House in Kutná Hora by BYRÓ architekti plays with unexpected connections to meld past and present

Spiral Central

green stainless steel staircase

Much like a cat, the House in Kutná Hora by BYRÓ architekti has lived multiple lives: first as a medieval house and then as a late 19th-century building that was again reconstructed in the 1970s. Now, it’s a home for a family with three children.

exterior of the house designed by BYRÓ architekti
The quaint home in the Czech Republic fits alongside its neighbors (Alex Shoots Building)

On the floor, checkered tiles from Archtiles continue the minty color scheme (Alex Shoots Building)

The quaint white house with mint-colored window frames and front door is situated along the cobblestone streets of Kutná Hora, Czech Republic. BYRÓ architekti worked with the family to revive the historic home by peeling back its layers and weaving its various past lives through modern application. “When we were approached by clients for the complete renovation project, the house had essentially lost any authenticity and character, so our task was to restore it,” said the firm in a project description.

view of stone staircase
An original stone staircase connects the ground floor and upper level (Alex Shoots Buildings)

bottom of green stainless steel staircase
For the upper level and attic, a new steel staircase of floating steps provides access (Alex Shoots Buildings)

At the core of the roughly 4,133-square-feet (384-square-meter) home is a spiral staircase that connects old with the new—literally. The ground floor has the original rugged stone stairs and is met with a new steel staircase that continues from the main floor to the attic. There a skylight allows natural light to seep through the light metal stairs and through to all of the floors. In addition, there are various pockets of glass bulbs and large interior circular glass cutouts along the continuous curved wall of the staircase, taking advantage of natural light opportunities through various rooms of the home.

arched window and small wood table
Precise disruptions to the otherwise muted color scheme make its way in the office (Alex Shoots Building)

wood cabinetry
Plenty of millwork helps create a relaxed interior (Alex Shoots Buildings)

A common thread between the interior and the facade is the application of two colors: white and a pale green. This cool palette was sprinkled throughout the home in quirky ways: the mint green steel staircase, soft periwinkle paint coat on the kitchen island and pantry, and dark teal in the bathroom tilework. These calming tones were partnered with a light wood base used on the barrel vaulted–inspired ceiling in the living room, the framed frosted glass bathroom walls, and the kitchen floor.

grooved, textured wall and undulating ceiling
The undulating ceiling in the living room leans into the playful touches of the design (Alex Shoots Buildings)

Despite these quiet notes, the spaces were similarly designed to be playful in nature. A variety of geometric shapes feature prominently in the home, seen through the circular glass bulbs, checkered square floors, and the rectangular glass wall in the living room.

pale blue cabinetry
Circular apertures provide fun, geometric moments (Alex Shoots Buildings)

wall divisions
A wood-clad doorframe provides a sense of lightness and attention to detail (Alex Shoots Buildings)

circle tiles in bathroom in house designed by BYRÓ architekti
Frosted glass acts as a helpful way to divvy space while providing a sense of lightness (Alex Shoots Buildings)

Texture makes it way into the design, spotted in the grooved walls. Textured elements range from the prominent, such as on the front facade, to the minutiae, such as the indented interior window nook along the curved staircase wall. While collaborating with the clients, BYRÓ architekti also designed custom-made furniture that would best suit the family.

Glass bulbs provide light and charm in the bathroom (Alex Shoots Buildings)

bedroom featuring custom-made furniture
Much of the furniture in the space was custom-made while others are from HAY (Alex Shoots Buildings)

a skylight located on the top floor
The top of the stairs is capped with a skylight to brighten deeper and darker parts of the home. (Alex Shoots Buildings)

BYRÓ architekti elaborated, “Our main goal was to rediscover the house’s memory and original layers, which were actually quite rare, and seamlessly blend them with new layers to create a cohesive whole. We aimed to blur the boundary between the old and the new rather than highlighting it.” BYRÓ architekti celebrated every big and small detail within the House in Kutná Hora, truly remembering all lives of the house.