A courtyard of 250 m2 in an inner block situated within one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Prague, the Vinohrady quarter, was for a long time forgotten. Overgrown vegetation and neglect permitted any kind of use. Yet its location was precious, hidden away from the busy and loud roads, there was something special about this place. As you enter, you instantly breathe in the magic of the old times, the pace of life of days long past. If you close your eyes, you can smell the freshly baked homemade plum pie from the neighbor above, and along with the morning breeze, you’d hear the pigeons cooing in the trees in parallel to the melody of Debussy’s cello playing in the background. That spell had to be revived.
The task was to create a flexible semi public garden to accommodate yet unknown functions – from the possibility of a private backyard to a café garden. The result had to be visually compelling from the bottom of the courtyard to the top views from the apartments. We developed the concept with a clear structure and straightforward approach. Preserve the trees, wrap them in ellipse beds, frame the space with elegant grey brick walls, lay down a walkable carpet of maintenance-free material and plant subtle textured shady plants – Hydrangeas, Grasses, Lily flowers and Hostas. Details are simple but together make up a delightful combination.
The curvy shapes of oval beds are complimented and contrasted with fine lines of stones crossing through the site, creating a delightful pattern to be viewed from different perspectives. The place once again echoes a peaceful atmosphere. That lingering feeling of a lazy morning from the 1920s is revived with a contemporary touch. The backyard is clean, stretched and ironed – like a grandmother’s tablecloth waiting to be filled with life and enjoyed.
From a technical point of view, the design delivers a low maintenance, no lawn, highly aesthetic solution that is within reasonable budget using quality materials.
Architecture offices involved in the design: Jarousek-Rochova architects (building reconstruction)
Project location: Prague, Czech Republic
Design year: 2016
Year Built: 2017