Sometimes the old ways are the best - which is certainly true when it comes to this small, simple, and elegant Slovakian home built by JRKVC. The IST-Family House reduces its ecological footprint through simple techniques such as smaller windows for better insulation, less square footage, and the use of local materials to reduce transport costs. Another notable feature is the traditional under–roof porch, called a “gánok,” which ensures constant contact with the outside environment, even during inclement weather, and the cold winter months.
Built to follow a traditional three–room scheme, JRKVC‘s IST-Family House is organized around a central “service box” made from plywood. The box is able to accommodate a bathroom, a toilet, stairs, storage space, and a kitchen all in one place. Negative space around and above the box is used as a guideline for the bedrooms and main living room. To prevent the space from feeling too crowded, a huge curtain wall extends the home’s interior out into the garden.
Instead of complicated heating and cooling systems, the architects decided to employ tried-and-true low-tech methods. An expansive concrete floor stores thermal energy and helps to heat the interior, while the house’s orientation does away with the need for a sun shading system. Regardless of weather, residents can relax on the porch to get some fresh air and exposure to nature, and on more gloomy days, a large skylight helps to fill the home with light and alleviate any “winter blues.”
Images by Peter Jurkovič