Living in a Box


The house located in Žižkov, Prague was designed by ORA (original regional architecture). The office describes the project as follows:

The task of the project was to create a custom-made interior for a minimal apartment so that a family of four could comfortably live there. The apartment is intended as a weekend residence, not as a permanent residence.

Initial situation
The apartment was created by dividing an originally larger unit, with its current size being less than 37 square meters. In this area, the developer proposed a layout divided by several partitions. Such a solution would only leave space for narrow corridors between the furniture.

The investors approached us during the construction process, thanks to which we got an opportunity to change the layout. We got rid of all unnecessary partitions and created a studio apartment. Only the bathroom remained separate.

We placed a free space in the center of the studio. It is a rectangular space, with a table and chairs in the middle. However, mowing the table and stacking the chairs creates big enough space for one to stretch out. In this way, one doesn't feel cramped. In our design, we considered 'the possibility of stretching the body' as a 'unit of measure of crampedness'. The room seems more spacious due to the mirror behind the kitchen.

A place for sleeping needs to be separated from the space. We were inspired by medieval box beds. The parents' bed is inserted between two shelves hiding it. If the sleeper wants to expand his horizons or free his long limbs, he opens the flip door at his feet.

The children's sleeping area is located in the two-level box. The lower bed serves as a couch during the day. The upper bed is hidden behind a small door. A box is lined with oak slats. Slats gradually transition to the wall separating the bathroom, which becomes a part of the built-in furniture. Thanks to the doors that reach up to the ceiling, the bathroom does not draw additional attention.

The entire apartment is treated in a uniform material – massive oak. The different wood pickling represents different zones – bright kitchen as a metaphor for the morning, transparent lacquer for the day and dark pickling for the night.