Located on a secluded spot in the foothills of a mountain near Kazakhstan's largest city Almaty, the Shell House is an isolated retreat for people who enjoy nature and solitude. Designed by Damir Ussenov's architectural firm Lenz Architects, the house looks like a transparent organism emerging from a protective, opaque shell, and boasts a few mechanisms that mitigate its environmental impact.
The architects used a unique metal framework for the structure, ensuring that natural light penetrates the interior through large floor-to-ceiling windows. Dynamic aluminum panels can be closed using an electronic mechanism, thus completely isolating the house from its surroundings. This design element provides security for its occupants and soundproofs the interior.
The aluminum panels are treated with white EIFS plaster, which thermally insulate the house. The interior features a large living room, kitchen, dining area, bedroom, bathroom and a relaxation room, with an upstairs guest bedroom accessible via a spiral staircase. Sigh. We wouldn’t mind a retreat here right about now.
Photos by Botagoz Nurgaliyeva