First, the young architects had to understand how their ancestors lived, what determined their way of life, and what materials and principles were used in the old houses. During the analysis, they identified a number of characteristics for the Belarusian hut, like the oven, the shutters, the towel, the shalevka (timber boards) on the exterior and the natural materials in the decoration.
Architect Chernova Yuliya:
“The very heart of the Belarusian hut was the stove. In the Belarusian culture, the stove played an important role – it is in the first place a symbol of warmth and stability. The old Belarusian people believed that if the coals in the stove will go out, some kind of misfortune will occur.
Moreover, the stove was a multifunctional space in the house. People slept on it, it was used for heating, cooking, drying mushrooms and fruits, etc.
Accordingly, in the Ochag House – ochag means hearth in Russian – the stove is a symbolic and functional center of the house, combining a bedroom, a kitchen, a dining room, and a place to rest. The house beautifully integrates the wood (shalevka), the shutters and the fabrics, so that this modern house is a reinterpretation of the architecture and lifestyle in Belarus.”
Energy efficient house
“One of the conditions that the architects set to themselves was creating an energy-efficient house that uses the minimum amount of resources to complete its security.
Heating the house is carried out by heating the air, which is distributed by the pipe system. Using the hatches equipped with fan, warm air quickly and evenly spreads into the rooms.
Architecture and open planning of the house allows to heat the entire house using a minimum amount of fuel for a short period of time. The hearth, the chimney and all adjacent concrete structures form a huge thermal mass that gradually release heat even if the fire was extinguished. The material for heating the stove can be wood and recycled local waste (Pressed sawdust, straw, bark).
The piping system of thermally conductive materials provides hot water in the tank, and then it is distributed wherever it is needed in the home.”
Natural & industrial materials are creating a structure for the modern man
The house is designed to be built on an wooden structure around the concrete monolith which is the multifunctional stove.
The interior is finished with natural materials and is intended to be the perfect home for the modern man: comfortable and energy efficient, without forgetting aesthetics and design.
Another interesting feature, beside the huge stove, is the concrete kitchen cabinetry. The architects wanted to create a kitchen like the one in old Belarusian hut, where kitchen and stove were one, but for the modern use, the kitchen includes the food preparation area and the dining.
The living area is opened horizontally and vertically. Including the cozy resting area on the stove, the living is opening itself to the rest of the house and to the exterior, thanks to the generous glass walls and shutters. The living room extends vertically, too, occupying a part of the first floor, allowing the huge chimney of the stove to heat the whole house.
The size of the house is 96,4 mp and is designed for a family of 2 persons “who remembers the past, lives in the present and thinks about the future”. Here are the floor plans.