Architecture

Winter-ready cabin spans small river in Russia

Winter-ready cabin spans small...
Bridge House was prefabricated nearby and then delivered to site and assembled
Bridge House was prefabricated nearby and then delivered to site and assembled
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Bridge House was prefabricated nearby and then delivered to site and assembled
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Bridge House was prefabricated nearby and then delivered to site and assembled
Bridge House comprises a mostly wooden structure, with a lot of glazing 
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Bridge House comprises a mostly wooden structure, with a lot of glazing 
Bridge House provides access at either side for the owners to cross the river
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Bridge House provides access at either side for the owners to cross the river
BIO Architects was commissioned by a customer in the Tula Oblast region of Russia who wanted a second home installed on their farm
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BIO Architects was commissioned by a customer in the Tula Oblast region of Russia who wanted a second home installed on their farm
After taking a look at the site, BIO Architects came up with the idea of spanning the river
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After taking a look at the site, BIO Architects came up with the idea of spanning the river
The aptly-named Bridge House is installed on a rural farm
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The aptly-named Bridge House is installed on a rural farm
Bridge House's large amounts of foam insulation means it doesn't require heating even in temperatures of -15° C (5° F)
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Bridge House's large amounts of foam insulation means it doesn't require heating even in temperatures of -15° C (5° F)
Bridge House includes a large kitchen and dining area, which has seating and an electric piano
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Bridge House includes a large kitchen and dining area, which has seating and an electric piano
Bridge House measures 150 sq m (1,614 sq ft)
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Bridge House measures 150 sq m (1,614 sq ft)
Bridge House features a small loft bedroom above the kitchen
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Bridge House features a small loft bedroom above the kitchen
Top-down view of Bridge House's main living area
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Top-down view of Bridge House's main living area
Bridge House measures 150 sq m (1,614 sq ft)
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Bridge House measures 150 sq m (1,614 sq ft)
Bridge House comprises a mostly wooden structure, with a lot of glazing
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Bridge House comprises a mostly wooden structure, with a lot of glazing
Bridge House's large amounts of foam insulation means it doesn't require heating even in temperatures of -15° C (5° F)
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Bridge House's large amounts of foam insulation means it doesn't require heating even in temperatures of -15° C (5° F)
Bridge House was prefabricated and then delivered to site and assembled
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Bridge House was prefabricated and then delivered to site and assembled

Russia's BIO Architects previously built a cabin on the water and now it has produced one that's above some water. The aptly-named Bridge House is designed to withstand its country's famously harsh winters and spans a small river on a farm.

BIO Architects was commissioned to design and build a second home on a farm in the Tula Oblast region of Russia. After taking a look at the site, the firm came up with the idea of spanning the river.

Bridge House was prefabricated nearby and then delivered to site and assembled. It comprises a mostly wooden structure, with a lot of glazing, and doubles up as a bridge, providing access at either side for the owners to cross the river. The interior measures 150 sq m (1,614 sq ft) and is mostly taken up by a large kitchen and dining area, which includes seating and an electric piano set up for entertaining.

Bridge House measures 150 sq m (1,614 sq ft)
Bridge House measures 150 sq m (1,614 sq ft)

Elsewhere lies a loft bedroom above the kitchen that's accessed by ladder, plus another couple of bedrooms on the ground floor, one of which has its own kitchenette. There are also two bathrooms and a partially-covered deck area outside.

We asked the firm for more information on how Bridge House would fare in the cold and were told that the large amounts of foam insulation installed means it doesn't require heating in temperatures as cold as -15° C (5° F). However, when the temperature does drop further, gas central heating can be used.

Bridge House was completed in late 2018.

Source: BIO Architects

4 comments
Daishi
"designed to withstand its country's famously harsh winters" It's cool looking but this is a claim that isn't qualified or measured. Windows are a source of heat loss and three of the walls are windows. No foam insulation there. Houses with basements/foundations are easier to heat because the basement provides some barrier against the elements and doesn't stay as cold. In this the floor would require much more insulation than would be typical of a traditional house because the wind would blow under it. It's likely they do have additional insulation there for that reason but the metal framing underneath would probably transfer cold/heat better than other materials offsetting some of the insulation. You could heat anything using enough energy and that's probably the strategy used here.
minivini
I suppose that river is unable to flood, somehow? It’s a really cool design, but I can pretty easily imagine it washing out after a particularly wet season with some record rainfall on top.
chidrbmt
What happens with a ice dam or if the river floods?
owlbeyou
I like the way the house is done in a characteristically Russian utilitarian style. There's many homes here in cold northern Quebec that are built on posts and capable of being nice and toasty. The trusses here are made with wooden beams, so little icy steel to contend with. All the windows must be at least double glazed, and those curtains do provide an extra insulation value as well as privacy if desired. It's a small river or a large stream so flooding and ice jams aren't ever likely. I also appreciate that the interior isn't done in a sterile, picture-perfect style like so many modern homes we've seen that make me question if anyone really lives there. The only thing that bugs me is that this "bridge house" isn't actually a bridge that a vehicle on the property could use to cross the river.