Richard Meier & Partners Architects LLP

Oaks Prague Apartments

Nebrenice, Czech Republic

2015 -

The Oaks Prague Frontline Apartment Building is situated on a prominent lot fronting a golf course in the Oaks Prague Development, bounded by a mix of low-rise villas and townhouses and by a large public park towards the north. The building consists of a series of individual units connected by stairs and paved paths. The parti breaks down the mass into smaller volumes, minimizing the visual impact of the structure on the site and addressing the scale of the adjacent residential fabric. In response to the site topography and to the building height limitations imposed by the local planning and zoning department, the building gradually steps both in the north-south and east-west directions, limiting the height of the building frontage along the Golf Course. The project is also inspired by the local village typologies, which are often comprised of several smaller units connected by a linear path or road.

The building orientation maximizes the views of Golf Course and the adjoining forest, with each unit framing long-view panoramas of the surrounding landscape, while the configuration maximizes the internal common green courtyard, which virtually extends the fairway up to the residential units. The generous layout of the apartments and the fully glazed span of 8.1m from wall to wall, with large sliding glass doors, open up to either private balconies on the north side or generous terraces for entertaining outdoors on the south side.

The glazing at the double height Pool area on the west and south fa├žades visually connects the space with the magnificent long views of the surrounding landscape. The gray sandstone paving extends toward the Courtyard allowing the indoor and outdoor spaces to flow into one another during the warm seasons, for social gatherings and play. The composition of smooth white plaster surfaces and the rich material textures of stone and timber balance the striking and airy modern architecture with the traditional warm materiality of Czech villages.

The crisp geometry of the West Cluster contrasts with the softly curving volume of the East Block. Floating balconies, articulated planes, expressive and textured facades and canopies are characteristic elements of the design that intensify the different shapes and silhouettes of the building from various vantage points. Pivoting wood slats, along with sliding and folding timber panels which act as privacy screens, will not only evoke a sense of material warmth and softness, casting an interplay of shadows and providing an interesting visual layering effect, they will also complement the white plaster and stone cladding, affording an elegant and rich palette. Stone walls will anchor the site contours and bound outdoor terraces.

The design of the Cluster aims to be sensitive to its surroundings, as well as to enhance its immediate and future context. While the project is designed as an apartment building, its wider objectives consist in improving the quality of life for the residents and in setting a new standard for residential development in the area.