It's from the cold, gray forests of Russia that architect Aleksandr Zhidkov drew inspiration for this residence in rainy Polivanovo, just outside Moscow. Plenty of wood and a monochromatic color palette help create a cozy home that's reflective of its surrounding environment.

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Though the house sits cozily at the back of a birch forest clearing, Zhidkov says no trees were cut during construction.

Larch timber planks make up the reddish-gray facade and also adorn the interior walls and floor. Zhidkov says the wood "allowed the house to be an organic insertion into the landscape."

The house has two distinct volumes. The smaller one contains the garage, as well as the heating and air conditioning units, and is topped by a green roof garden accessible by an outdoor staircase. The larger, two-level volume sits slightly above ground and contains the living, dining, and sleeping spaces—all with windows facing east into the forest.

"The interior design is restrained, sometimes minimalist, but very expressive," Zhidkov says. The space is outfitted with modern pieces like the Eames Eiffel chairs, lucite bar stools, and geometric pendant lights.

Gray bricks contribute to the house’s soothing, quiet mood.

A built-in larch bookshelf occupies an entire wall on the second floor den.

The house may be large at 5,382 square feet, but its extensive glazing makes it appear weightless.

  • Aleksandr Zhidkov
  • House (Single Residence)