House N in Moscow was completely updated by studio 4a Architekten by removing all the non-bearing interior walls and creating large expanses of glass on the exterior walls. Originally built in the 1990’s, the 3 levels of the home are all tied together with a new large spiral staircase that is both a functional piece of the architecture, but also a stunning piece of sculpture. Rising up from the whitewashed flooring and the soft white surround of the walls, the spiral staircase makes a dramatic and impressive statement.
The second level of the home has a mezzanine that looks over the living space below before joining up with the stairwell. The balustrade of the stairwell and mezzanine offer a hard lined geometric pattern against the sensuous curves of the stairwell. To add to the vertical drama, the furnishings are kept to a low profile and a cascading chandelier drips casually from the ceiling over the seating area.
The hard triangular lines of the balustrade are repeated in the use of beam supports that are clustered tight at the main floor before angling out for a looser grouping on the ceiling. This additional vertical statement is a modern approach to a necessary support structure that plays nicely off of the chandelier and the stairwell. The chandelier too, cascades down in a triangular or conical shape. A sculpture on the coffee table below looks up and ponders the view.
From the street, the cluster of support beams is clearly visible through the large expanse of windows. Here, an entry ramp on one end and a flight of stairs on the other add to the angular feel of the home.
Even the original roof-line plays nicely off all the newly introduced angles of the home’s new additions.
The ramp is not a true ramp in that two steps must be traversed before “walking the ramp”.
The ramp, staircase and porch are all one prefabricated structure. It features the same balustrade detail as the spiral staircase on the inside.
The original roof-line is more prominent on the back of the house. Even with this traditional formation juxtaposed on the new wall of glass, the glass sections within the gables tie the two harmoniously together.
All the spaces in the home have been given a modern facelift whether through the architecture itself or by the choice of furnishings and décor. Here in the dining space Lucite chairs surround a large table made with wood slabs and a contemporary chandelier in brushed gold tones is suspended above them. This simple choice of 3 different materials in 3 different styles creates a modern and minimalist aesthetic that is in complete harmony with the rest of the home.
The kitchen follows the minimalist theme with horizontal grains on the wood veneered cabinetry and a solid surface counter and baksplash. The only decoration is one super sized artwork that is casually leaning against the wall.
Even though the media room is far more vibrant with the use of bold splashes of primary colours, it, too, is a statement of modern restraint. Here the pops of colour and interesting furniture shapes create the visual interest.
The Master Bedroom keeps the minimalist and open space concept going with no separation between the sleeping space and the bathing area with the exception of a short length of frosted glass to create a privacy screen. This is the only room that shows a deviation from the modern scheme with the use of more traditional pillows and bed quilt.
Originally the client’s requested a bright and spacious residence for a family of 4 and they wanted a smoother transition of spaces and unobstructed views of the 2500 square meter gardens. I Would say that 4a Architekten not only met their wish list, but they also exceeded it.
Floor plans of the upper two levels
Lower level floor plan