Small House On a Hillside | Vladimír Balda
This small shed-roofed house is at the edge of a suburban area in the Czech Republic. It sits on a steep slope facing to the north. Architect Vladimír Balda designed it with a “reverse floor plan”, putting the living area on the upper floor in order to give it a southern exposure. The lower floor was dug into the hillside so that there could be direct walk-out access from the upper floor living room via large glass doors leading to the south-side patio. The windows on the north side were kept relatively small for the sake of energy efficiency. From the photos in the gallery it appears that the best views are of the neighboring forest to the north-east. We would probably have taken better advantage of those views, but the homeowners placed a higher priority on minimizing energy use and keeping their expenses down.
The living area of the 87 m2 (936 ft2) house has room for a home office workspace in one corner. A steep spiral stair leads down to the two bedrooms, one full bathroom and one half bathroom.
The fireplace is in the center of the living area, allowing the fire to be seen from both sides and giving more even heat distribution. However the disadvantage in a small house is that it does take up a lot of room. The owners of this small house note that as the home is well-insulated, they rarely use the fireplace and if they could start over, they would leave it out altogether.
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