Czech practice ORA (Original Regional Architecture) recently completed a renovation project on a 500+-year-old house located in the heart of Český Krumlov, a charming town in Bohemia, Czech Republic, which is also recognized as a UNESCO heritage site.
From the very beginning, ORA was captivated by the unique approach of the investors and captivated by the house’s enchanting atmosphere. Having experienced the feeling of falling in love with an old house and making it their own, ORA understood the challenges and joys that come with such a process. They recognized that old houses often have their own moods and quirks, and they aimed to embrace and enhance these characteristics.
The primary objective of the project was to preserve and showcase the historical origins of the house. The focal point of the apartment is the main living space, a salon adorned with a beautifully carved wooden Renaissance ceiling. At some point in the past, a partition had divided the room, but ORA decided to demolish it and restore the original open space.
During the restoration process, the team uncovered the original wall paint, revealing a rich, deep crimson color. The darkness of the surfaces, including the wooden beam ceiling and the walls, was a deliberate choice. ORA believed that a dark space creates a sense of intimacy and closeness, which contrasts with the airy atmosphere of a light-filled room.
The second space is the bedroom, where only a fragment of the original complicated painting on the ceiling is revealed. The rest of the space is made calmer by using a cream color for the walls. The third, but no less important room, is the bathroom. It is the lightest space in the house and because of this, cool colour tones were chosen. The atmosphere of the salon is solemn, whereas the atmosphere of the bathroom is uplifting.
The interior design is approached as a collage of motifs. The furniture is inserted into the historical space in the form of separate objects that create distance from the historical elements. The kitchen is like a cabinet that hides everything you need. The bed, connected to the wardrobe, stands in the middle of the room and is turned towards the light and the original ceiling painting. The sleeper is directed to explore the details of the surface. The bed is not only a place for sleeping but also for reading. This is made possible by lamps installed specifically for this purpose.
Most of the furniture is custom-made from dark stained birch plywood, the brass legs mirror the surroundings, blend in with it, and also support the spatial separation of objects. The lamp above the table is mounted on a bracket so that the historical ceiling is left untouched, a table has integrated bowls ready for a feast, and brass shelves display books.