location: Kyiv, Ukraine
area: 197 m2
status: built (2020)
team: Oleg Volosovskiy, Olena Logvynets
photo credits: Andrey Avdeenko
Hayloft is the house that a couple of architects built for their family based on two ideas: to renovate the large volume of the building and to maintain a solid industrial appeal as previously it worked for commercial activities designed with exposed utilities, metal ceilings, concrete and brick structures, double heights; and, on the other hand, the owners’ will to create a private refuge where new technologies and sustainability act as a continuous background for the eclectic compositional mix. All these were synthesized and imagined as a philosophy that combines high-tech and antique solutions in a constant contrast between ancient, modern, and contemporary.
This spacious, two-bedroom apartment is filled with vintage and antique furnishings and an exuberant collection of artworks exploring family and land tradition and memory concepts.
While exposed concrete columns, metal decking, and salvaged brickwork evoke the design of typical loft conversions, ornate elements such as carved wall paneling, antique woodwork, hand-crafted ceramic tiling, and hand-sculpted stone basins both soften and enrich the industrial undertones of the once derelict commercial building.
Being entirely out of attractiveness, the building was of some benefits: it is located in a modern cottage village surrounded by water on both sides of the house and at minimal accessibility to a busy metropolis.
The most significant is preserving the space’s breathtaking volume, harvesting the most natural light, and using it in the interior. Therefore, the architects designed a new facade of the building with panoramic windows, an attached terrace, and a suspended garden. It made the building look modern and became attractive for six more families.
Even during construction, Hayloft got the neighbors’ attention, and after the completion of the work, the open interior view through giant windows and the terrace with trees prompted the villagers to begin the reconstruction of their houses and terraces, seeking advice from architects.
The height of the inner space allowed the construction of the second level. The structure’s skeleton forms the rooms with metal and glass, so the maximum natural light penetrates the darkest corners of the room.
The volume of the first-level bathroom is tiled with scratched mirror panels. This makes the sunlight be reflected and get more natural light. The cable-stayed staircase has a pivot point and leads to the private area via a suspension bridge.
The main idea of Hayloft is a space free of air and sight. Even the Master bedroom and bathroom walls are made from transparent or reinforced printed glass. So you can still enjoy the view of the whole interior and the river through the front windows at the house’s farthest place.
The only isolated space is the guest bedroom, an actual secret room, the entrance to which is hidden with destructive wood paneling.
To preserve the original profiled sheet ceiling and obtain a comfortable temperature all year round, designers have found the most non-standard solution. These are Liquid nano-ceramic thermal insulation coatings, four air stirring fans, and an Antrax heating system.
Traditional ceiling fans do not require energy consumption like cooling or heating, so the ducting system has been simplified and left the ceiling clean.
Heating elements, made of 100% recyclable carbon steel, are composed of tubular elements with a diameter of 25 mm and feature a rhythmical alternation of solids and voids.
Designer radiators guarantee significant energy savings, thanks to the reduced water content and low-temperature operation, supporting the “green” vocation of the intervention and the great ambition of architects to live in a sustainable, welcoming home, where every detail has been meticulously thought, designed or chosen.
Hayloft is not just housing. It is a compilation of restaurants, experimental cuisine, a bartender area, a showroom, a DJ place, and a friendly atmosphere for the family and multiple guests.
The kitchen features an integrated cooking counter for standard food preparation and a cooking show from the chefs. It includes professional equipment similar to a restaurant, a bar station, a fireplace stove for cooking on a fire, and a large dining table.
The adjacent kitchen, tucked underneath the mezzanine level, combines an elemental palette of stainless steel, natural wood, and textured marble with state-of-the-art appliances, while the master bedroom upstairs was conceived as an inner sanctum with imposing, ancient-looking double-doors guarding the entry.
The apartments’ stylistic eclecticism is crowned by a collection of vintage finds, antique pieces, and contemporary furniture, including bespoke light fitting by local designers and the architects themselves, which is complemented by an evocative selection of colorful tapestries and artworks like the pair of Soviet space dogs, Belka and Strelka, that greet visitors at the entrance.
Antique doors and temple gates originated from Indonesia and have received a second functional life. Some are part of a sliding wardrobe system, while others are impressive entrances to the master bedroom. All the original elements of the gate have been preserved and even used in a complex opening system, including the room’s soundproofing.
Most of the furniture tells its own stories. The Japanese cabinet was once used for tatami storage and was 90 cm deep, later reduced to 60 cm depth and moved to Europe. The chest table in natural wood color is manufactured in India. A low drawer in deep gloss red color is a typical Chinese tradition, and a naturally aged rare console with colored drawers tends to the culture of Tibet. A bench table near a TV was found at an aircraft factory in Ukraine, and a two-hundred-year-old wooden horse was found in a Chinese village. Each item got a second life and took an important place in the interior.
A few antiques became the icon for Hayloft and shaped a remarkable atmosphere. Hayloft tells about tradition and memory, the ability to preserve history and create legends, family values, creativity, and art objects as a life philosophy.