MATSKI HOUSE: The Architect’s Less is More Residence

ZROBIM architects – an advocate of cubic formula minimalism – is announcing a modern vision of fachwerk technology and traditional downshifting living. Free from fences, with 65% of panoramic glazing, no inside doors, this house is the manifest of exposed brave life on stage, which is fairly unique at this latitude.

Andrus Bezdar, the architect of the concept and the 33-year-old CEO of the international architectural studio, drives half an hour north of Minsk, to the place where his great-grandfather’s roots lay. He discovers his lot and starts designing his ultimate dream home, a grow-out dwelling that can be extended potentially as the family grows adding more living space.

Moving away from the usual sloping roof and massive beams anon-obvious solution has been found: the grid of panels has been filled with frameless glazing, hiding the frame columns behind, i.e. not exposed on the outside of the building. Such absence of visible elements of the supporting frame of the stained glass makes the surface a continuous flat surface without seams. Together with the complex terrace system, such a trick has made it possible to blur the boundaries between interior and exterior making you feel you’re truly in the wild.

You wake up in the morning, go for a swim in the pond around stone sculptures or sit by a fireplace, gather your thoughts, have a cup of coffee, and head to work — that’s terrific — the feelings you get from living in your own dwelling what matters, not the amount of square meters.
©Andrus Bezdar, the architect

The architect’s commitment to a unique and experimental approach is underscored by several challenges that the owner encountered and successfully addressed.

Firstly, the property originally contained a landfill, which the owner ingeniously transformed into two inviting artificial ponds. This transformation not only added aesthetic value but also contributed to the neighborhood’s revitalization.

Furthermore, the architect’s respect for the surrounding context is evident in his design. He leveraged a significant difference in site elevation, resulting in a remarkable cantilevered house that extends 4.5 meters over the edge. This daring architectural feat adds a distinct and adventurous character to the structure. In an effort to harmonize with the environment, the owner also intends to plant crops on the roof of the house. To support this green initiative, all necessary technical equipment has been integrated into the roof space. This not only maximizes the use of available space but also showcases the owner’s dedication to sustainable living and experimentation.

Having thoroughly considered light orientation and thermal engineering in the process of designing the house, a large front of panoramic glazing (65% of the wall area) is located along the south-west façade. Most of the glazing looks out onto the stunning nature scenery that was integrated together with the building. Thus, the interior offers beautiful views of the pond, bridge and landscape sculptures. The north façade of the house is completely blank, which reduces heat loss from the shady side. Since the sun is the source of passive heating of the building, the floor and internal partitions are made of solid concrete, which improves the thermal inertia of the half-timbered house and the microclimate inside it.

In the heart of the house rests an atrium with a living nut tree. A life form within the concrete. It changes according to the seasons and you live with it through all the changes observing the cycles of nature.

Moreover, the tree is visible from all rooms of the house. It is around the atrium that the layout of the house was drawn up, which here is disclosed, i.e. free: it allows you to move around the house in different ways without the use of traditional corridors. Room ceiling heights are proportional to their area. Therefore, in the hallways and corridors the ceiling height is 2.5 m and the ceiling is white in color to expand the space. In the living areas, the ceiling height is 3 m and it is made of fine wooden planks, which were made individually and are removable for access to hidden communications.

The monochromatic color scheme is complemented by a natural palette of materials: the natural color of wood in the ceiling and furniture, monolithic arch concrete and polished metal. At the same time, 95% of the furniture and lighting are custom solutions, made according to the individual sketches of the owner of the house. Hence, the interior fully reflects the needs and character of its owner and forms an impression of expensive natural minimalism. With such symbiosis of harmony with nature, innovation, and exclusive design, the Matski House not only amazes but also becomes a manual for creating a functional and aesthetic space.

About ZROBIM architects

ZROBIM architects is an international architectural firm with an office in New York which is engaged in design in all regions of the United States. In architectural business since 2011, our portfolio includes projects in more than 16 countries on all continents. Their professional team always intends to use the newest achievements of architecture and design in its projects. The individual approach they stand for makes their client’s dreams, desires, and vision of a perfect space come true. Their projects are the result of architects’ and clients’ creative union, and shared vision. Designing for people, ZROBIM architects change their lives for the better.