I'm getting vertigo just looking at it
I'm getting vertigo just looking at it
I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.
I'd get seriously depressed if I had to live in there. It's dark, , it's tiny, it's all concrete, the bathroom looks like the toilets at the side of a highway *shudder*.
THE house has almost no internal walls or doors and few level floors — most are ramps that traverse the interior. Its finishes are equally quirky: the interior is bright green, while the boxy exterior is covered entirely in pink polyurethane, a combination that is particularly conspicuous in the countryside here, about 26 miles southwest of Prague, where most homes have traditional pitched roofs and stucco cladding.
It’s not surprising that local architecture critics have dubbed this 1,300-square-foot structure “the marshmallow house.”
But Michal Cillik, the 42-year-old psychiatrist who built it and lives there with his second wife, Kristyna, 31, and their children, Hermina, 4, and Vaclav, 5 months, maintains that he didn’t set out to create an eccentric home. All he wanted, he said, was “an ultra-modern house” with a movie room.
In 1999, Dr. Cillik bought the quarter-acre hillside plot for 100,000 koruna (about $5,300 today). He hired Sepka Architects to design the house after seeing the firm’s work at an exhibition in Prague and admiring the “clear, clean lines and large windows.”
The architects first proposed a more conventional two-story structure with a single sloped floor — because “movies are best viewed on a slope, like in the theater,” Dr. Cillik said — but it was over his budget.
So they had to be creative, said Jan Sepka, who designed the house with his partners, Petr Hajek and Tomas Hradecny. “With a small budget, we had to make the house compact,” Mr. Sepka said. That meant leaving the interior open and using more than one ramp, so they could lower the ceilings and make the overall structure smaller. With a smaller house, there was less building material to buy, and costs were reduced. (The final budget was 5.6 million koruna, or about $300,000 today.)
“A spiral with slopes was one conceptual solution,” Mr. Sepka said. “That adventurous house wouldn’t work for everybody, but Cillik was enthusiastic about it from the very beginning and pushed us forward.”
The house was designed in 2000, when Dr. Cillik was married to his first wife. But there was a lengthy wait for the building permit and a lawsuit by a neighbor (which was later dropped) — both related to the unusual design. So it wasn’t until 2009 that construction was finished. By that time, Dr. Cillik had divorced and remarried.
He named the house Villa Hermina, after his daughter with his second wife.
“Many people find the house strange,” he said. “But I got what I wanted.”
The sloped floors are covered with artificial turf to prevent slipping — of particular concern with a new baby. Dr. Cillik, a specialist in behavioral therapy, has a philosophical attitude about raising a toddler in the house: “His first steps will be there, and if he has an accident it will be a small accident, which could be more useful than harmful because he will learn his physical limits.”
He added: “The message of our house is ‘all of us are children.’ It is an expression of our inner child. And real kids love it, too. When Hermina’s friends come to play, they feel they are at a gym or playground, not a house.”
He seems equally unconcerned about the challenges of aging there. “I have seen old women in Ecuador walk up mountains to get to their homes without a problem,” he said. “So I don’t think we will have a problem, either.”
Privacy is another issue, as only the three bathrooms and the basement storage room have doors, but as Mrs. Cillikova, a medical journalist, pointed out, “We have something even more valuable: great use of space.”
The pink exterior was a concession to budget — the planned metallic cladding had to be replaced with cheaper polyurethane that comes in a limited range of colors — but that doesn’t seem to trouble her, either. “Pink is my favorite color,” she said. “It shows happiness.”
Some neighbors might not agree. They sometimes scowl at the house, but Dr. Cillik laughs it off. Villa Hermina, he said, is his life’s achievement — not in spite of the attention, but because of it.
“A lot of men want to be president or a great sportsman, but I am too old to have these ideas,” he said. “Yet by creating this house, which provokes so many emotions, I feel like the president and a gold medalist in the Olympic Games all at once.”
A version of this article appeared in print on August 12, 2010, on page D5 of the New York edition.
I can't believe that it cost £300K to build this piece of shit... He was done!
The plot is beautiful & there are hardly any windows to see it.... its just a joke.
Shitty house - love the child proof addition of netting. Looks more like a prison skate board park.
Drive a car, drive a boat, drive a plane. What does it matter? As long as I'm drunk!
pəʇɐɔɐɯnpə ɹ ı
yeah, that baby should have fun learning to crawl/roll/walk/stagger/fall!
Kill everything... that IS the solution!
┌П┐(_)┌П┐twitchy molests my signature!
roll end over end
"The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge."
-- Stephen Hawking
Makes my knee and hips hurt just by looking at it.
They're gonna ruin their joints with those anti-stairs-floors
I like some of the "rooms" though, the one with the hge bed to watch TV looks comfy
Fluctuat nec mergitur
Paris, Nov 13th
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