Bratislava-based firm Nice Architects recently completed the North Star apartment building, a striking complex in the town of Senec, Slovakia. The building features distinctive prism-shaped balconies that were designed according to the position of the sun, offering both privacy and natural sunlight. With 91 apartments and 5 street-level shops, the North Star building provides affordable housing while and adding a bold new identity to the town of Senec.
Nice Architects' new addition is just the latest in the trend of growth that the nation has been experiencing since the early 1990s, when Czechoslovakia was peacefully dissolved into Slovakia and the Czech Republic. One of only four post-communist states in the European Union, Slovakia has its continued development to thank for the expansion of its built environment, especially in the realm of private family residences. The new crop of Slovakian homes look are entirely forward-thinking. Let's take a look at what this eastern European nation has to offer.
Derived from the Latin word "otium," meaning "free time," Otio is a remarkable retreat in the small village of Dražovce. With its combination of rustic stone cladding and a striking saddle roof that gently slopes downward to enclose an outdoor terrace, the vacation home gives a nod to the local vernacular.
Drawing inspiration from traditional wooden houses found throughout the Slovakian countryside, the architects chose to clad the Weekend House in insulated vertical timbers. This design exudes warmth and comfort, and thanks to a roofed atrium, a wellness area, and two lofted bedrooms, it's the perfect weekend escape.
Located near the forest above the village of Kostol’any, Villa A appears to emerge from the hillside like a boulder. The distinctive tin roof resembles a shell that protects the façade, a wooden plane punctuated by rectangular windows.
Inspired by a vernacular house in a remote settlement of northern Slovakia, the design for this family home features the archetypal pitched roof of local residences. The home comprises three separate structures, each clad in spruce timber and stone to continue the theme of traditional touches.
With a horizontal band of windows and smooth white exterior that bends toward the ground, the Dom Zlomu house calls to mind Bauhaus design. The shape was designed to mitigate the sloping of the site.
Atrium conceived the Villa P as a series of joists, parallel steel and wooden supports. The building is oriented westward, and the porch, balconies and extensive glazing offer views while blinds control light.
By lifting the main volume up off the terrain, the design for Villa H simultaneously avoids the site's complicated topography and gives a sense of lightness to the building. Horizontal wooden timbers intersect thin strip windows on the street-facing side, while on the back, large windows look out to a private terrace.
Smooth, polished wood provides contrast against the dark paneling on the façade of this guesthouse. Its southern exposure ensures interiors are flooded with ample sunlight, while a built-in shading system keeps the home cool.