Bureau A4

Bureau A4

Moscow, RU


A Sail, Pine Trees and Sea-Salted Boards Under the Moon

Summer Patio is situated in “Zapovedniy Bor” village estate in a natural reserve on former hunting grounds, close to Nerskaya river. The village is surrounded by a pine forest with clean air. All of the houses are built of wood, which correlates with lovely ecological environment of the location. Picturesque landscape with tall pines and the client’s lifestyle inspired the idea for Patio’s composition and image: small structures, attached to one another, merge in a whole system with the scenery in a way where nature overrules the site.

Bureau A4 generally deals with public spaces and composite landscaping projects. In exceptional cases, like Summer Patio, they design chamber spaces: and apply the very same integrated approach, as they do with projects way bigger, to make sure the new structure is in the right place.

"Working with Margarita, the Patio customer, on a major expo project, we discovered our views on architecture and design match. When she decided to create a cozy chamber space on her site next to the main existing house, she invited us over: myself and my bureau partner Aleksey Afonichkin. We picked a perfect place for the future Patio by a strawberry filed, while enjoying our coffee and walking around the house under the pine trees, Sergey Markov, co-founder of Bureau A4, says.

In her childhood Margarita would spend a lot of time living in the Far East and the North; both her parents were geologists and traveled a lot. As kids we would run away to play at fishermen’s houses that were over 100 years old. Enormous, empty and abandoned structures, built of bleached wooden boards, that were salty to the core and smelled like the sea — they fascinated us, kids playing among the old nets and boats. Landscape design for the site also roots to childhood: pines, moss and ferns, lacking a sea nearby — a man-made yet naturally looking pond. Teaming for the Patio idea turned out as my architectural psychoanalysis, a search for deep archetypes, a re-creation of a piece of youth, a piece of happiness — with a modern interpretation by Bureau A4. Now this is my main place of power: bleched and salted, under the pines by the "sea"”, she recounts.

On the territory of the village there are only 12 wooden houses with access to the river. The Patio intended to become a place for rest with friends and family or a comfortable solitary space to concentrate. Architecture is simply an intermediate between the outside world and home. To avoid cutting trees down the volume of the building split in several parts: a bedroom/living room, a utility block, a deck with a pond and a pergola.

The bedroom has become a client’s private space to stay on her own and enjoy nature. The bedroom easily transforms into airy common space when combined with the terrace. A wall, facing the woods, dissolves in site’s landscape through the panoramic glazing. A large window and an exposing roof slope connect interior with the nature, removing the boundaries and expanding the space. For the sake of convenience, a built-in kitchen system is arranged in a wall niche on the deck. The common deck faces inwards the site and the forest, the Patio structures along the perimeter disguise it from roadway and parking. The pergola protects from the sun, the utility room copes well with long-term storage.

Design drawings and graphic materials were made by Margarita Selkova, who is was a lead architect of the Patio project and makes most of Bureau A4 illustrative books: «Nick in Nikola Or the "Starting point”», “Space Messenger” (special project for NEXT 2022). The collage pictures of the Patio resemble picturesque paintings, inspired by tall pine trees and an idyllic landscape.

The Patio finishing is of larch planken with oil processing, metal details, large-scale porcelain stoneware for the kitchen and natural stone for the steps. The accent lightning piece is a decorative Luna lamp of Italian factory In-es.artdesign — in the evening it romantically reflects in a pond among the water lilies. The project was built by good friends of the client’s — Tsekh workshop, who also deal with expo exhibitions.

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Status: Built
Location: Russia
Additional Credits: Author's team: Sergey Markov, Alexey Afonichkin, Margarita Selkova, Anastasia Medvedeva, Ekaterina Mezentseva, Ksenia Maksimova, Anton Larionov, Valeria Pchelina

Photo by Ilya Ivanov