Dec 26, 2019 / Interiors
The House of Sand by Iya Turabelidze

The House of Sand is a minimalist home located in Kiev, Ukraine, designed by Iya Turabelidze. Kiev is both known as a garden city and as a city full of cars and no free parking slots. It’s the city of young and daring, still owned by archaic and fossilized minds. It’s the city where you’ll be astonished both by the beautiful buildings from the 19th and 20th centuries and how they are uglified by air conditioners and glazed-in balconies. In times it feels like citizens just don’t know how to embrace their history and unique beauty of their hometown. But the times are changing, and the new generation is willing to preserve Kyiv historical architecture, enriching the appearance of the city with modern innovative solutions. Iya Turabelidze, one of the most prominent current Kyiv architects is also one of the change agents. Known for her sensual and feminine projects, Turabelidze is changing the face of the city from its very core. She becomes a go-to-person for a young Kyiv-lover, who wanted to create her home nest in the city after moving back there from Berlin.

The apartment here has three faces, three concepts: the era, the owner and the architect. At the same time, those concepts are so coherent, that it feels like this apartment was neither built or designed, but naturally became the way it is within the lifetime. The project, eventually called The House of Sand, is not about design, to be frank. It is about the vague and elusive feeling of home, which is more than just a mark on the map. It’s about the time moving in a spiral, leaving notches on the turns. This is a sense of space-time, in which sand, removed by a finger from a bookshelf in Berlin, would fall on a parquet floor in Kyiv. The owner’s love for both her hometown Kyiv and recently left Berlin, soaks the interior, starting from shapes and colors and to the union of German and Soviet furniture of the 50-70s. Restored old parquet, rough stucco on the walls, with its soft uneven lines, marble breccias, vintage tiles of the 50s – all the materials used in the apartment complement each other without stealing for the greater attention.

The very first wish of the customer was to make a mature apartment design, without following the edgy trends and tendencies, the place that can be settled and changed following the passage of time. To reach this goal, the architect has used neutral warm colors with natural materials that are beautifully aging, as well as the furniture that has already passed the test of time. There is no excessive constructions or decor here. The apartment is situated in the building form 50s, so Turabelidze restored every remained original architectural aspect of it and filled the apartment with a rarity from flea markets and vintage shops. The big part of the furniture, all lighting, and tiles here are the historical legacy of the Soviet era, the best part of it. It’s accompanied by German 70’s writing desk and, of course, the gem of the apartment – the Wassily chair by Marcel Breuer.

Photography by Mikhail Loskutov