Organic Architecture in the Spirit of Catalan Traditions

An article for the Můj dům (My house) magazine, issue 11/2015; article author: Vlastimil Růžička
There aren’t many organic houses in our country, their number has been increasing rapidly, as a result of nature protection and energy savings. The building designed by the architect Oldřich Hozman is located in the fertile plain, between the villages of Torroella de Fluvia and Sant Miquel de Fluvia in Catalonia.

2013 Family house in Smolné Pece

A study of a low-energy house with a thatched roof in the village of Smolná Pec near Karlovy Vary. Building from natural materials with clay plaster and a furnace.

Study

From the Construction

Project for the Construction Permit

Example of the Implementation Documentation

2012 Bio-dynamic Agriculture Farmhouse Bemagro

A study of the Bemagro ecological organic farm complex in Meziříčí u Kaplice. The proposed buildings will include farm for breeding hens and pigs, administrative building, canteen, training hall, small dairy plant, and small slaughterhouse. The building will be built from environmentally friendly building materials. Phase I of the project is the dairy. There will also be a new wastewater treatment plant.

Finished Building

Interiors

Office interiors are placed in first floor of the Bemagro milk factory. All furniture is made from larch-tree wood. All surfaces are painted with natural oil by Kreidezeit.

Project of interiors

Study

Samples of sketches from the early stages of the project when the ideas of the needs and future use of the buildings in the emerging facility were born. Sketches were created along with the creation of architectural models. The models were developed together with company employees.

Creation of the Model

Samples of the architectural model. They were created together with company employees.

From the Construction

Example of the Implementation Documentation

Implementation Documentation in pdf

2011 Camphill in České Kopisty

A project of the Camphill sheltered housing in České Kopísty near Litoměřice. The intention is to create an area with several buildings for community housing. The facility will include sheltered workshops such as textile, carpenter, and pottery workshops, a workshop for processing beeswax and candles, bakery, fruit drying room, and facilities for farming and working with animals.

Interiors

A project of the interiors for the  Camphill  sheltered housing in České Kopísty. Interiors and furniture in the socio-therapeutic facility. Implementation of natural materials. Because of their shapes and colours, the used shapes of furniture, doors, and windows have therapeutic character.

Study

Creation of the Model

Joint work on the model helps to develop forming of the community. It leads to sharing ideas and linking individual opinions. The work that is created in this way is subsequently bore during the realization by the auxiliary forces that are connected with the spirit of the community. As a result, these are the real daily situations during which the work is done. In the beginning, everything came from a mutual agreement … and from creativity, where one shape is followed by the next one …

Project

Example of the Implementation Documentation

2008 Reconstruction of MAITREA – House of Personal Development in Prague

A project of complex reconstruction of the Maitrea apartment building close to the Old Town Square. There are vegetarian restaurant, alternative lectures and information centre, meditation room, offices, and apartments located in the house. The project is integrally solved, including geomancy and feng shui. The construction methods and materials used are based on the Baubiology principles. Throughout the house, there are clay plaster and healthy radiant wall heating.

Articles

You will find more information about the house on the Maitreya company website.

Building after the reconstruction

Interior of the Maitrea restaurant

The interiors of the Maitrea restaurant in Týnská street 6, Prague 1. Together with the client and the operator, we wanted to design a beautiful and healthy environment for the human soul. The restaurant is an oasis for refreshment of both body and soul. The interior is made of natural materials and it was developed based on the principles of feng shui. In the restaurant area there are several works of art, such as fountains and a fireplace.

Interiors of the house

Study

Project

Geomancy and Creation of the Environment

In terms of geomancy, subtle energies were checked in the house. For example, the Bovis energy, geopathogenic zones of ground water, and the house was also connected with the energies of the sacred energy lines of Prague. In the basement, a small stone circle is placed in the floor of the restaurant in order to harmonize the whole building. During the construction of the house, there were several harmonizing rituals conducted for the being of the house and the spirit of the place.

From the Construction

2008 Study of Anthroposophic Centre in Prague

A study of the new headquarters of the Czech Republic Anthroposophic Society by the method of joint modelling. The aim of this study was to capture the creativity and inspiration of the customers to the shape of the future educational and cultural centre. The design was created in a group of around 12 to 15 participants in two days. During the creation, opinions about the morphology and style were mutually shared  and functional parts of the building discussed. It was thus both artistic and social level of activity, leading to the final agreement within the community.

Creation of the Model

It is important to make it possible for future users to make the most of the design. When working on the model, connections that a man could not think about on the paper emerge from the process…

Based on the consideration of the number of rooms and their orientation towards the world’s parties, we began to create the model of the educational centre. The method of joint work allows the process of design to bring not only the power of thinking but also the power of feeling and will. Each member of the team brought life and joy into the process of modelling. Teamwork makes it very easy to feel the connection and follow the work of others. This creates a mutual consensus on the construction and its surroundings. By the means of modelling, all participants can better interact with the emerging design .

When working with clay in modelling, a certain quiet, concentrated mood arises. It attracts our attention and awakens the power of inspiration that enters the process of joint creation.

2007 Square in Vlachovo Březí

A project of the pavement of the square in the village of Vlachovo Březí in South Bohemia.

The structure of the square tiles follows the sacral geometry of the church and geomantic properties of the surrounding landscape. From the subtle energy point in front of the altar in the church interior, there are energy lines running in the star pattern into the neighbouring energy sites in the nearby landscape. The directions of these energy lines are captured and highlighted by lines in the pavement of the square by stones of different colours. This is an implementation where subtle energy geomantic features are incorporated into the architectural work of the landscape in an artistic manner .

I have begun to visit he landscape around the town of Vlachovo Březí in 1987. I was therefore delighted when in 2005, I was awarded the project a new solution and paving of the square. I based the artistic solution and structure of the pavement on the idea to “print” the subtle energy lines directions in the tiles. As I discovered during my geomantic survey, most of them heads into the power point in front of the altar in the church interior.

Finished square

Study

Geomancy and creation of the environment

From the Construction

[avia_codeblock_placeholder uid="0"]

2007 Atrium family house with garden in Říčany

The project of the atrium low energy family house was inspired by the elements of Japanese architecture. The main idea of the house, to arrange the rooms around the inner garden, is based on the principles of holistic architecture and feng shui. Only healthy building materials were used to build the house. The supporting structure of the building is made of wood, which has been cut down in appropriate days according to lunar rhythms. The half-timbered walls are made of unburnt bricks. The walls in the rooms have clay plaster. The roof is thermally insulated with a 30 cm thick layer of corn straw. The perimeter walls are insulated with a 30 cm thick Hofatherm fibre insulation and a 5 cm reed mat with an external lime plaster. Vented, all-wood floors are insulated with a 30 cm layer of hemp straw. The basement and foundations of the house are made of sandstone. The windows and doors are made of solid oak wood. All wooden surfaces are treated with wood oil. The entire building has a grassy, maintenance-free green roof.

Related articles

Geomancy and Creation of the Environment

The proportions of the building are based on the sacred geometry of the tree of life. The location of the building on the plot and the interior layout avoids the geopathogenic zones. The bedrooms and beds are located outside the groundwater line and outside the Hartmann and Curry zones.

Finished building

Interiors

Study

Study of the garden

From the Construction

2005 Family house in Chrustenice

A low-energy family house in Chrustenice contains principles of geomancy and feng shui. The main building and also the annex with a toilet and a boiler room have energy-saving compact shape. Proportions of the floor plans and construction heights of the house are based on the sacred geometry of the square and the circle. The location and function of the rooms in the house relate with the movement of the sun across the sky. On the southern and western side, the living rooms are located. On the northern and western sides, there are technical and support areas. The disposition arrangement uses the so called passive solar gains. There is a combined tiled oven with stove located in the centre of the house. The interior heat is accumulated during the cold seasons in the dividing walls built of non-fired bricks and inside clay plaster.

Related articles

Finished building

Interiors

Study

Geomancy and creation of the environment

At the beginning of the construction we celebrated laying of the foundation stone of the building together with the owners. It is a traditional way to establish cooperation with elemental beings of the place. It’s a celebratory ritual helping to be consistent with the subtle energies, the so called consciousness of the place (the spirit of the place). By own actions and intentions, every person creates new relationships with elementary beings. Laying the foundation stone is the act, when the owners connect with the supportive beings that will help them in their lives in this house. We celebrated the ritual of laying the foundation stone together with the children and relatives of the owners. The foundation stone is placed deep below the floor of the house. During its placing, it was symbolically buried under ground, sprinkled with water, cleansed with the smoke of incense and illuminated by a candle flame. There were celebratory verses recited for the place and thanks expressed to all beings associated with the place. Since the completion of the house, several years has already passed. The owners of the house have been happy, enjoying the living there.

From the Construction

2005 Family house in Lány

A project of  low-energy house in Lány. Ecological timber construction of the house from natural building materials. The shape of the house emerged during creating a model of the sculpture clay. It lively captured the idea of the client on the future shape of the house. The construction is facing south with its wide side. It receives solar gains through its windows and solar panels. The project includes the inspiration by the feng shui doctrine. It is also based on the geomantic survey of the land. The basic idea was to create a healthy home with a high level of artistically worked details.

Finished house

Study

Creation of the Model

Joint work on the model helps…

Geomancy

Together with the owner we approached the plot from the start with internal humility and respect. When the owner bought the land, we made a celebration of defining the place. We walked along the plot, dispersing salt on the border and sprinkling it with water. The elementary consciousness connects with the new owner this way. Salt cleans subtle energy and through its fine crystals it connects the place with the consciousness of helpful elemental beings. Water connects the spirit of the place with the spirit of man. After the construction of the house started, there was a celebration of the laying of the foundation stone. During the laying celebratory verses were recited for the place, and thanks to all beings associated with the place were expressed. The wish of the owners about what they want to experience in the house was pronounced. Any such ritual is a very private and personal matter. It is a salutary act, building intimate union of man with the soul of the land and the house.

From the Construction

Project