Living steel was an International invited Architecture Competition for Sustainable Housing, which presented architects with the task of creating energy efficient, single-family, detached housing that minimises climate change emissions and can withstand temperature extremes, yet is affordable to build and to buy.
The prefabricated circular form was conceived to create a high-level of air tightness. The design was also inspired by traditional Russian houses which are often heavily ornamented, bordered by fences and includes kitchen gardens.
The doughnut-shaped house has been designed with an outer ring. This ring includes parking for one car, a kitchen garden (planting of vegetables), a greenhouse, as well as generous storage areas. As the perimeter of the house is made from a semi-transparent layer of steel, there’s a strong connection to the site. To provide thermal insulation, The insulations are made with eco-wool sandwich panels. While the greenhouse and kitchen garden can be enjoyed from the kitchen and living areas, they can also be appreciated from the bedrooms.
The three housing models vary in size from 120 square metres to 150 square metres. In each model the bedrooms are located on the first floor, in the centre of the doughnut. To create another protective layer against the cold weather, the architects designed a ‘snow fence’ around each home. This fence, made of steel mesh, allows winds to cool the house during summer. In winter, snow builds up within the mesh to form an additional blanket.