A city of stark, utilitarian, Soviet-style buildings constructed in a rush during the 1950s is probably the last place you would expect to find a striking example of modern, cutting-edge minimalist architecture. But in an otherwise unremarkable suburban setting on the outskirts of Chişinău - the capital city of Moldova - is Line Architect's The Piano House. It's a sleek, single-story private house that comes close to epitomising minimalism at its finest.
Travelling out from the centre of Chişinău , the surroundings morph within a matter of minutes into the same monotony of characterless, low-rise homes found in suburbia the world over. The familiar sameness is suspended, at least momentarily, when you reach the Piano House, a pleasing-to-the-eye euphony of glass, wood and concrete that sits easily in its trapezoidal plot, bordered on three sides by more conventional homes. It's a sleek, single-story, 264-square-metre family home with three bedrooms, an inner courtyard and outdoor swimming pool.
The front facade is subtle and signified, a car port that fits elegantly into the overall aesthetic. There's no sense of it being an afterthought or add-on, as is all too often the case with car ports or other external aspects of the house. It's flanked on two sides with reinforced ferro-concrete walls, with a flat surface of wood and glass to the back - the three elements coming together to create not just an ideal shelter but also the perfect frame. The sleek lines and low profile give the front of the house an unassuming and modest appearance; this isn't a house that could ever be accused of arrogance or ostentation.