Volga House / Peter Kostelov

© Alexey Knyazev

Architect: Peter Kostelov
Location: Alexino village, Konakovsky District, Tverskaya region,
Development effort: Alexey Lyalin
construction: zao «NLK Domostroeniye»
Developer: zao “Orbat”, Andrey Tolstoy
Furniture: Vladimir Kostelov
Site area: 86 sqm
House area: 133 sqm
Terraces area: 48 sqm
Design Year: 2005-2006
Construction Year Year: 2007-2009
Photographs: Alexey Knyazev


Artistic design of the house is a combination of simple layout of the house with clear functioning of it and a facade composed of various shape and color wooden patchworks. Practically all types of trimming are being implemented here.

  • Traditional wooden overlapping planks as well as just wooden planks;
  • Modern molded board, forged square timber;
  • Unconventional trimming for which spade hafts and square timber of various section were implemented;
© Alexey Knyazev

To reach desirable effect trimming fragments were painted in different shades of brown and were fixed at various angles so that the same fragments would reflect the sunlight in different ways.

The source of it goes back to Soviet era style, when private house construction industry used to be rundown and backward, which can be explained by many reasons. Those who managed to build so called “dachas” implemented practically all handy materials which happened to be available. As a result the houses looked like patched blankets consisting of different fragments which clearly showed who the owner of the “dacha” were precisely at the moment of construction.

© Alexey Knyazev


The design envisages comfortable living of two adult couples-parents and grown up children if to work at home and permanently live here. Apart from this the family hosts a few guests too. So the house looks like this:

  • 1st floor: kitchen and adjusting dining room, quests room, boiler room, bath and shower, summer veranda.
  • 2nd floor: two bedrooms, two wardrobe rooms, washing room, two toilet and shower rooms.
  • 3d floor: work shop or studio, sauna, summer veranda, toilet and shower room.
© Alexey Knyazev


The plot where the future summer cottage was planned to be built is located quite near the Volga River in a small village in Tverskaya Region, Konakovsky District and is on the way to Saint Petersburg, 140 km from Moscow.

The blocked foundation of 6,500 mm times 8,700 mm size was already laid there. Thus it set the gabarit size of future cottage (Russians call them “dacha”). Extra supports were specially made for open space terrace and shed.

© Alexey Knyazev

Frame and wainscot technology was implemented in the construction. Panels being heated by insulation materials and pellicle are made from squared timber 140mm times 45mm size which are inside and outside trimmed by OSB followed by finishing.

Why three levels cottage? Firstly, terrific view of the Volga is available only when one is on the 3d floor. Secondly, hardly would it be possible to place all purpose rooms only on two floors.

Cite: "Volga House / Peter Kostelov" 25 Feb 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 27 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=51025>
  • Mookie

    Interesting, rigorous and well executed. Also, the ugliest house I have seen in quite some time.

    • voisindeville

      I won’t disagree Monkie. This modern rustic house seems to be a demonstration of statecraft to show us how to use wood …
      I would say that it’s quite kitsch

      but it’s russian, isn’t it ?

  • neoinc.

    a symphony in wood, lovin the interior, but the tiles on the plinth are really ugly!!!

  • BI

    Облицовка мавзалея действительно портит. Остальное респект!

  • ANP

    Fresh! not at all ugly! it’s marvelous! Beautiful

  • kanon

    we dont want anymore wooden house! do u hear me??

    • Thomas

      We dont?

  • Vasilis

    It’s a masterpiece !

  • http://www.juergenhaller.at H

    Dear Kanon!

    Maybe you will change your opinion, if you see this wooden house http://www.juergenhaller.at/pages/projekt_01.htm .

    we try to post it on AD ….. but get no response

  • arnold

    excelent interior. masterful. it looks like japanese interior house (japan architects could study this example for their works).
    exterior a bit strange. not so harmoniuos as interior. it’s sad a bit, becouse the interior (and interior spaces) are very good. I think, it would be better if exterior could be more calm, harmoniuos and not so intensive, unintelligible.

    Bu to bilt such house in Russia, is a big achievement. Congratulation to Architect. Success in your work.

  • Polinac123

    Very well executed project!
    The best about this house is that it is really different yet traditional in a way, a bit retro… Respectful to local vernacular.
    Cool interior!
    For Russia it’s a great achievement, kind of a real house as opposed to all blingy superficial “new russians” or “oligarch” style new builts and interios we see in media.
    Love it! Well done!
    Tiles on the plinth – not so sure about though. Would be better in stone or plain concrete maybe…

  • Zhorik-chan

    well done! i love the tiles of wood, very fresh and lively, but what’s wrong with the tiles on the plinth??? just ugly

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  • http://archdaily zizo

    wow its totally fantastic