Jul 06, 2017 / Architecture
Brick Garden with Brick House by Jan Proksa

Brick Garden with Brick House is a minimalist architecture project located in Moravia, Czech Republic, designed by Jan Proksa. Traditional villages in the Southern Moravia region of the Czech Republic are characterized by their distinctive urban planning. The streets are lined with L-shaped row houses neighboring each other on narrow rectangular plots, each with its own long and narrow backyard. A single multi-generational family home typically consists of three parts: the street-facing house inhabited by parents with their children, a home for the grandparents bordering on a courtyard, and the remaining lot to the rear of the property which was traditionally used for small-scale farming.

In general, the front-facing houses are more spacious and feature more elaborate construction techniques. The façade, for example, the house’s public presentation to the neighborhood, is plastered and colored in light natural tones. The rear buildings, however, typically remain unplastered, as such a solution was an unnecessary expense. The use of exposed brick architecture for the rear buildings was a simple, durable, and cost-effective solution which nonetheless radiated familiarity and warmth. The architect decided to respect this tradition, using bricks for the construction in the rear of the property.

The building is long and narrow, conforming to the historical shape of the lot. However, the designer departed from tradition on one point, in terms of structural planning: whereas a typical house would be one elongated L-shaped structure, they decided to detach the existing front-facing house from the new addition. Both houses thus retain their individual identity. The flat roof further emphasizes the simple elegance of the new structure. It evokes and celebrates the perpendicularity of the property, as if the façade itself were an additional property-line fence.

Photography by Jakub Skokan and Martin Tůma