This summer, architecture and design students took to the Estonian Soomaa forests to build three floating structures on seasonally-flooded lands. Tutored by architects Sami Rintala, Pavle Stamenovic, and studio b210, the floating shelter, fireplace, and sauna reflect a need for versatility in an ever-changing landscape.
The area of bogland and rivers predictably floods each year, severing ties with the outside world as the water rushes over roads and inviting a new, peaceful perspective for visitors who explore the territory in their canoes. Students of the Estonian Academy of Arts Interior Architecture department, led by professor Hannes Praks, eagerly took the challenge to build structures, named Veetee, that would serve visitors’, as well as nature’s, needs.
A triangular shelter and fireplace can be found as new pieces of forest infrastructure – sadly, the sauna sank during a testing period. “Wet areas are, recreationally speaking, extremely charming due to the high number of species and unique landscape, but at the same time hard to explore, both in the sense of getting there and staying,” explains Praks. “Veetee, being located in an area that regularly floods and shifts, develops this competency, exploring ways of being both a transport vehicle and a usable space.”
The project will join a larger network of forest infrastructure, managed by the State Forest Management Centre of Estonia, where it will join the ranks of the Ruup wooden megaphones built by students last year.
Images via Tõnu Tunnel