A minimalist house in Kiev. The architects were inspired by Japan!

The minimalist Kiev Dzen House is unique. Not only because of its shape and interior, but also because of its functionality, which was inspired by Japanese culture and traditions. Hence the name. “Dzen House is a sanctuary created for those who seek tranquillity, union with nature and the universe within the confines of their home.” – this is how the architects from the Ukrainian Shovk Studio begin the description of their latest project.

The ground floor consists of a common area containing the kitchen and the living room, with a functional core at its heart, housing the staircase, the bathroom and the utility rooms. This layout promotes both seclusion and continuity between the kitchen and the living space. What’s more, the circulation around the central core increases the usable area, making it easier to move around the space, while at the same time increasing the perceived spaciousness, imbuing it with a sense of boundlessness.

The focal point of the house is the fireplace, strategically placed near the centre of the living room adjacent to the panoramic window, allowing the residents to bask in the warmth of the fire and enjoy the panoramic views of the garden, especially on cold days. Its location also effectively warms both floors. A stainless steel chimney pipe runs through the bedroom, warming the room and serving as a decorative feature of the interior.

Entering the upper floor, one encounters a low attic space neatly lined with birch plywood, the outside of which is decorated with kisugi wood. On this level, there are two bedrooms, a study, a tranquil relaxation and meditation area with a circular window and tatami floor, as well as a bathroom and a utility room. The tatami space doubles as a place for tea ceremony and contemplation, offering views of raindrops cascading down from the roof eaves through the circular window. The master bedroom, uniquely compact, devotes more than half of its space to the ground floor podium beneath an expansive frameless window.

Both inside and out, the ground floor is covered with a rough plaster ‘mažazanka’, reminiscent of traditional Ukrainian country houses. The first floor is covered with a wood-fired fireplace, which is also part of the marriage between the Japanese Shou Sugi Ban and the Slavic farms. The combination of Ukrainian and Japanese motifs in the intricate details creates a charming cultural fusion.

In addition to its aesthetic qualities, the house provides a favourable microclimate and unrivalled comfort. The concrete floor on the first level retains and gently dissipates the heat from the integrated heating system, giving priority to the comfort of the residents’ feet while preventing the air from becoming too hot. The ventilation system provides a constant supply of fresh air at the optimum temperature, making it easy to breathe without exertion.

Around the house, there is a picturesque coniferous garden which inspired the placement of panoramic windows in areas frequently visited by the residents. In the living room in particular, large frameless floor-to-ceiling windows create a seamless integration between the interior and the natural surroundings.

Project name: Dzen House
Design: Shovk Studio / https://shovk.com
Location: Kyiv (UA)
Sector: Private house
Area: 117 m² / 1260 ft²
Year: 2024
Photography: Yevhenii Avramenko / https://yevheniiavramenko.com/home

Read also: Ukraine  | Kiev  | Eclecticism | Mid-century modern | Vintage | Modern classic | Interior | Apartment

Latest content on the site

Beauty is all around you