Project: Environmentally Friendly House
Location: Vilnius County, Lithuania
Area: 226.0 sqm
Project Year: 2014
Photographs: Antanas Minkevičius, Žilvinas Vasiliauskas, Bonnevier
Lithuanian architecture studio Gyza designed this villa on the northern outskirts of Vilnius city.
The architect’s description: A birch stump surrounded by coniferous forest on the northern outskirts of the city of Vilnius, at the bank of the Neris River – this is how the area looked before the beginning of construction of the current residential house. The birch stump had to be removed, but its presence is commemorated in the artistic architectural concept of the building. The main task of the design was to retain the existing trees near the house and design environmentally friendly house so that even when you stay indoors, you will have the impression of living in a forest on the bank of the river.
The design was influenced by the trees, the river and quite steep natural terrain down the road at the entrance to the plot, to the land parcel free of trees on the riverside. The building site was chosen at the foot of the natural slope bare of trees, by embedding the major part of the house into the current relief and focusing the windows to the sunny side of the river.
After entering the building, you have access to the mezzanine overlooking the river and the forest, with the kitchen equipped with a dining area. The stairs lead down to the guest room with tall showcase to the forest and the river. From the guest room you will access the bedrooms recessed into the slope, with views ofthe surrounding nature. Deepening the majority of premises into the soil allowed to maximise the thermal insulation of the building via the walls and the roof.
According to local climate, minimisation of heat loss mentioned above, along with geothermal heating and smart natural air supply systems, enabled the optimization of the operating costs of the building with large window area, which was inevitable in order to accomplish the basic design task. Exterior and interior finishes are made with natural materials – mainly concrete, wood, metal, choosing the gray tones of birch stump to replicate the colour motifs.