Nový Bor, The Czech Republic
Designed by Jiří Opočenský together with Štěpán Valouch and a design team from ov architekti, two traditional early 19th-Century buildings were renovated, while another two similarly sized and shaped abstract black and white volumes were added in order to create a harmonic and functional new compound.
The task was to create a new company headquarters for the Lasvit—a company that continues a strong glassmaking tradition.
The client bought two historic houses in the centre of Nový Bor with the intention of using them as the company’s headquarters.
The houses historically used to be a glass workshops.
After this long tradition, the property was declared a cultural monument.
The architects considered the strong tradition and history of glassmaking, which they followed for the new design.
First, the two historically listed houses were renovated and cleaned of inappropriate interventions from the 1980s.
The new additions interpret a typical two-story glass house in its current form and pull together the complex into one functional unit.
One new white glass house was added to serve a company´s internal café, a meeting room, and also a library of samples, while a second new black house offers space for the presentation of 1:1 samples of glass objects that can weigh up to 5 tons.
The two new glass houses replaced an old brick neck that used to connect the historical buildings.
Inside, the interiors are surrounded by shelves that serve as a library and storage samples of glass elements.
The glass elements in the shelves are illuminated by daylight; after dark, they are backlit and glow on the outside.
The mantle and roof are covered with glass stencils, which were developed in collaboration with Lasvit and which are based on the proportion slate slabs used on gables and roofs in the region.
Also, the texture of the glass template was established on the fracture of slate slabs.
Insulation from the outside was removed, and clay plaster was placed on the perimeter wall.
Inside, the attached beams were replaced with new ones. The shorter healthy parts of the beams were preserved.
The architects left the attic space as free as possible.
The floor in the terrain stands on newly ventilated fittings.
The floor was fitted with dry compositions on modern embankments, which provide space for network management and improved acoustics.
Outside, the four houses are connected by a path along the courtyard, which is complemented by stops and nooks and crannies.
The glass house is entered through acoustic necks, the black house through a glass “tunnel.”
Trees were added to complete the landscape.
The renovated part of the urban block now consists of the four structures.
Another fifth house facing the square is planned and will be developed for a public café and several additional offices.
Architects: ov architekti s.r.o.
Design Team: Jiří Opočenský, Štěpán Valouch, David Balajka, and Anna Schneiderov
Project Management: m3m, s.r.o.
Client: Lasvit, s.r.o.
Photographers: Tomáš Souček, Boys Play Nice