10 most bizarre Russian houses (PHOTOS)

Mayer H, Alexander Erman Architecture & Design; Vezha Studio
In Russia, you can find almost any style of architecture: classicism, art nouveau, modern skyscrapers… but there is also architecture that is completely different from the usual buildings where people live. Who built them and why?

1. House in the water tower, Tomsk

The Siberian city of Tomsk is famous, first of all, for its historic wooden architecture (see more photos here), nowadays residents are also building creative homes. 

In 2012, Alexander Lunev bought a late 19th-century water tower from the Tomsk municipal government and decided to turn it into an apartment for him. It took eight years to restore the facades and inside spaces. Only in 2020 was he able to move there. The tower is divided now into six floors, each with one room. As of today, only one of them is ready, where he lives and the work continues.

2. 3D-printed house, Yaroslavl

In this ‘Golden Ring’ capital there are not only buildings of medieval Rus’, but also the company that produces 3D-printers for constructions. Back in 2017, they unveiled one of Europe’s largest printed private homes with an area of almost 300 square meters.  

It only took a month to print, but the interior took 2 years and now  a family lives there. 

Currently, this company is building a whole settlement using the same technology. 

3. ‘Cat’ house, Yaroslavl

It is difficult to believe, but this house or, rather, the summer house of a local resident, was also built using a 3D printer from the same company, but in a slightly different way. For the house, 150 parts were printed in the workshop and then assembled on site. 

The result is a house in the shape of a cat holding a Rubik’s cube in its paws! The interior area is a mere 23 square meters and the total height is 5.4 meters. 

4. Egg House, Moscow Region 

Famous Moscow sculptor Grigory Orekhov built this egg-shaped house for his daughter Agatha. The concept for this futuristic construction was born from a search for a children’s playhouse. “My daughter has for many years been asking me for a playhouse, but we are a family of perfectionists, so we can’t buy just anything simply to close the matter,” Orekhov says. (Read more about this house here

5. NN residence, Moscow Region

In 2019, an unusual house appeared outside Moscow, which, when viewed from above, becomes indistinguishable from its natural surroundings. This house was designed by German bureau ‘J.Mayer.H’ for an unnamed client. According to the architects, the boundary between the house and the landscape is erased and the feeling of a natural environment emerges. The area of the house is a whopping 5,600 square meters. The building itself is reminiscent of the shape of a giant clam or a leaf of a tree. The construction took 2.5 years, which, for such a complex project, is a blink of an eye. 

6. Kolos houses, Moscow

Prior to the 1980 Moscow Olympics, the famous round khrushchevkas were built (read more about them here). And these round panel apartment buildings in the south of Moscow were built in the late 1990s. This is an experimental series of 24-story houses called ‘Kolos’.

The lower three floors are used for stores, while the higher floors are regular apartments, though with concave walls.

7. Elephant House, Moscow Region

This house in the Moscow suburban district of Ostrovtsy was constructed by Sergey Kozhuro as an experiment. But now, this is one of the sights to see in the region. The idea was to build a living house in the shape of the elephant (do you remember that Russia is their homeland? No? Then read more about this here). However, the 4-storey house hasn’t found an owner yet.

8. The Dome House, Novosibirsk

Local designer Ivan Dyrkin started building sphere houses in Siberia’s largest city about 10 years ago. His first house became a real city landmark; he held lectures, exhibitions and parties there. Now he builds houses to order using the technology he invented himself. 

(Also, read about the experiment of living under a dome in the coldest region of Russia here

9. Balloon House, Altai Mountains

Another house in the form of a sphere we found high in the Altai Mountains, in the village of Multa, a popular tourist spot. It is a 3-storey house, which the owners also rent out to holidaymakers. Despite the seeming diminutiveness, there are six bedrooms, a full kitchen and a large living room. The house is heated with a stove.

10. Shell House, Sverdlovsk Region

A strange-shaped house appeared not far from Yekaterinburg in the village of Tavatuy in 2012. It was built by a local architect named Yuri Gaidukov for himself.  

The house has three levels: downstairs there is a hall with a library, on the second floor there is a kitchen and living room and, on the third floor, there is a bedroom. There are practically no straight lines in the house; it is almost as if the whole thing is flowing and gravitating. What do you think?

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