Manor Klaugu-Muizha Utilizes Bridges Giving The Structure The Illusion of Soaring

April 28, 2023



Rick Formalejo

Architecture studio Totan Kuzembaev was commissioned to design a residential complex within a 50-hectare property. The estate complex includes three separate buildings: a guest house with a children’s section, a master’s house, and a bathhouse. The location of the buildings was determined by the previous buildings. 

Moreover, all the houses are arranged in a hierarchy. The simplest volume, which is the guard house, is a simple recumbent prism. The second is the guest house, which is marked by two roofs that intersect–more or less calm, at least outwardly. The third in the hierarchy is the bath and wellness complex, which is a glass cup in which different volumes are “stuck”. 

The complexity of the structures, the materials used, and the interior decoration increase in the direction of diversity. The architect explained that the shape of the main house is dictated by a small spot of the former building and the desire to have a large house area. This is why it has cantilevered outriggers which allowed it to achieve the effect of soaring. The bridges connecting the different volumes originated in the desire to eliminate the stairs.

When designing the interior, much attention was paid to the location of the art collection and the development of the interior design. The territory is surrounded with magnificent lakes and forest and is part of the protected area. The fact that wild animals enter the property and the difficult terrain (hills and two lakes), inspired the main principle of the project: “do no harm”. 

The three main houses, the master’s, the guest’s and the bath complex, are connected by bridges. Such a solution of the connections between them is due to the strong difference in the relief and the desire to avoid stairs, which would have to go up and down all the time.

The master’s house was designed on the site of the former house, which is modest in size. According to local legislation, the building area had to be the same, and in order to increase the area of the new building, architects invented developed consoles, giving sculptural expressiveness to the entire structure, resembling a ship. 

Particularly noteworthy is the wooden finish not only of the interior, but also of the surface of the cantilever stems, which are made by local craftsmen with jewelry precision and attention, as if it were a small piece of furniture. 

The largest house, which looks from the lake like a single extended volume, is divided into three parts: a guest, a children’s, and an exhibition gallery-museum. The building is raised on stilts: the difference in terrain here is significant. 

From different sides of the house in the “wings” are organized approaches: the bridge from the lake and the covered gallery from the courtyard, meeting, flow into the passage leading to the master’s house. The guest area includes six bedrooms and a dining room with a fireplace area. The children’s part has two bedrooms and a living room. A separate block is reserved for the owner’s extensive collection of porcelain.

On the exterior, the blocks are highlighted with different roofs: zinc-titanium covers the exhibition and guest parts and a fragment of the bridge leading to the master’s house while copper covers the gallery and a children’s wing. Architects approached the development of interior solutions with special care and ingenuity. Almost all decoration techniques and furnishings were designed specifically for the estate, including showcases for displaying art from the owner’s collection. 

The wellness complex — the third component of the front part of the estate is designed as a glass cup, which contains the volumes of the swimming pool, gym, sun terrace, sauna and entrance group. In the initial version, the complex was supposed to be located in close proximity to the water, but the relict lake has a water protection zone, and the building had to be moved away from the coastline. 

Photography by Ilya Ivanov

Description from the Architect

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