Prague studio Ov-a Architekti built a translucent house and restored a group of 19th-century wooden buildings for the office of the glass company Lasvit in Nový Bor, Czech Republic.
The architecture studio renovated a pair of existing homes and added black-and-white house-shaped additions to form the glass brand’s headquarters.
Lasvit wanted to continue and build on the history of the existing buildings, which once served as glass workshops, and use contemporary extensions to communicate the brand’s identity.
“The client’s task was to create a head office that continues a strong glassmaking tradition and combines glass and light in a contemporary language,” project architect Štěpán Valouch told Dezeen.
“The two traditional buildings from the early 19th century were complemented by two more abstract black and white volumes of similar size and shape to create a harmonious and functional compound,” continued Valouch.
With the existing buildings stripped of the adornments that were added in the 1980s and redeveloped to create suitable offices, it is the New White House that is the firm’s clearest identifier.
Clad in translucent glass tiles, this building connects the two renovated offices and contains a cafe on the ground floor with a meeting room and sample library under a concrete domed roof on the upper level.
The general shape of the building, as well as the imprint on the tiles, is designed to be a reinterpretation of the houses covered with slate shingles found in the Česká Lípa area.
In total, the facades consist of 1,400 tiles, which rest on a steel frame connected to the concrete structure of the building. Each of the square tiles is eight millimeters thick and weighs 7.5 kilograms. The system has been designed so that it can be used on other projects in the future.
“The mantle and roof are covered with glass stencils, which were developed in collaboration with Lasvit,” explained Valouch.
“It is based on the proportion and laying of the slate slabs used on the gables and roofs in the area. In addition, the texture of the glass template is based on the fracture of the slate slabs.”
The second house-shaped addition, also derived from houses in the area, is completely clad in black metal plaques.
This building contains a four-story space for exhibiting and testing the company’s chandeliers and light sculptures, which can weigh up to five tons.
Lasvit intends to construct two more buildings on the site to completely enclose the courtyard and complete the city block. One of those buildings will contain a public cafe and other offices, while the purpose of the sixth block remains to be determined.
Czech glass brand Lasvit previously collaborated with design firm Yabu Pushelberg to create an illuminated glass Christmas tree and made a set of miniature monsters from glassware for Milan Design Week 2018.
The brand has also already collaborated with Kengo Kuma to create a collection of crackle glass lights.
The photograph is by Tomáš Souček, unless otherwise stated.