Photo Andrey Yagubskiy
Wielding the tough idiom of today’s modernism, the British architect Robin Monotti has produced an incredibly poetic piece of work, very Crimean in spirit, carrying on the local traditions and in harmony with the unique nature of the peninsula.
The client initially wanted a covered berth for a 13 m yacht, but then the construction project was extended to complement the storage facility with three flats to let and a separate flat for the captain. One-room apartments and the host’s flat occupy the ground and first floors and two-room apartments the second and third floors. All the flats have light-tone Italian furniture so that nothing distracts from the chief feature — the sea horizon in the loggia openings.
On the mountain side the blind façades shut the structure off from the outside world. The narrow windows of the donjon stairway call to mind the nearby Genoese fortress. The building, on the contrary, opens up on the sea: the numerous terraces and loggias overlook the sea forming a fanciful, sort of scattered composition. The architectural design of the sea façade was prompted, among other things, by the author’s striving to correlate the height of the yacht accommodation opening with the house itself: being 7 m wide, 15 m deep and 6 m high, the covered berth is a bit incongruous with the overall scale. Naturally, the architect couldn’t refrain from direct sea sailing allusions, hence the windows in the form of potholes. I should say the pothole windows combined with spacious terraces produce the stunning effect of strolling along the deck of a ship sailing in the boundless blue expanse. According to the architect, he was inspired by Kazimir Malevich’s architectons. He was also deeply impressed by the architecture of the Druzhba (Friendship) holiday hotel (architect I.A. Vasilevsky and engineer N.V. Kancheli, 1985).
The frame is fully made of reinforced concrete to withstand both earthquakes and strong storms in wintertime. Indisputably, the proximity of the sea poses flooding risks, so the problem was eventually solved with the help of breakwaters and the elevation of the structure to a safe level. The local success of an architectural experiment in prestigious Foros is bound to entail imitations a la Monotti, which is indicative in itself and at the same time constitutes a quality contribution of the British architect to the development of the modern architectural tradition of the Crimea.