The owners of this house in the suburban Moscow village of Zhukovka set themselves the task of making their mansion into a self-contained work of art. Towards this aim, they approached the designer Rémi Tessier, a specialist on the fitting out of yachts – and where else are the quality of materials and tastes of the owner so meticulously catered to than in boat interiors? P H . D has adapted and complemented the concept of the French maestro, and has gathered an array of art objects to enliven the décor and put the icing on the cake.
The finishing employs environmentally-friendly cedar, a timber which barely requires anything in terms of processing: the most important thing is to preserve its natural ribbed texture and golden-amber shade. This wood breathes, maintaining humidity levels and filling the whole house with the wonderful aroma of a forest preserve.
The colour solution is built upon subtle nuances. Each room has its own dominating tone, flowing gradually from a beige-brown to warm grey, put together in a clear-cut rhythm, and accentuated by the works of contemporary artists – first and foremost among which is a canvas by the American abstractionist Sarah Morris, hanging in the reception room. The rooms are furnished by art objects from famous Italian designers, and some items – such as, for example, the pair of dark marble tables in the reception room and the exotic wood table with complex ornamentation in the dining room – were prepared to order based upon unique sketches by the designers.
Textile panels by Armani Casa on the walls provide a contrast with the black waxed marble and oak finish of the floors. A further contrasting element has been added in the kitchen – steel, enabling its visual marking off from the dining room, while preserving the stylistic unity of this spacious and airy room, decorated by a light installation by the Dutch artists Studio Drift and entitled “Fragile Future”: In this piece, microscopic lamps are gathered together in bunches entwined with fluffy white threads and surrounded by the heads of real dandelions.
Another installation by the same artists – “Flylight” – is positioned over the stairway: transparent tubes of Murano glass hold arrangements of LEDs that react to movement, and little lights flare up in the wake of each person that climbs the stairs, like a flock of birds launching into commotion from the branches of a tree. The staircase itself is finished in snow-white matte Carrara marble.
The ground floor contains the reception room, kitchen, dining room, children´s bedrooms and a cinema. The first floor holds the master bedroom, guest rooms, games rooms, fitness area and spa.
The walls of the main bedroom are draped with silken textile panels and furnished with tailor-made Italian white leather furniture. The fireplace is finished in several different metals, and the television may be concealed behind the wall so as not to disturb the surrounding views. An impressive panorama also opens up from the marble bathroom. Further intrigue is added to the interior there by means of a glowing, golden partition of onyx.
The designers of P H . D replaced all the windows of the house, leaving light constructions of black metal in place of the former heavy casements with multiple panes, that the view might be better framed of the landscaped park, river and surroundings, from which the house is separated by a teak terrace.
The design for the park was worked out by P H . D jointly with the Swiss company Enea. The Swiss landscape architects proposed a non-standard and technically complex solution, permitting the retention of a sense of unbridled space. The soft lines of the hills are emphasized by large patches of shrubbery and perennials, preventing the landscape from becoming monotonous. The most important task of P H . D was to select the right plants to cope with the local climate, as well as carefully including existing trees into the general composition and inserting the site into its natural surroundings.