Snapshot: In the Poltova region of Ukraine, about equidistant between The Black Sea and Russia, you will find Sosnovka’s Relax Park Verholy. Here, amidst a maze of trunks and needled ground, Studio YOD has crafted guest houses seemingly born from the forest.
Each lightweight metal-framed structure is set on screw base, raised a meter above the ground. This allows quick assembly of the structure without harming the surrounding landscape, especially the root systems of the surrounding pine forest. The interior is simple, comfortable, wood-based (as with the rest), but it is the exterior which is alike a mirror of the forest around it. The walls are veneered oak, with a larch plate ceiling to match the construction of the terrace. The interior is designed with natural colors, unadorned but for individually-designed pieces of furniture and abstract artwork upon the wall. The house saves on energy consumption with diode lamps and background diode highlighters, which offer their own dramatic glow.
The exterior walls are composed of heat-treated plates of alder wood, which both prevents the spread of invasive insects and helps preserve and harden the wood. It’s startling how well the houses blend, reflect, and indeed wrap around the trees. A stepped terrace leads up across plates of warm, sepia-hued larch, nearly the same hue as the mottled bark of the forest. The entryway and façade are clear glass, having the effect of a smoky mirror from the outside, and a window unto the forest looking out from inside. At night, the interior gleams a warm candle-orange, while thick, earth-colored drapes allow privacy.
The project comes courtesy of Studio YOD Design Lab, a Ukraine-based firm who describes their work as “more like a laboratory study.” With the application of technology and the “implementation of experimental art-design solutions,” the lab hopes to transform the field of design, especially in hospitality and catering. Their hotels and restaurants work to the ethos of connecting the environment with their unique architecture, preserving the raw materials from which all of design is sourced. Take one look at the ease of constructing these minimal footprint guest houses, and you might wonder why so few designers take the time to reflect and respect the surrounding landscape with their design.
Photography: Andrey Avdeenko