Concrete, drama and sustainability at Erick van Egeraat’s Villa Pirogovo
Approaching Villa Pirogovo from afar, a series of catenary dome structures appear to be peeking out from the ground. Made of concrete and glass, these are the dramatic bedrooms at Dutch architect Erick van Egeraat’s latest residential offering in Russia. When walking towards the main entrance, the villa fully reveals itself in all its expressive concrete glory that mixes angular geometries with those distinctive sleeping pods, all nestled into the dense pine tree forest along the banks of the Klyazma River in the Russian countryside.
The commission came from a private client who was after a holiday home that would work equally well for both the pleasant summer and the harsh winter conditions of the region. The team at van Egeraat’s architecture studio focused on creating an exuberant composition that offers 21st-century design and all mod cons, while absorbing the natural beauty of the surroundings, allowing the views to take centre stage at almost every room through swathes of glazing, terraces and balconies.
At the same time, inside, strong lines, confident curves and splashes of vibrant colour make for an interior that can hold its own against its natural environment. There is drama and an eclectic, sculptural approach that mixes materials – from concrete to natural stone, timber cladding and luxurious, soft, fabric-covered elements. Meanwhile, bespoke details abound in this finely crafted home, where the distinctive geometries of every room demanded tailor-made solutions.
The complex features four generous bedrooms, each in its discrete domed wing, and a flowing sequence of communal areas, including living, dining, library, pool, terraces, and other recreational areas across the main, ground level, and a basement. ’A sweeping vaulted ceiling shelters this common space and amalgamates the different domes into a collective sculpted composition. This way the villa satisfies the client’s need for a clear delineation between private and public spaces,’ say the architects.
Of the home’s eco credentials, they add: ‘With half of the spaces built underground and the choice of highly insulated solid concrete structure for all parts, including the domes, the villa has exceptionally low energy consumption. The high thermal mass provides excellent balanced conditions year around. The ground source heat pump provides for both floor heating and cooling, which allows a fully sustainable architecture with no reliance on any outside system.’ §