Czech architecture practice Mjölk Architekti has built a wooden headquarters for Kloboucká lesní, a management company for sustainable forestry, in Brumov-Bylnice, Czech Republic.
Named Kloboucká lesní Headquarters, the 1,034-square-metre building, is predominantly made of glued laminated timber, manufactured only about a hundred meters from the site.
Featuring a large triangular space where all program elements are distirbuted in four levels, the building was designed to adhere the principles of sustainable design and demonstrating the potential of sustainable construction.
Referencing to the mission of the company, identifying itself as progressive and creative in sustainable forestry, Mjölk Architekti developed a headquarters that represents the company’s vision and values.
The four-storey headquarters is located in a prominent location inside the factory compound where the building is situated in a natural setting surrounded with vegetation and water.
The load-bearing structure is made exclusively from timber. Considering the environmental and sustainable principles, with the reduction of carbon emissions during construction, the studio produced the material on-site in the Kloboucká lesní production hall located only a hundred meters away.
“Wood is the oldest and the simplest of materials, but the production process is very modern,” said Mjölk Architekti.
As a flagship product of the company portfolio, the studio has used glued laminated timber for the building frame. Repeated many times, the traditionally shaped frame forms an elongated and elegant volume.
The program of the headquarters consists of offices as well as workshop and relaxation spaces. The top open floor is dedicated to a multifunctional space for lectures, company events, or new product presentations.
The north-facing façade is oriented toward the town and the visitors’ entrance. The volume of the building conceals other industrial halls of the compound, while a beautiful backdrop of the Pláňavský ridge can be seen in the distance.
The building has a concrete core and steel bracing. The studio has used several types of façade cladding, filling each span of the frame according to the interior spatial and programmatic organisation.
Thanks to its modular structure, the building provides a great variability in use, in case of future changes of function.
To reduce carbon emissions during construction, the building is made predominantly from glued laminated timber manufactured only about a hundred meters from the site.
“This timber comes predominantly from the surrounding forests,” said the studio. “Both colour and grain of the wood were considered when picking the best lumber, and therefore the best forest for felling.”
Based on traditional architectural forms for gable roof in the region, the studio brings a modern and sustainable approach to the building. According to the studio, the headquarters should have emphasized “a structural honesty.”
The interior of the headquarters is designed with the same logic, in which the basic principles of the interior are apparent even from the exterior.
The load-bearing structure of the heavy skeleton runs through the entire building and rhythmically divides the interior. The last level is left as an open space. The building is covered by a sophisticated roof that has a solar power plant.
“Where the sun’s rays cannot reach, the photovoltaic panels are replaced by glass,” the studio added.
In the interior, the design team combines glued laminated timber profiles with glass window surfaces, wood panelling, and wood-glass acoustic partitions so that these partitions can provide the interior a large and open feel.
“All the glazed walls and the bio-board cladding have sliding bearings in relation to the movement of the timber building,” the studio added.
“The timber-concrete ceilings are interspersed into the exposed ceiling structures, which are complemented by polished concrete on the floor.”
“All technology is installed visibly in the interior, with frameless penetrations through the timber partitions,” the office continued.
The studio repeats the principles of the interior on all floors. “The interior of the building is intended to be an inspiring environment, outlining the principles of Kloboucká lesní – a company that is engaged in a very traditional craft, but at the same time is not afraid of new things,” according to the studio.
“Truly environmentally conscious building is far more complex”
“Truly environmentally conscious building is far more complex than it seems,” the office explained.
“It doesn’t matter whether we wrap a house in styrofoam. What makes a building sustainable isn’t the thermal insulation standards, but rather where we built it and how we use it.”
“It’s important to appreciate that there really are issues beyond just direct energy requirements,” the studio added.
T”his sort of thinking comes naturally for Kloboucká lesní. Having control over the whole process, guarding quality, supervising each production phase, considering not just profitability but primarily sustainability.”
“This is not just about the processing and selling of wood, this is a complex pursuit.”
The studio also enphasized that the “building’s PV array produces enough energy to meet its requirements.” The building has battery storage with a total capacity of 72 kilowatts. According to the studio, the surplus is directed to cover the energy requirements of the company’s production.
In fact, the majority of all electronic equipment in the compound is using solar power at the moment. The headquarters’ solar panels also double as roofing material. Glass panels cover the northern part of the roof to let more light into the attic space.
Rainwater roof runoff is stored in open ponds and used for irrigation and for cooling during the summer months. By reflecting the diffused daylight, the water surface also helps bringing light deeper into the building.
The headquarters and surrounding buildings are heated from a central boiler house, where the main fuel is wood chips of own production.
“This makes the site completely independent of any other fuel source,” the studio explained. “The added value is that it is a completely ecological source.”
Basement floor plan
Ground floor plan
First floor plan
Roof floor plan
Mjölk Architekti was founded in 2008 after the team graduated from the Faculty of Arts and Architecture of the Liberec Technical University.
The design philosophy of the studio is based on analyzing local context, uncovering hidden qualities of places, satisfying clients’ deepest desires.
Project name: Kloboucká lesní Headquarters
Architects: Mjölk Architekti
Location: Brumov-Bylnice, Czech Republic
Project completion: 2022
Gross floor area: 1100m2
Usable floor area: 1034m2
Client: Kloboucká lesní
Chief engineer: Pavel Srba
Structural engineering: Lostade CZ
Construction supervision: Petr Vlček
Concrete contractor: Michal Drga
Wooden construction contractor: Pukýš DŘEVOSTAVBY
Electric engineering: Elseremo
Mechanical engineer: Ladislav Stružka
Heating, plumbing: Mont SA
Steel construction: KL TECHSTAGE
Interior partitions and claddings: Woodyglass
Lighting solutions: Konvičný – Lampárna Lighting
Landscape architecture: Atelier Partero
Garden contractor: GISarch studio
Flat roof solutions: Izolplast Zlín
Pavement contractor: STRABAG
Wooden terraces contactor: Pavel Fojtík
Sheetmetal products: Petr Zimáček
Graphic design: Lenka Mičolová
All images © BoysPlayNice.
All drawings © Mjölk Architekti.
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glued laminated timber