In the quaint village of Opatová, nestled amidst the rolling hills and murmuring streams, stands a testament to harmonious coexistence between generations and architectural innovation: a project by RDTH architekti that seamlessly blends the old with the new.

It all began with a young family’s decision to honor their roots by settling on the ancestral land, where memories of the grandmother’s humble abode and the historic water-powered mill still lingered. Inspired by the legacy of their forebears, they embarked on a journey to create a home that would bridge the gap between tradition and modernity, while paying homage to the rich history of the land. Please read more below.

New House with Old Mill by RDTH architekti
New House with Old Mill by RDTH architekti (Photography by Filip Beránek)

The challenge was daunting yet exhilarating. The plot was complicated, with the mill occupying a significant portion of the land, alongside dilapidated farm buildings scattered along the stream. But RDTH architekti approached the task with ingenuity and reverence, envisioning a homestead comprised of three distinct yet interconnected structures: the partially preserved mill, the new family house, and a roofing structure bridging the two.

The mill, a relic of bygone days, was deemed too precious to demolish. Instead, its oldest portion and a fragment of the perimeter wall were carefully preserved, serving as a tangible link to the past. A new purpose was breathed into its weathered walls, transforming it into a communal space where past and present converge. A modern, frameless window was inserted into the perimeter wall, offering a glimpse into the bustling courtyard beyond. Meanwhile, the new family house, with its sleek lines and minimalist aesthetic, provided a striking contrast to the historic mill, yet harmonized effortlessly with its surroundings.

The attention to detail was evident in every aspect of the design. From the polished stone flooring of the mill’s ground floor to the monochromatic linoleum of the family house, every material was chosen with care and consideration. The facade, clad in larch, echoed the natural beauty of the landscape, while thick layers of wood fiber insulation ensured energy efficiency without compromising on comfort.

But perhaps the most striking feature of the project was the roofing structure, a masterful fusion of tradition and innovation. Long glued beams, supported by slim steel columns, stretched from the family house to the mill, creating a visual and structural connection between the two. A traditional roof truss, woven into the framework, added a touch of rustic charm while providing ample support for future expansions.

As the project nears completion, the once barren landscape is transformed into a thriving ecosystem, where ornamental apple trees, willows, and walnut trees stand as silent guardians of the past and future. Together, they form a new rural settlement—a living testament to the enduring power of architecture to unite generations and transcend time.

All images © by RDTH architekti and Filip Beránek. Don’t hesitate to find other inspiring projects in the Architecture section on WE AND THE COLOR.

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