Labor 13 House in Vernerice

Labor 13's new slant on the greenhouse

Czech architects employ socialist values of make and mend for house in Vernerice

Last week we brought you what is quite possibly the greenest office building in the world right now (left), today we alert you to what may be the greenest house. Prague-based architects Labor 13 had three things in mind when it was designing a house in the northern Czech town of Vernerice: make the construction costs as low as possible; take full advantage of local materials and human resources; and take the term ‘open plan’ literally.

Its solution was a small dwelling in the footprint of a former stone barn. The old barn’s ruined but remaining walls on either side have been restored and create a courtyard space. Labor 13’s house is basically a square box, much of it constructed from wood from the barn. So that’s points one and two taken care of. The open-plan aspect comes courtesy of five vast and barn-like doors, which open to reveal virtually the whole interior along the south wall. 

Under Socialism, the Czechs spent decades having to be resourceful with very little on hand to use. We think Labor 13 has turned this skill into a charming and stylish creation. If you're a fan of this kind of ingenuity, be sure to check out Vitamin Green, our survey of contemporary green and sustainable design and architecture.