Colorful home in Prague’s Malešice neighborhood wins Best Interior prize

The awards aim to motivate designers and the general public to come up with innovative interior design ideas.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 23.05.2023 15:10:00 (updated on 24.05.2023) Reading time: 4 minutes

The overall best interior design of last year in Czechia and Slovakia was in a residential house in Prague’s Malešice neighborhood. It beat over 200 other entries and also won in the new construction category.

The Interior of the Year (Interiér roku) contest this year had nine categories for both private and commercial spaces. Two categories were new: a public voting award and one for best interior in low-cost housing. All of the winners can be seen on the contest's website.

"If in previous editions of the competition we stressed that an interior designed by an expert achieves a much higher quality, this year we are adding that even a person with a significantly lower budget should not be afraid to go to the said expert," Petr Tschakert, the founder and director of the competition, said before the winners were announced.

The goal of the competition is to motivate designers, architects, and domestic furniture manufacturers, and also to inspire the general public.

The overall winner and best private space in a new building is called “with a pink island” (s růžovým ostrůvkem) due to a prominent pink concrete island in the living area. The interior design was by Martina Šandová of TI architekti and followed functionalist principles, but was made to suit the needs of a family with three children and dogs. The exact address of the house in Prague's Malešice area and the names of the owners were not disclosed for privacy reasons.

Bedroom in the pink island house.  Photo: Zuzana Veselá
Bedroom in the pink island house. Photo: Zuzana Veselá

“Considering the children and the cheerful nature of the family that likes to meet their friends, we wanted the space to look fresh, playful, and colorful. A client who was not afraid of colors was refreshing for us, and one of the requirements from the beginning of our designing,” Šandová said on the contest’s website.

Pink was chosen for the concrete island for its playfulness and also pleasant contrast with the industrial character of the exposed concrete ceiling. The island includes both storage spaces and kitchen appliances such as an oven, stove top, dishwasher, and sink.

Most of the furniture was custom designed, and the walls have art by contemporary Czech artists such as Michaela Červená, David Krňanský, and Richard Konvička. Other details include large raku tiles with colored grout in the house's four bathrooms as a unifying element.

Among other things, the house also has a playroom for the children and a music recording studio in the basement. The interior designers were included in the building process from the beginning and were able to influence the layout of the interior spaces.

Other winners span the centuries

The winner for best private space in a renovated building went to House at the Bell Tower (Dom pri zvonici) in Bratislava. The building from the 1950s had several thoughtless renovations, and the goal was to bring the space back together and find new functionality to meet the needs of a young family.

Winner for the low-cost housing category.  Photo: Ondřej Krynek
Winner for the low-cost housing category. Photo: Ondřej Krynek

The best interior design for low-cost housing was in a studio apartment near Výstaviště. Designers were able to increase the usable space by making steps out of storage cabinets and elevating the sleeping area above the kitchen cabinets.

There were two prizes for public interiors. The restaurant Kút 12 in Banská Bystrica adapted a historical 15th-century space into a culinary complex. The SOM Store in Bratislava is a new retail space with a layout in the symbolic shape of the letter X.

The Somfy Prize for coworking centers and offices went to the wooden building for the forestry management firm Kloboucká Lesní in Bylnice, in the Zlín region, which was praised for its innovative use of traditional materials.

The Kronospan General Partner Prize went to House by the Park (Dům u parku) in Prague. It recycled structural material from an unsuitable house into a new space that emphasizes a connection with nature. The color scheme relies on earth tones.

The ČSOB Stavební spořitelny Prize, determined by pubic voting, went to Vinohrady Zen in Prague. The interior blended Japanese minimalism with Czech motifs. Another Prague interior won the Journalists Prize. Apartment E07 (Byt E07) made a large central space with natural lighting by eliminating walls that had been used to create small rooms.

Vinohrady Zen won the public vote. Photo: Václav Novák
Vinohrady Zen won the public vote. Photo: Václav Novák

Interior design is often overlooked

The awards were given out earlier this month at a ceremony at Prague’s DOX Center for Contemporary Art. The first edition of the awards was held in 2015 when a group of architects realized that while many contests looked at facades, there was no contest for interiors. This led many people to consider the topic unimportant, although people actually spend much more time indoors than looking at facades.

The 18-member jury included architects, designers, journalists, and artists. The contest is held under the auspices of the Czech culture minister, the Slovak Culture Ministry, the Czech minister of industry and trade, the Prague City Council, and the mayor of Prague 7.

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