When oversized doors opened to reveal a glass elevator and a picture-perfect view of the Coast, it was obvious this house and its owner were something remarkable.

 

Russian hemp producer Evgeny Skigin is the proud owner of the much talked about $18 million eco-friendly house in the sand dunes at Sunshine Beach.

He graciously welcomed Sunshine Coast Daily journalist Matt Collins into his six-bedroom, nine-bathroom home to share a little of his personal life and international business journey.

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Mr Skigin spoke about his school days while also describing the intricate details of fine art pieces purchased from around the globe and explaining why the sauna with the sea view was his favourite room in the house.

"I didn't think about any goals during school," he said.

"I was too focused on school to think about what to do in the future."

Born in Russia and raised in Germany, Mr Skigin moved to Switzerland as a teenager for boarding school.

The multilingual entrepreneur completed two degrees and was initially interested in a career in law.

"I did law and arts, majoring in philosophy and international relationships," Mr Skigin said.

"I wanted to understand my rights, but I knew I didn't want to be a lawyer.

"They deserve all the credit they get; it is hard work."

It was only after the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 that the Russian hemp tycoon had his moment of clarity.

"Everyone was thinking we need to get rid of fossil fuels, we need to care about the environment," he said.

"So, I thought sustainable industries is the industry to get into.

"It is the industry of the future."

Having admired his private gym, cinema room, marble floors and walk-in fridge, one can assume he may be right.

Mr Skigin's industrial hemp business is one of the leading providers of the usable fibre in the world.

His product is used by many large companies internationally, including automotive powerhouse BMW.

Russian hemp tycoon Evgeny Skigin is the owner of Domic, an $18 million eco-home and the most expensive costal home in Queensland. Designed by Brisbane-based architect Noel Robinson, the house in the sand dunes took three years to build. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily.
Russian hemp tycoon Evgeny Skigin is the owner of Domic, an $18 million eco-home and the most expensive costal home in Queensland. Designed by Brisbane-based architect Noel Robinson, the house in the sand dunes took three years to build. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily.

"I looked at many things," he said.

"I thought industrial hemp fits with what I want to do.

"The crop is the only crop, that I know of, that provides the basic necessities for humans; housing, clothing and food.

"It is also very good for the agricultural land."

The green entrepreneur said environmental sustainability was important, but so was financial stability.

"It has to make money," he said.

"People will not work for you for free.

"You must have both going for you.

"One good line I heard early on in the industry is, 'you can't be green if you are in the red'."

He proudly opened sliding doors to his home like Willy Wonka opening the doors to the chocolate factory.

It unveiled one of the greatest views in southeast Queensland, which Mr Skigin said impressed him when he first experienced it.

"I liked it when it was just a bunch of drawings, but when I saw it done it was amazing," he said.

"But I was also a bit sad in the realisation that the process had come to an end."

While it was clear the Russian hemp tycoon was in a comfortable place financially, he said money wasn't a huge priority for him.

"I just don't take it very seriously," Mr Skigin said.

"I don't care about your car, or your watch, or your suit.

"I just don't care.

"And I don't expect you to care about my stuff either.

"It's just not that interesting."

Before COVID-19 hit, Mr Skigin's calendar was balanced between three quarters of the year in Switzerland and one quarter here on the Coast.

When he is able to travel again, he is looking to rent out his award-winning home to interested parties with the right budget.

"Ultimately I just hope they enjoy it and treat it like a home," he said.


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