St Petersburg-based practice, Snegiri Architects has finished a wooden house on the outskirts of Moscow, designed to work as a passive house. Referred to as Hill House, the project features a pitched roof, extending the surrounding meadow over it, concealing the home below.
Built to preserve the existing landscape, the architects built the house around the trees on site. The pitched roof creates an enclosed semi courtyard at the entrance and resembles a live carpet of plants, including stonecrop and wild chamomile, blending it with the surrounding meadow.
The two-storey house is built mainly using timber, which helps it blend further into the landscape and reduce its carbon footprint. Inside, the spaces are oriented towards the landscape, with the front porch working as the natural extension of the living rooms.
“One of this project’s most significant characteristics is its full integration into the environment – we sufficed in keeping existing trees on construction site, and minimally noticeable building does not surpass the landscape, becoming its organic extension, by courtesy of green roof,” Snegiri Architects told Design City.
Working closely with the owner, the house is designed to save 90 per cent more energy than a typical home. This is achieved by placing most windows and a large terrace oriented towards the sun path to capture heat and light. In addition, it uses a combination of intelligent ventilation system with air recuperation and Swedish plate technology, which combines the design of a heated monolithic foundation plate with a floor heating system, thereby making the house completely winterised.
The architects described working with the client as following, “The project client is a man fond of innovations, an admirer of modern technologies and gadgets; because of that, the project is equipped with the ‘smart house’ system along with guarding system. Near the house, there is a parking spot with a Tesla car charger.”
Although tiny in scale, the Hill House punched well beyond its weight in what it has achieved. The house is located outside the city, creates a minimal footprint, making every effort to disappear than stand out. From material palette to design choices, the architects have taken every care to ensure the house remains self-sufficient, letting its occupants contemplate Nature with minimal intrusion. This house is an exercise in restraint, making small design gestures that help it to seem like it belongs there.
At Snegiri Architects, every project is treated like a child - with love and attention. There are no mediocre tasks for our team, and each project is strictly individual. And most importantly, we believe that an architectural object should not only satisfy functional needs, but also be a natural reflection of its owner, creating a harmonious union at the end.