Richard Meier & Partners Architects LLP

Oaks Prague Villas

Nebrenice, Czech Republic

2015 - 2020

With sweeping expansive views of the nature around the site and the woodlands, the Oaks Prague Villas will be unique additions to the Oaks Prague Development, a private residential community nestled in the Czech countryside. Located on opposite ends of the Oaks Frontline Apartments, also designed by Richard Meier & Partners, the two villas will complement the building and contribute to the residential fabric of the development.

A distinct parti defines the design of each villa prototype. One design expresses a simple linear mass oriented to maximize views towards the golf course, and the second prototype reflects a more compact structure and dynamic juxtaposition of planes and volumes.

The villas occupy approximately 650 s.m. above grade and 100 s.m. below grade, with generous rooms and open spaces. In both schemes, semi-public areas such as the living room, dining room, kitchen and family room are located on the main floor, while the private quarters are situated on the upper level. Outdoor amenities for the villas include a landscaped garden, which separates the site from the street and the adjacent lots, as well as an outdoor pool and a fireplace. These meticulously designed elements extend the interior rooms into the surrounding landscape and create a gradual transition to the nature around the site.

The general concept and design of the villas was driven by the stringent local zoning and planning regulations, which mandate a traditional pitched roof. The proposed solution is as simple as it is ingenious: a simple gable roof with a rotated ridge, resulting in a dynamic structure that, while recalling the pitched roof of Czech villages, reinterprets it in a sculptural and contemporary structure. White composite panels clad the striking roof volume and wrap it continuously along inclined and vertical surfaces. Blond oak panels line the underside of the roof and fold it into the interior envelope, creating a contrasting element with texture and domestic warmth. Exterior sun screens overlap the more public and open spaces to reduce glare and heat, filtering the natural light while remaining porous and open to the views over the surrounding landscape.

A covered and semi-enclosed walkway marks and orients the arrival sequence, which is experienced as a promenade connecting the detached garage structure to the villas. Upon crossing the threshold of the main entrance, the spectacular view of the golf course opens up in front of the visitor, along with long vistas of the surrounding forests. As in the Smith and Neugebauer houses the interior spaces expand into a dramatic double-height living area which frames the outdoor spaces with the sharp lines of the roof above.