May 13, 2021

Sculptural Steel Elements Define a Moscow Home by Maxim Kashin Architects

This 16th-floor flat, located in a new residential building on Moscow’s Golden Mile, makes a gallerylike first impression. “A white 3D canvas with metallic installations in it,” is how architect Maxim Kashin describes the dwelling, designed in homage to Russian Suprematism—specifically the art movement’s founder, Kazimir Malevich. Kashin, a native Muscovite who founded his seven-person studio in 2013 following a master’s
degree from the Moscow Architectural Institute, was drawn to and became steeped in the subject matter during his studies. “I started researching the history of the movement and got interested in the connection between architecture and the fine arts,” he explains. “I was eager to understand the Suprematist way of getting from the flat surface to volume and to architecture, and to find new means to make that transition.” The easiest way, he determined, was to use the interior itself as medium.

A trio of sculptural steel elements distinguishes the Moscow apartment. Photography by Dmitry Chebanenko.

He planned this super-white, 753-
square-foot apartment as three built-from-scratch rooms, channeling Suprematism’s basic constructs of geometry and color. The multifunctional main space encompasses lounge and dining
areas plus the kitchen. The separate bedroom has a sleeping zone that can be further enclosed via sliding, stacking panels. Completing the configuration are an office and a bathroom. When
designing the floor plan, Kashin took special care to orient the walls toward windows so natural light could show the way from entry to living area.

The main space combining living, dining, and kitchen zones is articulated by an island-table and its sculptural counterpart overhead. Photography by Dmitry Chebanenko.

But his main coup is the installation of sculptural steel pieces anchored to the floor and hovering overhead. The treelike object opposite the entry is
a clothing rack. Nearby, the central feature serves as both an island and a dining table dividing kitchen and eating areas. Above it, the third piece hangs from exposed concrete, an impressive feat since it weighs more than 550 pounds. With no integral lighting, it is strictly aesthetic. Kashin used 3D modeling to determine dimensions and shapes of the metal planes, which he cut from sheets and then welded together in situ. Left unfinished, the steel has oxidized to a velvety rust.

Folded and overlapping planes of oxidized steel compose the two large pieces, while the treelike clothes rack is high-carbon steel. Photography by Dmitry Chebanenko.

Sparse furnishings allow the space to speak, well, volumes. Kashin designed the lounge’s built-in banquette, covered with creamy faux suede, to rest on a split-level podium of MDF panels. Varnished boards of the same material form custom kitchen cabinetry. Semitransparent matting curtains the windows, which face the building’s courtyard and the Moskva River. Marble paves the kitchen, while polyurethane-coated foam rubber cushions the living room (it’s comfy not cold, according to Kashin).

Faux suede cushions rest on the custom built-in banquette’s MDF base. Photography by Dmitry Chebanenko.

The exception to the overall scheme is the bathroom, a riot of deep blue, violet, and fuchsia achieved with a single paint color that changes according to light temperature. The vibrant hues express a Russian Suprematist idea that color has superiority over shape. Lucky was Kashin to have had a client granting him literal and figurative carte blanche. Ergo the freedom to create the minimalist white interiors he favors.

Kitchen cabinetry is of varnished MDF boards. Photography by Dmitry Chebanenko.
The bathroom’s vibrant coloration draws from Russian Suprematist concepts. Photography by Dmitry Chebanenko.
The bathroom’s volumetric vanity and tub are made of Calacatta marble. Photography by Dmitry Chebanenko.
The bedroom sleeping nook becomes cocoonlike when enclosed by sliding panels. Photography by Dmitry Chebanenko.
Translucent matting curtains the windows, while the pouf can be easily transported from bedroom to living area as needed. Photography by Dmitry Chebanenko.

Project Sources: H&M Home: Table (Living Area). Centrsvet: Lighting. Cosmorelax: Stool (Bedroom). Laufen: Toilet (Bathroom). Grohe: Shower Fittings.

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