition to its energy-saving passive design, the building utilizes a variety of active systems to provide heat for the 4 months of the year that it is needed. Heat is recovered from appliances, generated by biomass sources, and solar thermal panels are used for water and space heating. Geothermal heat exchangers provide climate control and ventilation by moving warm and cool air in and out of the building as necessary, and the building also has 2 wood pellet furnaces for chilly winter workshops.
Designed by Prague-based studio Projektil Architekti, Slunakov was completed in 2006