Graceful curves of a clay blocks house

HELUZ_RD_Doudlebsko_Zdroj Petr Zikmund_3

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Object type: Passive house
Designer: Ing. Josef Vostracký
Specific need of heat for heating: do 15 kWh/(m2a)
Structure: Perimeter masonry with suspended facade


HELUZ assortment used



A couple has built a new house to afford a great view 

Graceful curves of a clay blocks house 

People usually wish to build a house, only then they start a search for a suitable place for its implementation. One family‘s attitude was quite different. When a plot of land on a hill with unrepeatable views was offered for sale, they decided to build a house there, although they already owned one a few dozens of meters away. Today they enjoy their dream views thanks to the "green" clay blocks house with large glass surfaces. The arched wall of the entire south side draws them into the surrounding landscape and offers the owners fantastic views of three cardinal points. 

For more than twenty years, the family had lived in a village they fell in love with. When they had the opportunity to buy a plot on the hill, they did not hesitate. “It would be a missed opportunity as the land has unique views of the forest and mountain peaks,” the investor recalls the impulse to build a new house there. After all, this helped them to decide whether to renovate their old house after their adult children have moved out. "My wife and I thought it would be easier to build a new, smaller, and more modern house,” the owner continues. He knew from the very beginning that the building would be made of clay blocks (HELUZ ground clay blocks) and would have as many windows as possible (Schüco window systems). However, the architect did not design the traditional shape of the house. The elongated rectangular plot, which is barely 16 meters wide, inspired the architect to use an atypical building shape of a curved bow, thanks to which the inhabitants of the house have not flat views but three-dimensional views.

“The entire south wall of the house is arched; the curve reaches its greatest dynamics in the living room. The reason to use this solution was the effort to move the living space away from the boundaries of the plot and to ensure privacy and the best views of the surroundings. A traditional cuboids’ shape would be aggressive, the rooms would be pushed too close to the adjacent land, and the intimate distance filled with a garden would be missing. Thanks to the arch, the shape of the house is delicate and natural,” explains Josef Vostracký, the project architect.

The building plot on the edge of the village was inclined westward, with an elevation of about 4.5 m from the access road on the east side. The longer side is oriented to the south; the west side has a nice view of the Blanský les mountain range. The living floor (ground floor) is levelled with the driveway, its west wing opens into a covered terrace, which is already raised by columns above the garden level and is protected from bad weather with a glass wall. The underground floor is below one-third of the ground floor and is levelled with the lower part of the flattened part of the garden.

Two parking spaces are located under the overlap of the roof leading to the main door on the north side. All rooms are accessible from the corridor behind the entrance hall: living area with kitchen, dining area, and glass living room facing south, as well as two more rooms, toilet, bathroom, and dressing room. The bedroom has a private bathroom with a sauna.

The outer walls were lined with cut clay blocks HELUZ FAMILY. The suspended facade is made of boards and larch laths, which create a pleasant natural design. The clay blocks house in combination with Schüco AWS 90.SI + aluminium window systems with thermal insulation triple glass met the owner's requirement for a passive house that does not lose heat energy in winter and is not overheated in summer. This was successfully verified in the Blower door test, i.e. by measuring the airtightness of the outer walls. Heating with a heat pump with a borehole also contributed to the thermal comfort in the house. The investor is always pleased to hear passers-by or cyclists praising the original house.

Project information

Project name: A house in southern Bohemia

Project author: Ing. Josef Vostracký, Ateliér Vostracký

Construction: The underground floor is made of concrete furring blocks; the ceiling is made of reinforced concrete. Outer walls are made with the HELUZ system – HELUZ FAMILY, partitions, and lintels  HELUZ.

Schüco aluminium systems - Schüco AWS 90.SI + and Schüco AWS 75.SI + triple glass insulating window systems, Schüco ADS 90.SI and Schüco ADS 75.SI door systems

Manufacturer of aluminium window and door systems Schüco: DAFE – PLAST Jihlava, s.r.o.

Built-up area: house 143 m2, covered terrace on the ground floor 24 m2, parking area 35 m2, underground floor 53 m2, storage 23 m2.

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