B210, which is based in Tallinn, designed the Maidla Nature Villa for a site on the estate of a former manor house in Rapla county.
The owners of the Maidla Nature Resort wanted to provide visitors with a unique accommodation experience that immerses them in nature and makes the most of this remote and unusual site.
Described by its owners as a “micro-hotel” situated in an untouched bog landscape, the single-room dwelling is raised up on stilts above the high-water level.
The cabin provides accommodation for one person or a couple in its single room, with terraces around and on top of the building offering plenty of usable outdoor space.
“The entire house is covered with terraces,” explained the architects. “A lower morning terrace, gigantic steps leading to the roof and the night terrace at the height of the treetops, for enjoying the sunset, stargazing and birdwatching.”
A boardwalk that extends across the swamp leads to a deck in front of the building, which is hidden from view amongst birch trees and the surrounding shrubbery. The setting was also carefully chosen to limit the building’s impact on the existing ecosystem.
The angular structure is clad entirely in dark-brown, thermo-treated ash that helps it to blend in with its natural setting. B210 said the design was inspired by treehouses and was developed to minimise disturbance to the ground and trees.
Seven-metre-long piles driven into the boggy soil support the structure, while the terrace incorporates several holes to allow birch trees to penetrate it.
“To fit the delicate plot best, the shape of the house is irregular, divided into several triangles, circling around the bed area,” the architects added. “An unusual floor plan allows for a convenient entrance with a storm porch.”
The glass entrance door opens straight into the compact, angular bedroom, which is lined with full-height glazing providing views across the boggy wilderness.
“The interior of the tiny hotel is meticulously considered in the same style as the exterior,” claimed B210, “with the goal to blend in with nature, offer comfort and quality in materials.”
A wood-burning stove located at the apex of the triangular space provides a focal point within the cabin. Curtains can be drawn across the room to separate the bed from a sitting area by the fire.
A small bathroom tucked away behind the bed includes an incineration toilet and floor-to-ceiling mirrors that help to make it feel larger.
Back outside, there is an unheated maintenance space slotted in beneath the steps that lead up onto the roof. When the surrounding bogland is flooded, it is possible to launch a canoe into the water straight from the cabin’s decking.
B210 was established in 2012 and functions as an interdisciplinary cooperative, working on projects that aim to enact positive change within the built environment.
The studio was selected for the Maidla Nature Villa on the basis of its previous work on projects in the Estonian countryside, including a floating timber sauna designed for a wilderness workshop and the installation of three timber funnels built to magnify the sounds of a forest.
Photography is by Tõnu Tunnel unless stated.
Architect: b210 Architects
Team: Mari Hunt, co-authors Aet Ader, Karin Tõugu, Kadri Klementi
Engineering: Peter Stumbur and Veiko Koppe
Builder: Otto Ehitab
Client: Maidla Nature Resort
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