KUU arhitektid has designed a cozy and modern cottage in the woods of estonia. the project is located in muraste, a village in north of the country, where the project’s typology is not unusual. as the estonians are historically known for being ‘forest dwellers,’  the functionality of the project is similar to most structures in the area. the dwelling is constructed from wood, which has been predominant in the region for thousands of years. however, stylistically the cottage take this estonian tradition into the 21st century. 
KUU arhitekitid muraste
all images by tõnu tunnel



as an estonian firm, KUU is fascinated with its heritage. the project is referred to as a koda (the ancient estonian word for ‘living place’), and the form of these building is a direct reference to historical architectural context of the region. it consists of simple repeating shapes, resembling a geometric version of the vernacular structures. as the architect puts it, ‘over time, completely new types of koda have appeared: places for making music and meeting others, blacksmithing, worship; all of which shows how deep the koda’s roots are in our culture.’
KUU arhitekitid muraste
the three estonian cottages overlook the baltic sea



the compound consists of three little huts each with a matching style, but with different surprises inside. each chamber is like a different nest of functionality and comfort. the cottage in muraste consists of three units – one which contains a sauna, one for with a living room / kitchen, and that serves as a bedroom / bathroom. the large openings are directed northward towards a view of the baltic sea, while on the southern side they catch the sunlight. in the words of the architect, ‘the bright interior and converging ceiling is illuminated by triangular roof windows that strive towards the sun.’
KUU arhitekitid muraste
the design comprises repeated geometric forms
KUU arhitekitid muraste
the original estonians settled in the woods and constructed buildings from trees KUU architekitid muraste
this black hut is painted with a natural tar
KUU arhitekitid muraste
the compound includes a sauna for relaxation and decompression
KUU arhitekitid muraste
light pours in from the window in the roof 
KUU arhitekitid muraste
staying warm is easier in the small huts
KUU arhitekitid muraste
the house is designed to trap heat to allow year-long comfortKUU architekitid muraste
snow covers the cottage during winter months KUU arhitekitid muraste
a drone image of the house
KUU arhitekitid muraste
the houses almost seems to blend into the forest



project info:


architects: KUU arhitektid
design team: joel kopli, koit ojaliiv
project team: joel kopli, koit ojaliiv, rene sauemägi
interior architect: aet piel (aet piel disain oü)
location: muraste, estonia
area: 77 sqm
client: private
project year: 2016
photography: tõnu tunnel