Residential Complex Firefly Houses | The Plan
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Residential Complex Firefly Houses

Totan Kuzembaev

A 1982 graduate of Moscow University, Totan Kuzembaev gained considerable experience in the field during the 1980s and ‘90s before starting his own company in 2002. The hallmark of his practice is innovation and experimentation: using new methods and tools with traditional materials, like timber, to exploit their expressive and technological qualities, juxtaposing them with other materials like glass, concrete, metals and plastics. The environment, the way architecture is made to blend with context, and an ethical approach to construction are key considerations. Underpinning every Kuzembaev design is a focus on the specific requirements of the brief in hand. Buildings fit into their natural surrounds; architecture and natural features  - woods, watercourses etc. - mutually enhance each other in symbiotic osmosis. Whether restaurant, green house, clubhouse, hospitality structure or country residence, are all designed with a specific function in mind. Form and materials reflect the characteristics of each structure. Wide use is made of timber. Wood melds the architecture with its natural context but also sets it apart.
The Makalun building - a fluid structure yet with a rustic feel - complements the Client’s passion for Chinese art. Walls, the sheltered balcony and ample verandah are all enveloped in warm timber. The timber columns are decorated with striking horizontal bands and the glazing allows light to illuminate the interior. Located close to a lake, the Kot Dazur restaurant is a landmark building, standing off the ground on stilt-like steel pillars. A red painted timber structure, the frontage overlooking the lake is extensively glazed; an upper verandah serves as an intermediary space between interior and exterior.
The Bird Houses, a group of buildings on the edge of a forest, also stand on stilts. Here too, timber is the dominant material both inside and out. Like Kot Dazur, each house has a covered external access staircase and...

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