Otio, a serene stone cottage by Sebastian Nagy
Otio, a stone cottage whose name comes from the Latin word for serenity and leisure, was conceived as a place to return to and unwind after a long day of work. Designed by architect Sebastian Nagy for a village priest, the cottage sits in the parish garden of a small village in western Slovakia.
Otio has a deceptively simple and modest appearance. Walls of stone hug the ground and the shallow-pitched roof slopes down low. With new windows set within the stone walls, it could be mistaken for a reuse of an old building that started life as a barn or storage building set into the ground. However it is all new construction, and anyone expecting a dimly-lit structure with rustic finishes will be surprised at the bright and minimalist interior.
The interior is completely white save for the wood finishes of the kitchen cabinetry and the enclosure that defines the entry area. Off-white stone floors extend throughout the living space. Entering the living area, you immediately see the glazed wall that lets in all the light. The entire east-facing wall, from floor to ceiling and side to side, is glass.
Another surprise is just outside those windows: The stone walls enclose not only the cottage but also an adjacent courtyard. The window wall is set at an angle to orient the view towards the neighboring church. Looking out, the tapered courtyard walls focus the view on the church spire.
With 130 m2 (1,400 ft2) of floor space, Otio has two bedrooms and a large study lined up along its western wall. As built, the entrance to the master bedroom is through the study, but the door could be moved with only minor adjustments to the floor plan, allowing the study to become a third bedroom. The cottage was completed in 2010 for 150,000 Euros.
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