Story | 02/09/2022 09:45:42 | 4 min Read time

From Russia with style: Inspiring plywood designs from ARCHIWOOD contest


From residential houses to interactive sculptures, creative plywood construction and design were prominently featured in the ARCHIWOOD 2020 awards in Russia.


ARCHIWOOD is an annual all-Russian award for the best wooden structures and wood-based products. One of the objectives of the event is to promote wood as an ideal material for creating modern sustainable architecture.

UPM Plywood has partnered with ARCHIWOOD to promote plywood as a perfect material for interior decoration, furniture, and construction. Plywood is a unique material with no natural equivalents in terms of aesthetics, strength-to-weight ratio, safety, sustainability, and manufacturing efficiency.

Special prizes from UPM Plywood were awarded to architects and designers who presented the most interesting projects created with plywood. In total, there were 34 projects that captured the judges’ attention, ranging from a children’s toy to public library space and residential houses.

“We were pleasantly surprised to see so many outstanding plywood projects submitted to this contest. These winning projects demonstrated the superiority of plywood as a material for a variety of end-use applications in construction. Sustainability, style, and much more can be achieved with plywood made from certified renewable wood material,” says Alexander Totskiy, Sales Manager, Russia, CIS and Baltics, UPM Plywood.

Here’s a look at some of these fascinating award-winning plywood projects.


Wavy Form

Architect: Victor Splash 
Photographer: Evgeny Stetsko

Wavy Form is an art object for the space of Rive Gauche’s deluxe cosmetics and perfume flagship shop in St. Petersburg. Several hundred lamellas made of plywood painted in vibrant and captivating fuchsia colour create a fairy-tale like wonderland and capture the visitors’ attention instantly. The installation clinging throughout the store like a flower garland, the sound of music or a flock of paradise birds… only the imagination is the limit.

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“In addition to the needs of the client, I had the desire to show the viewer the aesthetics of an abstract form. Let them see the unusual. While they are immersed in an ocean of scents, we also provide them with full visual scenes. One complements the other,” says architect Victor Splash.



Architect: Evgeniy Makarenko, Andris Shneps-Shneppe
Photographer: Evgeny Stetsko

Cargo-Modul is a micro-house for two, situated in the natural scenic area and creative community “Village”. To make the old sea container as homelike as possible, plywood was used in the interior design to its maximum. “It is the best material for converting this 40-foot container into a livable space with living room, shower, kitchen, bedroom, and much more,” says Evgeniy Makarenko.

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The concealed fixing of the plywood makes it possible to minimize the seams and remove excess elements in the interior, which, in combination with the gloss of the solid surface, visually extends the interior. Built-in furniture is a necessity in such a compressed space – it is also made of plywood.



Designer: Mikhail Chistyakov, Rodion Sosnov
Photographer: Evgeny Stetsko

The convenient and durable X-Stool is designed to be assembled without glue and metalware. A sad smiley mouth forms a comfortable notch for the palm - it can be easily lifted or moved. The designers have great respect for the iconic Finnish architect and designer Alvar Aalto and made this stool as a continuation of Aalto’s famous Stool 60.

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Ball House

Architect: Valery Borzikov, Ekaterina Aulova
Photographer: Evgeny Stetsko

The experimental living module RD7 was designed as a guest house or a showroom. Installation does not require any construction equipment and the house can be disassembled and moved to another place. The structure is supported by 6 poles, which allows it to be fitted into any landscape without interfering with nature.

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Elephant S-L-O-N

Designer: Vitaly Datchenko
Photographer:   Evgeny Stetsko

S-L-O-N is an interactive sculpture originally developed as part of a children’s playground project. Consisting of letters made of plywood, the structure can used for climbing. In a small size, it works  as a children’s tinker-toy that can be assembled and disassembled.

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Under the Sea sushi bar

Architect: Anna Lvovskaya, Boris Lvovsky, Fedor Goregliad, Maria Romanova, Julia Gritsyuk
Photographer:  Evgeny Stetsko

Under the Sea is a small sushi bar in the historical center of St. Petersburg. The massive plywood structure under the ceiling creates a breathtaking sea wave resemblance. The interior is a combination of Japanese aesthetics and Scandinavian minimalism. Wood adds warmth to the clean and simple design, which creates the sensation of dining on a sandy seashore on a sunny day.

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The massive yet elegant structure of plywood plates is built under the ceiling to create a strong visual metaphor of the sea wave. It is a reference to the name of the place – Under The Sea.
The walls are completely painted white, and custom-made tables with white countertops create a beautiful background for the dishes. The clear and simple design helps put the focus on food instead of the surroundings.