When apartment living became constricting for a couple and their two children, the growing family asked architect Martin Boles to design a more spacious and private family home in rural Slovakia. Boles responded with the DomT House, a barn-inspired timber home that draws inspiration from the owners’ childhood experiences in the countryside and the town Stará Ľubovňa’s farm vernacular. Filled with natural light, the cozy gabled house is wrapped in an energy-efficient shell with 45-centimeter-thick insulation and uses passive solar principles to minimize energy consumption.
The DomT House is primarily constructed of wood to resemble the traditional stodola, or barn-like structures, commonly seen in the Slovakian landscape. The gabled shape, clad in untreated Siberian larch, extends along the site’s northern end with a glazed southern-facing façade, and is kinked in the middle to optimize solar conditions. The glazed south-facing facade uses passive solar to heat the interior naturally, while natural ventilation, wooden screens, and existing trees protect against overheating in the summer.
The spruce-lined interior features high ceilings and an abundance of natural light. The architect placed the load-bearing concrete walls in the center of the rooms and hid the steel columns behind the glass facade to create a greater illusion of spaciousness. The kink in the middle of the building divides the home into two parts: the open-plan kitchen, living room, and dining space to the west and the private quarters to the east. Additional wooden rooms for leisure and play are inserted throughout the home. The home is mainly decorated with furnishings constructed of natural materials that provide a striking contrast to the central concrete walls.
Images via Martin Boles