Small worlds for the joy of living. Druhá kůže has selected the best student housing projects

The winning project of the twelfth year of the competition was Housing Libeň by Michael Albrecht from the Kuzemenský studio. The jury appreciated the work with context, the polished layout and details offering a user-friendly living environment. The announcement of the results took place on 29 February at the Faculty of Architecture of the CTU.
© Jiří Ryszawy

Each year, the Druhá kůže presents different approaches to designing buildings for housing, reflects on studio teaching at the faculty and opens up debate on the methodology of designing residential buildings. For this year's edition, a record 60 projects from 22 studios were nominated by teachers in the Housing Construction Studio.

The winning works were decided by a jury composed of Jaroslav Šafer, Karel Janda, Magdalena Hlaváčková, Marek Blank and Ján Stempel. The jury evaluated the urban context, compliance with technical requirements for residential buildings, layout and overall expression. "We particularly appreciate the high level of elaboration of the individual projects and the scope of some of the assignments," said the judges. They also advised the students to place more emphasis on the quality and legibility of the floor plans. In addition to the main prizes, four honorable mentions were awarded for original and bold solutions.

The award was presented by the Dean of the FA CTU, Dalibor Hlaváček, together with the representatives of the jury, the chairman Jaroslav Šafer and Karel Janda. He congratulated all the nominees and also mentioned Dean Emeritus Zdeněk Zavřel, who was at the birth of the competition. The authors of the winning entries received a total of CZK 23,000.

All projects are published on the competition website. Photos from the award ceremony can be found in the gallery Life of FA.

1st prize

Michael Albrecht – Bydlení Libeň – studio Kuzemenský 

Author's statement 
Libeň is a place of many faces and personalities. It seems as if every corner of this district has its own culture. But the most interesting are the places where these cultures intersect. Our plot is one of them. The sparse settlement of the steep hill with distressed dwellings from the First Republic era transitions seamlessly into austere and dignified block development. The entire composition is framed by a reinforced concrete railway viaduct across the sky. I take something from everyone. The dignity and austerity of the block development, the functionality and simplicity of the bridge structure and, above all, the joy of living and human creativity from the Hájek settlement.

Jury evaluation 
The jury appreciates the appropriate character of the addition to the block urban structure, the quality of the design of the diverse public spaces, the calming of the main public space (without IAD). The jury also appreciates the work with the context and hierarchy of public and private spaces, the residential character of the environment, the concept refined in layout and details. The resulting scale of the building offers a user-friendly living environment. For some of the houses, the jury appreciates the semi-public gardens with entrances to individual sections..  

2nd prize

Marek Krbec – No Hustle and Bustle – studio Valouch–Stibral 

Author's statement 
Attractive locations in touch with nature and the Prague as well. The task was to give the places new life. Beroun is looking forward to a promising future in the form of a tunnel. Thanks to this, the journey to the center of the City of a Hundred Spires is going to take 15 minutes. We were counting with increase in population and the overall attractiveness of the area. We have designed an urbanism that can withstand this change and contribute to the functioning of the city. Highway with rails and the junkyard forms the boundaries of our landscape, so we designed large courtyards on the territory, small worlds where newcomers can hide from the surrounding noise. The apartment building I designed lets in people and light, but not the hustle and bustle. 

Jury evaluation 
The project is based on a solid urban concept of a compact district. The size and shape of the inner semi-public courtyard and the position of the individual vertical roads are based on the block layout, the shape of the block generates a solution for a large number of different layouts, the height and scale of the house makes it look pleasant and residential. Commercial spaces are proposed on the ground floor with a higher structural height, which corresponds to the urban character of the development.

2nd prize

Štěpán Musil – In Tandem – studio Valouch–Stibral 

Author's statement 
With the deteriorating availability of housing in Prague, we are forced to look for a new opportunities to build places to live. Proximate contact with the railway may be a great advantage for some, despite that, the majority of these plots remain unused. Dobřichovice is one of the most desirable locations near Prague. However, the high standard for living comes at a price, so to purchase a home as an average young family is highly problematic. On the contrary, the close railway connection offers great potential for younger people in active age. The design is focused on the possibility of living in the desired location in a more affordable form, but with sufficient space for residents with a starting family and only within a few minutes distance from the direct connection to the capital. 

Jury evaluation 
The clear rational architecture works with the concept of a barrier pavilion layout. The jury appreciates the work with context. The expression of the houses corresponds to the setting by the railway line and the starter type of housing. Convincing graphic design of the project.

3rd prize  

Lukáš Lipka – Ostrava tower – studio Koucký 

Author's statement  
Generosity, purity, elegance. This is how Ostrava Tower can be described. The shape of the building is determined primarily by its square plan of 24 by 24 meters, while at the same time taking mass from the higher floors. This reduction of mass lightens the building and brings light into the apartments in the neighboring development. The building is also defined by its elevation of 1.5 meters, which has contributed to the creation of four gardens full of greenery and life. The façade of the building is influenced by the same pattern of windows, achieving its simplicity and elegance. The Ostrava Tower brings 71 new apartments to the area. It offers comfort, luxury and creates a space for ideal living in the heart of Ostrava.

Jury evaluation 
A convincingly designed large-scale project with well-designed layouts that respond to the technical requirements for high-rise buildings. The simple order on the façade reflects the design principles with the solution tectonically freeing the corners and using them for the main living spaces.  The entrance hall corresponds to the scale of the building. 

Honorable mentions: 

Filip Kiršbaum – Apartment Building – studio Mádr

Honourable mention from the jury for expressive artistic expression.

Simona Suchá – Jenga – studio Zmek–Krýzl–Novotný

Honourable mention from the jury for unconventional, ingenious and playful use of urban space for housing. 

Eliška Medřická – Metabolix – studio Sosna–Filsak

Honourable mention from the jury for finding a strong and unambiguous concept. 

Lukáš Fořt – Living Above the Žižkov Depot – studio Seho–Poláček

Honorable mention from the jury for the unusual use of the roof of the existing structure.

For the content of this site is responsible: prof. Ing. arch. Michal Kohout