Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Siberian Wooden Houses










































{notice the little window within the window}

As some of you already know and others have probably deduced by my name, I do not originally hail from the United States. I was actually born in the Ukraine, but my maternal grandmother was born in Siberia. When I came across these amazing images of the wooden houses in and around the neighboring villages of Irkutsk, Siberia I was mesmerized. Photographed by Vladstudio, this local wanted to document these fairytale-like cottages before they have been completely destroyed by time and the elements and I am so thankful that he did.
I can't even begin to comprehend the time, skill, and craftsmanship that went into creating these cottages and the incredible details that abound. To come across something like this, in what is virtually the middle of nowhere, must be an amazing sight. I have no recollections of the home of my great grandparents, but I like to think it was a place as magical as this. Funnily enough, I guess some things never change, because in my childhood home here in the U.S. and in my grandparent's home I always remember lace-curtained windows just like so many of the homes pictured above. One of my favorite details may very well be the tiny little windows that swing open from just one of the panes on the facade. I wonder what the story behind those is? A private fairy entrance perhaps? I wouldn't be surprised.
{spectacular photography via Vlad Gerasimov of Vladstudio, see more here}
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23 comments:

Virginia @ Where You Hang Your Hat said...

The lighting in these pictures is amazing. They look like they're right out of a storybook.

nkp said...

Hi Virginia. It is amazing, isn't it. I think he plays with photoshop to create this vintage sense of ambiance. The site outlines a description of his process, if you're interested.

mb said...

These houses are unbelievable. To think that time and decay will eventually claim them is so sad. What beautiful detail.
Thanks for sharing the photos and your personal story with us.
xxmb

Marija said...

Great post, Nelya. Terrific pictures but I love the peak into your ancestry. My Croatian family loved the lace look as well. Something about these images has a painting-like quality....

Marija

nkp said...

Must be an eastern european quirk Marija. I used to roll my eyes at those floral embroidered lace curtains. Now I miss them. I guess age will do that to you. :0)

Naomi said...

Such amazing architectural details. They don't build houses with such love anymore.
And I don't typically like shutters, but the blue ones are so charismatic in these photos.

Ally @ FROM THE RIGHT BANK said...

Oh, this post!!! I'm the only person I know who's ever wanted to visit Siberia. Really! I've always been fascinated by it and I've long loved the wooden architecture of that part of the world. In fact, I was so captivated at one point I even contemplated studying them in grad school and even had the application in hand but changed my mind in the end. Imagine that - me changing my mind about something! :D

The Shiny Pebble said...

Sooo cool! So unique... absolutely something I would only see in your blog. Where do you dig these things up?! It is all so foreign to me... and I have lived all over! Thanks for sharing... My first thought is... who were these people that built these homes? Were they reserved to the prililedge few or was that standard run of the mill for the time? With your law background, I'm sure you can come up with all sorts of background on this stuff. I would love to hear more about it.

susie q said...

Do your grandparents have photos, Nelya? Would love to see what the homeland looked like.

Love these images -- so intense.

A Perfect Gray said...

lovely, all of them. The roof shots are awesome. Thanks for that look and for sharing some of your history and memories with us. It makes us richer...

Anita Davis said...

oh my! i can only imagine that the carvings were done while enduring the long, long winters. so delicate; so beautiful!

angela | the painted house said...

Oh, those images are so haunting, beautiful, delicate yet strong. It is sorrowful that those buildings will be lost someday. :(

Thank you for stopping by and commenting on my blog, such kind words! I hope you will check back in next week for el blog nuevo!!!!

Love your blog--you are in my reader now! :)

Mrs C said...

Hey Nelya,

Amazing pictures, houses truly a work of art...preparing myself to lose an hour now as I'm off to follow your link!

Mrs C x

ModernSauce said...

Beautiful homes with such great character! If they were old women I would love to be their friends: rough around the edges but still feminine and plenty of stories to tell no doubt!

nkp said...

Hi Angela. So glad you stopped by! I will definitely be there for the big debut!

nkp said...

Hi there ModernSauce! Welcome and thanks for stopping by!

erin@designcrisis said...

Gorgeous photography... maybe he used high dynamic range imaging? Off to check out the process.

Raina Cox said...

When I get my time machine finished, you and I will travel back to when these beauties were under construction.

Vintage Simple said...

These are beautifully intricate... and you are right - just like lacework, but wood... What a treat to get a little more of your personal history as well, dearest. '

much love,
-maria

pen.ny said...

I LOVE windows that swing open. It was one of my favorite favorite things about living in Belgium for so long. These homes are really really gorgeous NKP. So much texture and detail to them all. I think I just sat and stared for way too long but there is so much to look at! (And that's SO a good thing!)

Karen Cheung said...

Those are stunning! I love how they are in this state of perfect dilapidation - I can only wonder though, how much longer they can be left like that before they start to fall apart! Which would be the most awful tragedy.

My husband is half Ukrainian and his grandmother keeps loads of bright patterned textiles and bits of lace around her home. They can be really beautiful! Thanks for sharing :-)

Cassie said...

Oooh. Wonderful. I've read a number of travel books about Siberia and they always talk about these houses being torn down. It's nice to see that some are still standing!

Vanya-Endless Inspiration said...

aren't they absolutely gorgeous, I love the texture and how wonderfully 'old' they are!