Avala House by TEN

How design effort can turn sufficiency into a desirable form for living

Project Specs


非常感谢 TEN 予gooood分享以下内容 。
Appreciation towards TEN for providing the following description:


The Avala House is a residence situated in a pastural landscape on Avala mountain near Belgrade in Serbia. The house is a case study on how design effort can turn sufficiency into a desirable form for living.

▼项目概览,general view © Maxime Delvaux


The open frame

单层的住宅被建造在一处向南倾斜的果园之上,基于以3.2米为单位的网格框架布局,形成一个边长为16米的正方形空间。内部区域按照9.6m x 9.6m的尺度进行分隔,呼应了下方的场地地形。

▼轴测图,axon © TEN

The house is a single-story space built over an existing southward inclining orchard garden. It is organised by a 3.2 metre grid frame, measuring 16 by 16 metre square, with an interior cut out of 9.6 by 9.6 metres revealing the terrain below.

▼住宅建造倾斜的坡地上,the house is built over an inclining orchard garden © Maxime Delvaux

▼住宅立面,facade © Maxime Delvaux


▼剖面图,section © TEN

The surrounding surface forms both the inhabited area of the house and delimits the building perimeter. The frame utilises 80 millimetre square steel tube profiles welded in place and fixed to the structural minimum of three foundation points on the terrain. These points define the arrival area on the ground plane, and the positioning of two large concrete forms –like boulders in the landscape – dedicated to both an outside garden staircase and a storage space with a garden bathroom.

▼住宅固定在场地上的三个基座上,the house is fixed to the structural minimum of three foundation points on the terrain © Maxime Delvaux


The sloping terrain continues between and underneath the house, offering a shaded outdoor living space, and introduces the landscape, trees and natural ground cover into the central space of the building. The main floor above sets a new datum within the topography of the existing slope overlooking the surrounding forest. The open structure embraces the immediate landscape while setting a new clear geometry and strong architectural outline.

▼地面层景观,ground floor landscape © Maxime Delvaux


▼起居层平面图,floor plan © TEN

The plan is developed on the outer grid as a sequence of four terraces interlocking at corners to offer a new horizon for dwelling. Each terrace holds a different surface material, providing possibilities for a variety of use. The boundaries of the steel frame are constantly challenged by these alterations in material (a hanging net, sheet steel, pre-cast concrete, the open frame) or through the performance of its movable elements. These allow the house to undergo a total transformation of scale and atmosphere. The opaque wall facing the central interior space is made of 10 large pivoting steel doors, allowing the living area to shift from a singular indoor space of 50 square metres to embrace the 156 square metre volumes of the four outdoor terraces.

▼主起居空间,main living area © Maxime Delvaux

▼餐厨空间,kitchen and dining area © Maxime Delvaux


The large stretch of glass on the southern facade of the frame extends the living space to the rise of the distant hills. The customised sun shading closes this expanse, giving a singular interior space, discretely partitioned by a series of floor to ceiling full-length curtains defining the sleeping area from the kitchen, dining, sitting, and bathroom. In its open state, the main living is one in plan, dedicating the entire space to a single program if desired. The house inverts the priority of building a traditional protected shelter in nature, by allowing various scenarios of exposure to nature within the building.

▼一体化的起居空间,the singular interior space © Maxime Delvaux

▼卧室,bedroom © Maxime Delvaux

▼幕帘和遮阳屏定义和划分空间 © Maxime Delvaux
the living area is discretely partitioned by a series of floor to ceiling full-length curtains


Every element of the house emphasises the performance of structure and space, providing either weight or lightness at specific points, expanse or contraction at others. This is exemplified in the visible joints of the main steel frame, the connections to the bearing points, the exposed bracing and raw material finish. All details are revealed. There is a kind of directness that makes the house accessible to all.

▼钢框架细节,steel frame details © Maxime Delvaux


The means of making


The owner – a local craftsman working on interior refurbishments and domestic maintenance – invited TEN to design, develop and build the house. The conversation identified material resources, workshop skill and capacities within the range of the immediate region. It also brought about novel solutions like the in-situ casting of the exposed concrete foundations with recycled steel sheets. The accuracy of the formwork was determined by interior joiners, the casting with a self-compacting concrete mixture developed in dialogue with local subsidiaries and contractors. This not only contributed to the local economy but through experimentation in the procedure of construction, offered new applications for local construction skills. Left exposed, this reveals the proof of labour and skill in the forces driving construction, while the formal expression demonstrates the human factor in the production of dwelling.

▼户外平台,outdoor terrace © Maxime Delvaux


This extends the dialogue originating from the pioneers of Yugoslavian Modernism – a movement instrumental in the transformation of society through the local adaptation of progressive technologies and self-determination in design and construction. In the same way, the making of Avala House in the form of the ideal contemporary home uses everyday materials, formed personally by the skills of local makers to create a product of regional significance.

▼模型,model © TEN

▼首层平面图,ground floor plan © TEN

▼剖面图,section © TEN

Project data
Name: Avala House
Architecture: TEN
Project Authors:
Nemanja Zimonjić MSc ETH Arch
Ognjen Krašna
Jana Kulić
Dr. Miodrag Grbić
Structural design: TEN
Landscape: Ganz Landschaftsarchitekten
Gross floor area  156m²
Address: Kragujevacki put 82e, 11000 Belgrade
Client: Confidential
Execution & main contractor: Client
Construction cost:  Undisclosed
2017–19 Planning
2019 Start on site
2020 Completion on site
Maxime Delvaux, Brussels
Milos Martinovic, Belgrade
Relja Ivanic, Sombor


Click to contact with the designer/author

Post a Comment