Czech architecture firm ov-a recently replaced a former 1980s department store in the mountain town of Pec pod Sněžkou, Czech Republic with Apart-hotel Svatý Vavřinec, a modern mixed-use complex with 90 apartments that celebrate the alpine surroundings. In place of the barrier-like shopping complex that had obstructed views into the village, the architects created a green-roofed commercial plinth topped with four timber-clad apartment towers. Dubbed the “meadow,” the accessible green roof serves as a semi-private open space with room for an outdoor grill with seating, a children’s playground and private terraces for individual suites.
Taking inspiration from the local alpine vernacular, the architects created Apart-hotel Svatý Vavřinec with natural materials and simple gabled forms to blend the architecture into the landscape. The commercial plinth is clad in stone and topped with an intensive Optigrün green roof. The four gabled apartment towers on top vary in size and orientation and are clad in cedar and large windows that embrace views of the outdoor landscape. If apartment owners choose to rent out their units, guests can enjoy access to a complete hotel experience with a reception and cleaning services.
The commercial plinth also offers new amenities for the greater community, including a supermarket, a pharmacy, a sporting goods store and a ski and bicycle service shop. The commercial spaces can be accessed through the interior of all of the apartments as well. The building has two underground garages on different levels.
“The core character of the area is shaped by the individually standing buildings along the main street that are in close contact with the surrounding nature,” the architects explained. “The atmosphere is captured by a road rising through the valley alongside streams and by the openings between houses that allow a view of the further planes of the village and the cabins scattered on the meadows. The design of four apartment buildings continues the thread of these qualities and develops and further elaborates on them.”
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