Not a bird or a plane, but it’s a home

Perched at the base of the Beskydy Mountains in the Czech Republic is a titanium-plated house in the fanciful shape of a bird with wings extended. The steel-and-glass structure in the picturesque northeastern region is the home of Pavel Horak, the chief executive of PPL, an express mail firm.

Mr Horak is a man who, perhaps it goes without saying, has an earthy sense of fun.

“I was really concerned about the winds, especially since here they blow up to 120km an hour,” he said with a chortle. “But after the first big storm, when the house didn’t fly away, I calmed down, sort of.”

Two years ago, Mr Horak, 58, and his wife Renata, 38, moved into the home topped by titanium zinc canopies that provide the bird silhouette. Mr Horak gave wide latitude to Roman Kuba, an architect and owner of the Atelier Simona Group in Ostrava.

“Thinking about a design for Pavel, I noticed how a blackbird spread her wings over her nest on the balcony of my ranch,” Mr Kuba said. “I went to see Pavel’s land with the mountains in the background. They reminded me of the bird’s beak, and it all came together.”

Inside the bird, the focal point is a central glass stairwell framed by white pillars.

Woods of varying shades are offset by vivid splashes of colour in the open-plan dining room.

Yet it was another quirky feature, a wall-to-wall ocean-fish aquarium in the basement, that Mr Horak and his wife saw as a stylistic necessity.

Luxurious details are evident throughout the house, such as the swimming pool’s hand-crafted Spanish mosaics.

Asked what he loved most about his home, Mr Horak lavished praise on the glass-ensconced living room, which he said makes him feel that he is “outdoors while still indoors.”

“And that the house hasn’t flown away. Yet.”

Source : Today – 25 Mar 2011

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