MBP House by EDIT! hides most
of its body below street level

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Prague studio EDIT! has sunken the majority of this Czech house below street level, so only a small gabled structure is visible to passersby (+ slideshow).

House on House by EDIT!

House on House occupies a stepped plot of land in the town of Mníšek pod Brdy, south-west of Prague, where local regulations required a pitched roof. To overcome this restriction, EDIT! designed a mini house with a traditional shape at street level, and concealed a larger rectilinear block underneath, opening out to a large garden.

House on House by EDIT!

"The site was previously part of a gardening shop full of greenhouses, which was later divided into smaller plots of about 1,000 square metres for individual housing," architect Juraj Calaj told Dezeen.

"The owners are a couple in their 30s who do a lot of gardening, so they wanted a small house of about 100 square metres, with maximum contact with the outdoors."

House on House by EDIT!


Related story: Apartments by EDIT!


The upper storey, which has a pre-weathered zinc roof, houses a guest bedroom, WC and small storage room, while the lower level houses two bedrooms, a reading room and an open-plan space for the kitchen, dining area and living room.

House on House by EDIT!

The lower level also supports a terrace on top, which is level with and open to the street. "This openness was an important aspect of the design," explained Calaj, whose previous work with EDIT! includes a Prague shop interior for Puma with chains and pulleys suspended from the roof.

"We didn’t want to fence the upper part of the house off. A big part of the roof can be accessed by the public."

House on House by EDIT!

Metal stairs have been added at the side of the house to provide an alternative, more informal route to the main living space.

House on House by EDIT!

"This ambiguity about how you enter the house was considered from the beginning," said Calaj. "It was important to have direct access to the garden from the street, and not just through the house. And the owners use this as their summer entrance."

House on House by EDIT!

The back of the house faces south, attracting direct sunlight throughout the day, and features a terrace at the lower level, which has an overhang to help shade the rooms inside.

House on House by EDIT!

Vertical sections of larch timber, chosen for its durability and colour, line the terrace and extend up to cover the roof, designed to give the outdoor space a sense of enclosure.

House on House by EDIT!

"We conceived the terrace area as a cut-out from the simple volume of the house, and used the wooden cladding is used to emphasise this," said Calaj.

House on House by EDIT!

A timber worktop in the kitchen creates a visual connection with the larch of the terrace, and large square windows frame views of the garden and trees beyond.

House on House by EDIT!

Windows in the reading room downstairs and the guest bedroom upstairs have been fitted with wide sills, which double as seats where the occupants can enjoy views and sunshine indoors.

House on House by EDIT!

Photography is by Mark Prethero, Blankfoto.

House on House by EDIT!
Site plan - click for larger image
House on House by EDIT!
Street level floor plan - click for larger image
House on House by EDIT!
Garden level floor plan - click for larger image
House on House by EDIT!
Long section - click for larger image
House on House by EDIT!
Cross section - click for larger image