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Kino House by Le Atelier Plays with Shapes and Stands Out like Modern Art

By Courtney Constable


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The innovative design process that went into Kino House, a project brought to life by Le Atelier located in Moscow Oblast, Russia, is nothing short of inspiring in the way it plays with shapes and visual textures.

This house, which is surrounded on all sides by ancient Russian pines and sits on a steep slope, was specifically designed to blend into its natural landscape rather than interfering with it. Designers vowed not to fell any trees, not to dig too far into the hillside, and to only source natural resources that can be found in the local terrain for maximum cohesiveness.

The overall goal of the house was to create a natural place of rest while still bringing a sort of sleek, modern aesthetic to the area, rather than working within typical woodland design frameworks that look more down home and rustic. This isn’t simply a countryside retreat; it’s a modern home experience established atop the hillside.

The house features three semi-levels, with an entrance on the middle level. In the entryway, guests encounter a hallway with a ceiling height of only 5 metres. Right in the centre sits a “black column”. This is the interior element in almost all rooms throughout the entire house; it’s the feature that creates consistency. The entrance level also features bathrooms, storage and utility rooms, and nursery rooms. Within each room, particularly the nurseries, you’ll find sizeable windows offering lovely forest views.

In the master bedroom, which sits on the lower semi-level, a lovely window nook offers a similar chance to take in the surrounding scenery. A king-sized bed spans the middle of the room for comfort. Inside the central “black column”, where the stairs run up and down, a cloakroom and a bathroom are situated.

On the highest semi-level, the last of the three, a private work or study room with a lovely fireplace and perfect forest view rests above the master bedroom. The kitchen also exists here, with a breathtaking view similar to the one from the entrance hall, since the kitchen sits right over it, but from higher up. Parts of the kitchen extend into the “black column”, making it spacious and giving it plenty of storage space.

On the exterior of the house, a large balcony wraps around above the bedrooms. Placing the balcony here rather than level with the sleeping quarters raises the outdoor space high enough off the ground to keep it from interfering with the environment its meant to facilitate appreciation of. This balcony is still accessible from all three areas of the house thanks to the centrally placed winding stairs.

Although the house is hardly visible from the road, its beauty is known for miles around. People express appreciation for the way the black parts of the structure are linear and angular, which perfect balances and plays off of the blonde wood aspects which are smooth, curving, and light. Much like the rock and wood in the natural terrain strikes a lovely balance, so do the parts of this innovative home.

Photographs by: Ilya Ivanov

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About Courtney Constable

Courtney has over five years experience as a writer, editor and consultant who specializes in architecture and home interiors. She has contributed content to HomeDSGN since 2018 and her work has also appeared on MyDomaine, Archilovers and Apartment Therapy. Learn more about HomeDSGN's Editorial Process.

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