Apartment building | Brno - Řečkovice

David Menšík
Pavel Hodek
Menšík Skrušný
Morenda Invest
Apartment building
The urban solution is based on the already determined site plan and location of the central gas boiler center and commercial premises on Renčova Street. This low-rise building with a square floor plan marks the boundaries of the built-up main mass of the apartment building. The only exception to the existing floor plan of the building is the one-story crown of the neighboring plot. This hides the entire volume of parking for newly emerging capacities. Thanks to the economical system of parking in stackers, the building does not burden the given area in any way.
Materially, the clearly defined building complements the existing volume of a panel apartment building on the west side and thus follows the linear urbanistic concept in principle. The number of floors of the building itself is almost the same as in the neighboring building. The slight increase in the parapet of the main mass is only a consequence of the raised first floor with parking. The exception is the last, reduced floor, which reduces the mass of the building to a narrow tract. This is not visible from a human perspective in Renčova Street. On the eastern side, the main mass is finished even below the height level of the existing building, and there are thus two raised floors. This reduction was necessary in order to maintain stable hygienic conditions in relation to the existing building. That is, the principle of sunning and tilting.
The north side of the building is materially designed in such a way as to be a reminiscence of post-war modern architecture. The main tract materially rises to the north side of the house with only a minimal amount of windows and, typical of the time, ends the linear, expressively horizontal urbanism with a strongly vertical mass. The house thus uses the period-ideal west-east orientation.
This eight-story building is served vertically by a large U-shaped staircase with a stairwell and a fire elevator. On the ground floor, an entrance leads to this communication core, with a gathering area, storage and access to the adjacent cycle shed. A tract with cellar cubicles and a cleaning room connects directly to the communication core itself on the first floor. Access to the newly built central boiler room on the ground floor of the house is a matter of course. In addition to the interior access, it also has an exterior connection with the eastern side of Renčova Street. On the first floor, there is also parking outside the main mass of the building, which is provided by a combination of two to three-story stackers. In this house, the trash cans are located outside the premises of the building, at the entrance to the garage.
On the second first floor, the layout of a typical floor is repeated above the complex situation of operations. In the modular system, it consists of two apartments with a layout of 3+kk and two apartments with a layout of 2+kk. This composition corresponds to the character of the area and does not exceed the boundaries of social construction in terms of size. Nevertheless, the square footage is on the upper edge of today’s Brno average, mainly due to the square footage of the above-standard storage spaces. The larger apartments on the first floor are also supplemented with entrances to the terraces, which are created above the space of the stacker’s garage.
This typical layout, which is extended by loggias and balconies on the higher floors, is repeated up to the fifth floor. But change is appearing on the sixth floor. The layout of the western half of the building remains identical and complements the neighboring apartment building. On the eastern side, however, it was already necessary to reduce the mass of the house due to the hygienic conditions of the neighboring buildings. The remaining space of the eastern half of the house connects to one large eastern apartment with 3+kk layout, which has a spacious terrace available over the entire finished eastern mass.
The last seventh floor is then reduced from the east and west sides and creates a crown rising above the existing building in such a way that it is not visible from a pedestrian’s point of view. This creates space for two apartments with a generous layout of 3+kk, which have a shared terrace on the west side.
In terms of expression, the apartment building clearly follows the character of the existing development and only tries to complement the given area. The windows of identical dimensions to those of the neighboring house are, following the principles of the time, connected in horizontal bands in a clear modular grid. This is traditionally prescribed from the system of the object and into its expression. The horizontal windows then continue to the north facade of the building and, together with the retreat of the mass, create loggias on the western and eastern corners. This principle of mass modulation succeeded in dematerializing the otherwise cumbersome motif of the empty north facade. However, the contrasting verticality of the north facade itself is supported by two columns of semi-French windows. These open into living rooms with larger layouts. The building is expressively divided into two parts. The body of the house and its plinth. It horizontally connects the building with the garage floor and thus separates the utilitarian ground floor from the residential unit on the higher floors.
Materiality is another of the means by which we achieve harmony between an object and its surroundings. It probably comes closer to the original expression of the house than the current houses, as they have undergone renovations and changes over the years. The dark gray windows are connected by opaque black window parts. They are thus demarcated from the rest, which is done in plaster with a white coating. The plinth of the building is separated by a clinker cladding of brick strips, which in the space of the crown add a supporting element by changing the laying. The most significant point of the building – the sunken entrance to the building – is the only one lined with practical and durable Turkish travertine. The application of stone at the entrance is the only element that defines the time period of today’s construction from the given location. An interesting reference to panel construction is the wall of space for trash cans, which brings at least a simple ornament to a utilitarian device. It is thus a certain tribute to the works of art created in the most important housing estates in cooperation with the artistic council of its time. In particular, the house, and not only in this respect, is inspired by the motifs of construction in the Lesná housing estate.