Mjölk Architekti creates gabled wooden headquarters for Czech timber company
Czech studio Mjölk Architekti has created a mass-timber building with a gabled solar-panelled roof for the headquarters of timber and forest management company Kloboucká lesní in the Czech Republic.
With its oversized timber gable, the four-storey structure in Brumov-Bylnice nods to traditional architectural forms. But the studio also wanted to underline the possibilities of timber buildings.
"We wanted the new building to be made from local materials and we wanted to know how far we could go with it in terms of design and, more importantly, in terms of construction," Mjölk Architekti architect Filip Cerha told Dezeen.
"The result then is the monumentality of the gable, which gives us a beautiful space of a covered terrace planted with pots of greenery, but above all refers to the magnificence of the possibility of using wood in buildings that can help to build sustainably."
The building's frame is made from glued laminated timber (glulam) and designed as a modular shell that would create a flexible interior for the building and allow for future adjustments to the space.
The glulam was made using spruce from Kloboucká lesní's own forests surrounding the building and manufactured by the company just a hundred metres from the site.
The 1,034-square-metre Kloboucká lesní headquarters comprises office spaces as well as workshop and relaxation spaces on the ground and first floors, while the top floor will host lectures, company events and presentations.
Inside the headquarters, timber and concrete ceilings match the exposed concrete floors.
Glulam timber profiles, wood panelling and wood-glass acoustic partitions were used in lieu of solid walls to create a light, spacious interior.
"These partitions give the interior an open feel," the studio said. "All the glazed walls and the bio-board cladding have sliding bearings in relation to the movement of the timber building."
Mjölk Architekti designed the building's interior to show off its inner workings.
"The building itself reveals the design principles on which it is based, how it is plotted and how it is connected," Cerha said.
"In the dark, as the ribs of the structure itself recede into the background, we perceive the individual internal arrangements within the building," he added.
"That is why we have tried to make every functional thing immediately obvious and legible at a glance, not obscured by anything. We think that everyone should be able to see the essence of the whole house."
Kloboucká lesní aims to manage its forests sustainably and replant trees when they are harvested for use in its timber products.
To reflect this, Mjölk Architekti incorporated a number of sustainable features into the building. This included covering the roof with solar panels that produce enough energy to meet the building's energy needs and create a surplus that can be used for the company's production.
Glass covers the parts of the roof where the sun doesn't reach and there are no solar panels. Open ponds near the building are used to store rainwater runoff from the roof, which is then used for irrigation and for cooling during the summer months.
The building and surrounding facilities are heated from a central boiler house that uses wood chips from the company's own production as biomass to make it independent from other fuel sources.
"The building is designed to set the direction for the future," Cehra concluded. "For us, this means taking into account ecological considerations, simplicity and frugality combined with the latest technologies."
Mjölk Architekti has designed a number of recent projects in the Czech Republic, including four animal-like lookout towers and a "glittering glass extension" to a centuries-old cabin.
The photography is by BoysPlayNice.
Chief engineer: Pavel Srba
Structural engineering: Lostade CZ
Construction supervision: Petr Vlček
Concrete contractor: Michal Drga
Wooden construction contractor: Pukýš Drevostavby
Electric engineering: Elseremo
Mechanical engineer: Ladislav Stružka
Heating and plumbing: Mont SA
Steel construction: KL Techstage
Interior partitions and claddings: Woodyglass
Lighting solutions: Konvičný – Lampárna Lighting
Landscape architecture: Atelier Partero
Garden contractor: GISarch studio
Flat roof solutions: Izolplast Zlín
Pavement contractor: Strabag
Wooden terraces contactor: Pavel Fojtík
Sheetmetal products: Petr Zimáček
Graphic design: Lenka Mičolová