The cosy feel of classic Scandinavian cottages is referenced in the interior of this summer house near the Belarusian village of Raubichi, which is clad entirely in larch and cedar. Zrobym Architects, which is based in the nearby city of Minsk, designed the summer house (also known as a dacha) as a quiet retreat for the client’s mother.
The house is located on a residential estate on the shore of the Dubrauskaje Reservoir and is designed as a warm and simple dwelling with a floor area of just 68 square metres. “Trying to execute all the wishes of the customer, we have embodied a small, cosy space in the project of a cottage, which will be comfortable enough for living in old age,” the architects explained. The house is raised above the ground on an insulated slab and features a gabled roof with large, overhanging eaves that is covered in aluminium sheets joined with standing seams.
The building’s exterior is clad in a combination of Scandinavian larch and cedar, which was chosen for its pleasant aroma. Some of the boards are angled to match the pitch of the roof, adding a more dynamic detail to the facades. Large windows incorporated into two of the facades ensure plenty of daylight reaches the interior and frame views of the surroundings.
In particular, the double-height openings of the gable end face out towards an apple tree that extends up through a decked terrace at the front of the house.
The remaining elevations are windowless as they are overlooked by a road and neighbouring properties. An entrance is accommodated beneath the deep eaves at the side.
Inside the building, the look and feel of a classic cottage is invoked through the use of extensive wooden cladding, exposed ceiling beams and details such as a wood-burning stove.
“A return to traditional forms of housing construction and reflection of classical Belarusian housing in a modern style became the main conception when designing the house,” the studio added.
“The Scandinavian asceticism and the Belarusian identity were reflected in the house project, creating together a unique image.”
White surfaces introduced through the kitchen’s flooring, cabinets and the dining table contrast with the wood and help to enhance the bright feel of the open interior.
On one wall, narrow strips of the timber cladding are oriented at different angles to create a striking feature wall that evokes the front facade. The same technique is applied to a headboard in the bedroom.
In addition to the open-plan lounge, kitchen and dining area, the ground floor accommodates a bathroom featuring graphic black-and-white tiles, and the master bedroom.
Stairs ascend from the lounge to an area in the attic space that can be used as a study or spare bedroom.
This room is open at one end and is lined with a glass balustrade overlooking the living space. A door at the opposite end connects with a second bedroom at the rear of the building.