Fairy-Tale House

  • contemporary architecture

Among the numerous buildings of "Pirogovo" resort, there is one that stands out even against the diverse background of the most high-profile objects of this museum of contemporary architecture. This the Greenhouse designed by Totan Kuzembaev - a simple and laconic volume of wood and glass.


Greenhouse, in this particular case, is not a beautiful-sounding name but the actual function of this building. After Totan Kuzembaev designed for Alexander Ezhkov, the owner of "Pirogovo" resort, a house, a yacht club, guest houses, and a restaurant, Alexander Ezhkov ordered the architect to design a greenhouse in order to grow ecologically pure greens and vegetables in it. The very term "greenhouse" became a direct operations directive for the architect - Kuzembaev makes the traditional image of a makeshift garden affair take on a new meaning thanks to the elegant-looking wooden structures.

The greenhouse consists of the main growing area, the tambour that has in it the meters of the engineering systems, and a porch, being in effect a glass-faced volume with a pitched roof. The transparent casing is "stretched" over the parallel strand lumber framework that consists of openwork bearing frames, the connecting braces, and the enlarged girder. Kuzembaev stays true to himself: all of his constructional units are deigned with hidden fastening elements, some sections of the girder being actually part of the bearing framework, thanks to which the wooden skeleton of the building looks a lot like an intricate jigsaw puzzle.

The walls and the roof of the greenhouse are assembled of RAICO stained glass system that allows combining several various materials of the bearing framework within one facade fragment. In this particular case, the architect achieves a perfect marriage between the wood and the aluminum by letting out the metallic structures that are painted dark gray. And, while on the side walls of the greenhouse the joints are almost invisible, the pitches of the roof and the facades are ostentatiously "dissected" with the verticals of the aluminum ribs that add extra intrigue to the laconic volume.

The inner framework of the building, as was already said, is made solely of wood. Thanks to this, an interesting visual effect is created: the graphite strokes of the outside structures look as if they were backlit by the honey shade of the wooden beams echoing them from the inside. This effect is increased manifold at night when the building turns on the special phytolamps - fastened on the bottom belt of the framework, they are seen especially well through the side walls of the greenhouse, highlighting the double structure of the volume where the smaller house is "inscribed" into the larger transparent one.

Text by: Totan Kuzembaev, Anna Martovitskaya
Translated by Anton Mizonov

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