An isolated retreat located in the foothills of Kazakhstan’s largest city, Almaty, this striking residence was conceived by Lenz Architects . Aptly dubbed the ‘Shell House’, thanks to its exoskeleton-like exterior, the Damir Ussenov-led creation is one part villa, one part fortress. Private while still allowing its inhabitants to enjoy the surrounding landscape and wildlife, the home pairs the shell design with unique metal framework. This funnels natural light inside while electrically-powered dynamic aluminum panels are able to close around the windows to not only provide protection but soundproofing as well. Inside, the 600-square-metre space is dominated by a large studio that boasts a kitchen, sitting room, bedroom, and bathroom while a spiral staircase leads to open floor plan guest quarters on the second floor.