Set on the edge of a dense pine forest in Russia’s Tyumen region, this house in western Siberia was conceived as a refuge from busy urban lifestyle. Architectural studio A61 and interior designers YY design created a meditative retreat where occupants can unwind, relax and reconnect with nature in comfort.
The house turns its back to the street on the north of the property with an austere, almost windowless, one-storey volume that rises to two storeys on the south side, opening up to the forest with several large openings and a sheltered terrace. Clad in slim timber slats with trim black window frames, it feels contemporary and elegant. A sparse entrance courtyard covered in white gravel and punctured with birch trees functions as a transitional space, while the grass-filled yard at the back of the house is a place for outdoor activities.
Internally, the house is neatly divided into public and private areas by a forest-facing decked terrace which seems to have been carved out of the building mass. On the one side, the open-plan living area incorporates a double-height lounge in the center of which is a cylindrical wood-burning oven and a kitchen and dining room. A mezzanine level above the dining area is reserved for recreation. The private areas on the other side include a yoga and meditation room, an ascetic space dominated by the meditative views out of a large window, a vanity area and bathroom, while the master bedroom is located on the upper level for privacy along with a small guest room.
The interior design reflects the minimalist sensibility of the exterior as well as the predominant use of timber. Natural wood finishes for floors, wall cladding and built-in furnishing imbue the spaces with warmth and subtly complement the outside views, which, at the end of the day, is exactly what this forest retreat is all about.