Minimalism in a log house

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A house like an ordinary house, only the wall facing the garden is made entirely of glass. You’re standing outside in the cold watching the fireplace flames dance around and the hot coffee pleasantly steaming on the kitchen table. It seems, you’re hearing the firewood crackling, and you can just smell the sweet mixed sent of smoke and coffee… Precisely this was the architect’s intention.

SALON: Michael, how did you get the idea to build exactly this sort of house?
„This is the house for resting – the ultimate weekend home. It’s pleasant to come here after the hard working week is over or to through a party for your friends. You can spend great holidays here during the warm season. For quality relaxation in nature only nature itself is needed and this house is full of it. Yes, I’m not mistaken – THIS HOUSE is full of it. Its interior and the surrounding garden is one whole. To create this connection I’ve used the glass wall and it bears most of the architectural design ideas of the house. This construction allows the surrounding nature to penetrate the interior. By no coincidence it’s so popular in advertising to insert interiors into the surrounding woods, mountains or gardens. An instantaneous effect. My idea was the same. Of course there was the architectural challenge to show that a modern interior can blossom in a traditional Russian-type log house. A log building doesn’t necessarily have to remind you of a historic manor or a fairy tale hut. It can become a modern cottage. Because of the limited length of the logs it’s not possible to create grand spaces, but the rooms become sufficiently large anyhow. Of course there are certain tricks you can use such as wood extensions, but you can’t use them excessively as the construction can break down. The second motive to build this house precisely this way was to show people that “A log house is SO fashionable and SO in style”.

S: Michael, tell us about the layout of the house.
-Relatively this house can be divided into: the foyer, the main hall that incorporates a kitchen, a living room and a dining room; A Turkish style tea and entertainment room with an adjacent bathhouse and a bedroom on the second floor. The house also has a garage with watcher’s quarters above it. Because of the overcrowded space in the main hall, I had to make the stairs leading to the bedroom “invisible” so they don’t take up too much space and attract attention – leaving behind the traditional Russian-style massive wooden stairs and replacing them with “weightless” ones. If you look to these stairs from a side you can only see the outline – it seems they’re floating on air. I’d like to separately talk about the traditional Turkish entertainment room: this concept arose from a Turkish house – low divans with pillows and a podium in the centre of the room where the water-pipe, trays with tea and fruit are placed. The Turkish room is special in this house: when you lift the floor it turns into a SPA with hydro-massage Jacuzzi. The room floor is made of two layers – a heating tile with a special ventilation system below and oak planks on top. But this type of oak can only be partially called wood. It’s treated with special agents and heated in a furnace at very high temperatures which changes the molecular structure of the wood. This treatment prevents the oak from rotting which is especially important in a room with a pool present. Here we also have a separate fireplace with a charcoal-burner. It is build of brick, coated with a light tint and reminds a fairytale furnace. An antique chest stands in this room. A dark straw Indian torchere can be used as a screen as well.

The author of the project Michael Dautov:
„ Log houses have always been built in Russia because they keep the heat well, don’t transmit humidity and are naturally beautiful. While creating this house I wanted to show that wood is a modern material that allows building modern structures. Earlier, additional wood finishing that looked like blinds was done on the outside to protect the house. We used this type of protection when creating the interior and building the partition walls“.