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The house of glass is competing for the title of the Best Office in the Czech Republic

A house of glass: Wouldn't you like to work in one of these offices? And they're in the Czech Republic!

Karolína Lišková
28.Jan 2020
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2 minutes

The fact that the Czechs have hands of gold is known all around the world. Glassmakers in particular have a lot to brag about. In Nový Bor, they've been keeping the tradition alive for centuries. In collaboration with local craftsmen, top architects came up with a masterpiece that made it as far as to compete for the title of Best Office in the Czech Republic.

Za denního světla působí mezi dvěma roubenkami opravdu netradičně.
V dolním patře je kavárna pro zaměstnance.
Během rekonstrukce objevili stavitelé starou studnu.

The house, which looks like it was made entirely of glass, is a new landmark of Palacký Square in Nový Bor. The authors of the unique design are architects from the ov-a studio, Jiří Opočenský and Štěpán Valouch. The building is part of the headquarters of the local glassworks company Lasvit.

Although it may not look like it at first sight, the house, which evokes mixed feelings among the public regarding whether they like the design or not, follows the tradition of local timbered houses from the 18th century.

Luxusní vila na prodej Praha Západ - 255m
Luxusní vila na prodej Praha Západ - 255m, Okolí Prahy


It is a whole complex consisting of four buildings, two of which are original timbered houses, which boast 250 years of age. That's why the architects wanted the place to preserve its genius loci, so that the company employees could feel a breath of old times in a new modern environment. All houses have been carefully renovated, making it impossible for the naked eye to notice details such as the wood being new.

"I was surprised by the local craftsmen who were working on the reconstruction. Ÿou don't see such precise work very often nowadays,"

Štěpán Valouch, one of the creators of the renovation project, enthused.

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V Novém Boru žili skláři odjakživa.
V Novém Boru žili skláři odjakživa. Source: Lasvit

Concrete and glass

Although the building has been nicknamed a house of glass, it is actually made of concrete. It stands on four concrete pillars. The facade and roof are connected by glass tiles, whence the overall impression of glass. The design is inspired by the traditional slate tile, as slate was used to build most of the local houses. The glassworks company, however, decided to use the material closest to their hearts: glass.

The house has two floors, the ground floor and the first floor. The main space is a large exhibition room completed with a concrete vaulted ceiling. Shelves with exhibited products of the company are lined along the perimeter of the room. This is where the employees meet and discuss business.

On the ground floor there is an office cafe designed for company employees.

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V horním patře je nyní zasedací místnost. Zajímavý je tvar stropu.
V horním patře je nyní zasedací místnost. Zajímavý je tvar stropu. Source: Lasvit

Surprise during construction

Part of the project was also the reconstruction of two timbered houses, which had originally provided homes to two glass-making families and one of them eventually became a glassworks school.

"As it happens, when you reconstruct something this old, there are always some surprises. For example, we discovered a 20-meter-deep well, which we only uncovered during the construction, as nobody had been aware of its existence before. So we suggested it stays here, we just had it covered with glass,"

says architect Štěpán Valouch.

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Pohled z druhé strany, z vnitrobloku.
Pohled z druhé strany, z vnitrobloku. Source: Lasvit

The total cost of the project thus climbed to around 90 million crowns. The building has been in operation since the summer of last year and now it's even competing for the title of the Best Office in the Czech Republic.

"Our employees feel good here and they're looking forward to going to work thanks to this environment,"

concluded Jitka Plchová, a spokeswoman for Lasvit.

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