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A magical home in an enchanted forest

Sarah Tolle – Homify Canada Sarah Tolle – Homify Canada
Minimalist house by ALEXANDER ZHIDKOV ARCHITECT Minimalist
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This architect's portfolio is full of surprising designs characterized by a dramatic material and colour contrasts, transparent surfaces, crisp rectilinear shapes, and layouts that look more like a game a Tetris than a family home. The concept design that you'll explore in this idea book is an iconic example of the work from Aleksandr Zhydkov Architect - it's an avant-garde spectacle, a show-stopping design that manages to strike a balance between standing out and blending in with its intending woodland surroundings.

​Modern cottage

Rendered in a peaceful clearing in what could easily pass for an enchanted forest, this modern building makes a high-contrast statement against the soft forest floor and mossy trunks of pine trees. The main structure is an L-shaped mass, with hybrid indoor-outdoor spaces on both extremes of the L. The building takes on a two-toned dynamic, with a smooth white surface making a crisp statement against the more natural tones present in wooden plank constructions.


Many of the designs from Aleksandr Zhydkov are focused on interaction with the natural world – this design offers several features that bring the building into closer contact with nature. The porch has been designed without railings or stairs, giving the ground floor a seamless, obstacle-free physical connection to the clearing in the woods. Likewise, the home is full of transparent spaces that make outdoor viewing possible no matter where you are in the home.

​The creation of a backyard

Through the L-shaped design, the architects who designed this home have been able to create the semblance of a backyard space, anchoring the building in its environment through a layout that hugs a small portion of land, sheltering it with the two arms of the L. The building takes advantage of this more sheltered, intimate area by offering a greater amount of windows on this side of the home – both arms of the home maintain a friendly sense of connection in this open, communicative design.

​Back view

On the other side of the L, the home is more closed off, establishing a sense of privacy and shelter that allows the more open side to feel protected and secure.

​Living on the edge

In a lovely illustration of man meets nature, this surprising design shows the visual and emotional impact that can be made through the absence – rather than addition – of a fundamental unit of home construction: walls. This luxurious outdoor living room teeters on the invisible boundary between interior living space and the natural outside world, with little more than an abrupt end to the pavement to separate the spaces. This unusual design combines the luxury of a roaring fireplace, sophisticated white floor tile, and squishy sofa with the wild atmosphere that envelopes this home, allowing the residents to mingle freely with the fresh scent of pine and forest breeze.

Looking for a glamorous outdoor escape? Have a look at this ideabook: This poolside retreat will wash away your winter blues

​Minimalist garage

This garage cuts down to the core of what's really necessary for storing a vehicle – a few walls and a ceiling! Gone are the levers and cords, mechanical door, storage bins, work bench, etc. This simple, low-security design is made possible by the home's sheltered, off-the-beaten-path surroundings, which allows for freedom when it comes to opening up the home's spaces to the outdoors.

Share your thoughts on this modern and natural home design below!
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