True to its moniker, the Cube House in Ukraine takes its inspiration from a simple geometric shape. In doing so, it embodies an unadulterated design with a simplicity that integrates the whole house with its surrounding nature.
When an artist creates a work for herself, the art elevates to an astounding level. All inessentials and pretentiousness are stripped off, and only the core beauty and functionality stays. These facts are clearly evident in the Cube House, a home that Victoriya Yakusha designed for her own family.
“I tried to make it simple and functional,” says Yakusha. “We lived in Kyiv centre then, and children had nowhere to play: no playgrounds, dirty parks, gas-polluted air. With the wellbeing of our children uppermost in our minds, we decided to build our home in the pine forest with maximum use of natural materials.”
The objective was to create a warm family space with special emphasis on aerated areas for the two children. And, there was certainly no shortage of open areas as the project was located amidst the tall, stately pines in the Kyiv region.
The idea of using the cube architecture was to preserve and even take advantage of the available natural landscape. The cube concept helped save the beauty of the pine forest and also let the family enjoy the breath-taking scenery from close quarters.
Another benefit of using the cubic shape is optimal space utilisation, which was essential in this case – the plot area is 700 sq m and the floor space is just 200 sq m. The family needed a two-car garage inside the house, another factor that made the optimal use of space crucial to the architecture.
The layout of the house again focused on the functional need and personalities of the family members. On the ground floor is the huge garage, a spacious living room that is combined into a single unit with the dining area and the kitchen. “I really desired the feeling of airiness,” reiterates Yakusha. No wonder then that that height of the living room is a good 5.5 metres.
Optical illusion plays its part in making the house larger than it is. To keep unity with nature, one of the walls in the double-height living room is made of glass. This fact helps fill up the house with daylight and also allows the family to enjoy the beauty of the pine trees present outside the window.
On the second floor is the private zone, where the main bedroom and the two children’s rooms are located. The main bedroom has a subtle and calm graphite decorative cover on the walls harmonising seamlessly with the oak floor.
“The house is designed in such a way that I can talk with the children who are playing on the second floor. Plus the first floor leads right to the veranda. Everything is about a seamless communication within the house which functions as one single body,” explains Yakusha.
The teenage girl’s room is an epitome of versatility and is designed with ample attention to detail. A stylish, multi-functional room with two beds, a work desk and a comfortable bright sofa, it is resplendent in a natural green, white and oak-wood palette. Irrespective of the activity that needs to be done, whether it is stretching out to get some homework done, sleep, or hangout with friends, the room is flexible enough to do it with ease and style.
The other room is for the boy, but can accommodate two children just like the girl’s. At the time of designing the house, Yakusha was pregnant with the third baby. “We didn’t know whether we were expecting a boy or a girl, and we had only two children rooms. So we re-planned the rooms in such a way that a new dweller could take any of them,” says Yakusha.
So, the idea was to keep the design flexible and make it fun for a toddler or a teen. The pristine white walls in the boy’s room are decorated with funky blue and red drawings. A work desk is placed over the oak-floored podium that hides two pull-out beds. The podium creates a neat partition for fun and work spaces.
In keeping with the ethos of the design studio, the Cube House is made of natural and eco-friendly materials such as wood, wool and linen. This philosophy is consistent with Yakusha’s other creations as well. Here, in the serene forests of Kyiv, this adds to the charming ambience of her dream family home.
Text By Ramya Srinivasan
Photographs Courtesy Yakusha Design Studio