The Shkrub House is a project by Sergey Makhno Architects, for the family of Sergey Makhno himself. Located in Kozyn, a village in the suburbs of Kyiv, Ukraine, the unusual home measures in at 370 square metres. It was here that Sergey Makhno began his architectural journey more than 15 years ago, before he chose to live here. The new house design is evolved from two distinct aesthetics, one being a contemporary Ukrainian style sprung from old traditions, and the second being the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi that finds beauty and harmony in imperfection. A modernised take on a thatched roof overhangs wooden wall slats across the exterior, building character, though nothing compares to what lies within…
Gallery for An Architect’s House That Melds Traditional Japanese And Ukranian Ethos In A Modern Shell
Wallpaper in the shared kids’ room was designed by Sergey Makhno, with chaotic blues spots dashed onto craft paper. Ukranian animals were then painted on by famous Ukrainian artist and ceramist, Serhii Radko. | 53 |.
Separate zones make up the master suite: The relax and recreation area, a study, a shower room and bathroom. Here the headboard wall of a tatami bed represents a clay cliff, symbolising primeval beauty, in a unique technique implemented by the Kelsis studio. | 43 |.
As Sergey’s parents are frequent guests in this house, one of the bedrooms has been dedicated to their stay. The connection between grandchild and grandparent is strong, and in Ukraine it is believed that grandparents love grandchildren more than children. Decor in the grandparents’ room is very simple and restrained. A low Japanese style bed skims the floor, beneath plain yet strong bedroom pendant lights. | 41 |.
Ginger “Tetrapods”, a designer tile by Sergey Makhno Architects, mark the ascent to the second floor. These attention grabbing tiles were inspired by the massive concrete tetrapods that are installed on coastlines to resist wave impact and prevent beach erosion. | 39 |.
The name of the house, “Shkrub”, is a fictitious word that Sergey and his wife Vlada affectionately call one another, which simply put means love. “It is respect and patience. It is home. It is sons. It is 10 years together”. It is how they are named in each other’s phone books. | 35 |.
The house is actually equipped with two kitchens. The minimalist kitchen that stands in open plan with the living room is furnished with a contrasting wooden table that was a flea market find. | 29 |.
The interior clay wall effect is executed in an ancient technique used in Ukraine for traditional hut building. The wall and ceiling are decorated with wood sourced from eleven old abandoned houses, which is not only uniquely beautiful but wonderfully ecological. | 14 |.
A rustic coffee table is sympathetic to the organic shape of the walls, and to the massive antique ceramic jug collection that fills one wall from floor to high ceiling. Makhno found a love for Ukrainian ceramics as a child, whilst playing in the yard of his grandparents’ house in the village. He found his very first ceramic jugs here, cleaned them up and enthusiastically searched to expand his collection that includes clay products from Trypillia, 5–2nd Millenium BC. | 15 |.
The family wanted an interior that felt like home, rather than a show home. The main focus of this design was not the color of the flooring or the like, but beautiful kids’ noise. Whichever way you plan a modern interior to disguise the craziness of life with kids, life with kids prevails in all its glory. Everything inside this place means something dear to the homeowners, right down to the rug pattern, which was created by middle son Hikaru before he turned 2 years old. | 13 |.
Sergey Makhno reflects on the journey of his home design: “Thanks to Japan, I learned to love Ukraine. When I went to Japan for the first time and saw how they appreciate their heritage, I understood that Ukrainian culture is extremely rich but we rarely rate it highly. Japan has given my country back to me. It has opened my eyes and, most importantly, my heart to the wealth I have always had–my homeland. Even if I wanted to do Japanese design–it would not work. Because I’m Ukrainian. I create Ukrainian design transmitted through the lens of Japanese perception of beautiful”. A sculptural figure, “Rain” by Nazar Bilyk, gazes up at the family home, guarding the family. | 1 |.
A Zen garden springs up around the modern exterior. Much of the garden flourished without human hand, growing on wasteland around the site over the course of a few months–apt to the Japanese belief that the stone itself must choose where to lie. The natural habitat drew in squirrels and nightingales to live amongst it. An awesome window breaks the interior open to the outside. | 2 |.
The home is almost completely surrounded by a minimalist concrete enclosure. It has two entrances, one from the façade and another from the courtyard that the family have fallen in love with. Entering the home via the courtyard walks you past an attractive terrace that is illuminated with designer lamps created by Sergey Makhno. | 3 |.