Huts on Chicken’s Legs

  • contemporary architecture

The ranks of guest houses of “Pirogovo” resort have grown yet again – in addition to the already famous “boat-houses” with round awnings, Totan Kuzembaev has designed “birdhouses” this time around.


Totan Kuzembaev reminisces that initially it was planned that the guest houses would be placed in the woodland that, while the houses were still being designed, was on the commissioner’s lease. Accordingly, the houses were designed with consideration of their presumable location – in particular, the architect was to “introduce” the new volumes into the protected green environment as tactfully and as unobtrusively as possible. Hence the “birdhouses” – what other kind of houses, besides the birds’ ones, could boast such integration with the natural environment? The architect designed for them the thin metallic “legs” – the piles over two meters tall; according to Totan Kuzembaev, this would have been enough to preserve, for somebody who is walking through the woods, not only the clear passage but also the overview of the scenic landscape and the skyline. It was also planned that from the forest side the facades of the houses will be painted almost-black dark-brown to match the color of the trunks of the trees; the piles were also to be the same color.

Regretfully (or luckily) the commissioner never did get the permission for building the “birdhouses” directly in the woodland, and the houses had to be “carried over” to the very water’s edge of Klyazma Lake. And, since in the immediate vicinity from this place, the golf courses are located, the houses turned, from the masked wood cabins into “residential spectator stands” – their terraces are the perfect spots to watch the game from. Their look did not undergo any substantial changes – it tuned out that, even when taken out from their natural habitat, the “bird-houses” look very attractive.

The birdhouses have a rectangular layout, and, viewed from the side, they look like rectangular braces with the lean-to roof bleeding into the façade and then into the bottom of the house. The outward side of the brace, i.e., the roof and the sides of the houses, as well as their rear facades are finished with larch board, painted dark-brown. From the southeast side, where the front façade is turned, along with the terrace and porch, the walls are left to sport their natural wooden color, so each house thus gets the front and the rear sides, whose contrast creates a very interesting architectural image. Some certain “fanciness” is also added to the houses by the perforation of the corner parts and the upturned nose of the marquee that protrudes far beyond the main volume of the building.

The interior solutions of the guest houses are functional and give one a home feeling. The finish employs only the natural and environmentally friendly materials of warm shades. The exquisite touch is added by snow-white furniture, tall mirrors, and large windows that let in the streams ambient light.

Text by: Totan Kuzembaev, Alla Pavlikova
Translated by Anton Mizonov

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