Private house in the forest by the sea at Rocca al Mare

Tallinn, Estonia
Client: Private
Commission: 2006
Completed: 2009
Size: 600 m2

Merirahu residential area is located 8 km from Tallinn city centre in the open forest at Rocca al Mare. The area is walking distance from the open-air museum, Tallinn zoo, Rocca al Mare school, Saku Suurhall concert hall and sports venue and Tallinn’s largest shopping centre.

The clean right-angled house has been divided into three blocks. The horizontal volumes are divided into smaller sections with the help of a succession of walls that in turn have been divided vertically by intervening windows and walls. The verticality of the building has been inspired by the surrounding open forest. The house becomes an integral part of the landscape and to emphasize this the ground level between each section has been raised with the help of cascading flower beds that reach up to the level of the first floor. This also adds the dimension of time – thanks to the plants the appearance of the house changes with the passing years and the changing seasons.

The house is functionally divided into three sections that are connected by a long staircase corridor. The utility section of the house is on the ground floor where the garage, utility room, storage room and wardrobe are located. This is followed by the living room and kitchen separated by a corridor. The living room runs partly through two floors. The sauna is located in the third section of the house. There is a library and a roof terrace on the first floor directly above the utility section of the house. There are two bedrooms with bathrooms and a wardrobe above the middle section, and two bedrooms and a bathroom above the sauna section.

The support structure for the house is monolithic reinforced concrete. Three types of material have been used for the facade: monolithic concrete, which imitates wooden panels, glass and dark-toned roof shingles. The windows run from floor to ceiling where part of the ceiling is also glass to increase the amount of daylight that can reach inside. The texture of the roof shingle harmonizes with the surrounding trees.