SAOTA Silver Pine, a house in a pine grove in Moscow

ARRCC, SAOTA, Max Kasymov,

Sergey Ananiev,

Moscow, Russia,


South African architectural studio SAOTA has completed its first project in Russia, a contemporary home in Moscow. The Silver Pine house stands among tall pine trees on an island in the Moskva River. Its high-performing glazing system is capable of withstanding the challenge of rigid Russian winter temperatures while allowing the house to enjoy a profound relationship with its natural surroundings. The interior design features contributions by ARRCC and Max Kasymov, with a number of furnishings by OKHA.

SAOTA Silver Pine, a house in a pine grove in Moscow

Silver Pine is a contemporary home in Moscow, built on an island in the Moskva River. The first project by South African architectural studio SAOTA in Russia, the home reconsiders the relationship between inside and outside characterising a home that must withstand the severe winter temperatures of the Russian capital. Use of high-performing insulating materials allows the architects to design Silver Pine with big windows ensuring that all the rooms in the home enjoy a profound relationship with their natural surroundings, specifically the pine grove in which the home is built. In this way the architects achieve the twin goals of taking advantage of the rare presence of a natural pine grove so close to the city centre of Moscow, while creating a contemporary home design that interacts harmoniously with its surroundings and local tradition.

The presence of the trees guided the architects of SAOTA in determining the home’s orientation, creating comfortable spaces in which to appreciate the view of the outdoors while obtaining the best possible natural lighting in the dark winter months. On the side facing the street, the home has a monolithic façade marking the transition between the public and private spheres, a contemporary interpretation of the city’s monolithic architecture with its iconic backlit bronze cladding offering a foretaste of the home’s luxurious, brightly lit interiors. On the opposite wall, facing the garden, the architecture is more fragmented, creating courtyards and spaces connected with the outdoors; thus the architects design spaces that enjoy a profound relationship with the landscape, encouraging interaction between inside and outside, so that the presence of greenery is fully appreciated and the house marks a shift away from the heavy, monolithic structures of the local construction tradition.

Silver Pine has warm, cosy spaces in winter, but also outdoor spaces for enjoying a closer relationship with nature in summer. To make the most of this exceptional relationship with greenery and with the centuries-old trees of the pine grove, the architects of SAOTA cover the home with silvery grey metal panels that set off its colours while providing the ideal protective shell for the warm, lively interior. Every little detail has been designed with great care and craftsmanship, creating constant cross-references between inside and outside, as in the metal frame around the television recalling the entrance to the home. The interior design concept is by ARRCC, developed and implemented by Moscow interior design Max Kasymov, which also managed all aspects of the construction site and even the design and production of a number of furnishings in addition to those supplied by OKHA.

(Agnese Bifulco)

Images courtesy of SAOTA, photo by Sergey Ananiev


Project Name: Silver Pine
Location: Moscow, Russia
Lead Designers: SAOTA www.saota.com
SAOTA Project Team: Greg Truen, Roxanne Kaye & Philippe Raffner
Interior Architecture: ARRCC
Interior Designer: Max Kasymov & ARRCC
Project Manager: Troy Advisory LLP.
Electrical Engineer: Alexander Boenich
Quantity Surveyor: Alexander Stroikov
Contractor: Alexander Stroikov
Landscaping: Klukva Landscaping
Lighting Design: Kseniya Rudkovskaya
Bespoke furniture: Max Kasymov & OKHA
Interior Styling: Natasha Onufreichuk
Photographer: Sergey Ananiev
Copy by Graham Wood


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