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An Architect’s House

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Architects: Alexey Ilin Architects​

Year: 2015

Location: Moscow, Russia

From the outside, this 210m² private home gives the impression of a compact structure. The architects achieved this effect by considering the layout of the house on-site and configuring its volume to the site.

The house is built entirely from birch planks, one of the most accessible construction materials in Russia. The building’s frame, beams, and roofing are made entirely of wood. Wood was also used for exterior and interior finishing.

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The house has two floors but this is not obvious from every angle. Almost the entire second floor is lit through mansard windows, with the cambered roof maintaining a minimal slope.

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From the terrace, one can see the two most important spaces of the house: the living and dining room and the master bedroom. Above the living room is a mezzanine with a play area for children. A series of smaller, connecting spaces can be found between the living room and master bedroom on the first and second floors—for example, storage and utility spaces, a guest bedroom on the first floor, and three bedrooms on the second.

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All of the interior spaces are dominated by the same color gray used on the exterior facade. This gray, according to the architect, is the only optimal shade for rare colored accents such as orange couches and yellow pots.

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In implementing his vision, the architect was greatly assisted by the house’s built-in furniture. The interior does not have any obvious markers separating walls and storage spaces; the birch planks mask all shelving, kitchen furniture, and even the fridge. The architect rejected the use of platbands on all doors adjoining interior spaces. Opening and closing the doors can change the interior plan of the house in an infinite number of ways.

Photography: Dmitry Chebanenko

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