VolgaDacha, a small house in the countryside by Bureau BERNASKONI
This small vacation house, or dacha, is located on the upper Volga River northwest of Moscow. It provides a family of four with a quiet country retreat from their busy lives in the city. From their dacha they have views of the river and an Orthodox church dating from the 17th century.
Most of Russia’s dachas were built during the Soviet era, during which they were limited in size to a single story of 25 m2 (269 ft2) and typically did not have a heating system or indoor plumbing. VolgaDacha was designed with a traditional appearance by Bureau BERNASKONI. Like a typical dacha, it has one story and a large attic loft (attic space was not counted during the Soviet era) and is constructed of wood. However it is larger and was given modern conveniences. It has good insulation and is equipped with heated floors, a woodstove and an indoor bathroom.
The exterior of the small house and the adjacent shed are covered with overlapping vertical boards. An expansive deck made from larch wraps around three sides of the dacha, with several glass doors providing access. Wooden shutters on all the openings secure the home when the owners are away.
The rectangular 90 m2 (969 ft2) floor plan has an open plan living, dining and kitchen space on the main level. The interior is finished with low-cost oriented strand board painted uniformly white throughout. The downstairs floor consists of stained and polished concrete with in-floor heating. The lower level also has a full bathroom with a glass door leading to an outdoor shower on the adjacent deck.
The beds are tucked under the roof in the open loft area, reached by a steep stair. Skylights placed strategically over each bed provide views of the night sky. The open loft along with one foot wide gaps along the side walls allow heat from the stove to circulate throughout the sleeping space.
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Photographs by Vlad Efimov and Oleg Dyachenko, courtesy of Bureau BERNASKONI. Via Archiwood.
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