Take a journey into the high-water season at Estonia’s Soomaa wetlands — no fear, a group of young creatives has created three special structures to keep you afloat.
Soomaa is a national park and area of wetlands in southwestern Estonia, enduring severe flooding by rivers each year. Students of architecture, art and design were set the task this summer of designing floating structures to work with the dynamic and challenging landscape, responding to the needs of people living in the area.
The Veetee (Waterway) structures were intended to offer something other than a tool of simple navigation, such as a boat — with this in mind, the students came up with a shelter, fireplace and sauna. Two of these three objects are now open to the public, providing an opportunity to explore how experimental forest infrastructure might provide for the needs of local people or those visiting the area.
The students’ project was led by Finnish architect and artist Sami Rintala, Serbian architect Pavle Stamenović, Estonian architecture office b210, and Professor Hannes Praks, who heads up the Department of Interior Architecture at the Estonian Academy of Arts.
The shelter, fireplace and sauna join a number of other structures built in Estonian forests as part of a project organised by the Estonian State Forest Management Centre, among which is a series of impressive forest megaphones constructed by students last year.