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This Human Habitat Floats with the Tides

This Veetee (“Water Way”) structure began as an experiment. Architecture group EKA Sisearhitektuur worked in collaboration with a summer school program organized by the Estonian Academy of Arts Interior Architecture Department. This project brought students from Estonia, Iceland, Denmark, Latvia, and Lithuania together to create this floating human habitat.

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Every year, the boggy region of Soomaa in Estonia experiences something called “5th season,” when water levels rise drastically. During this two-week season, rivers rise several meters for weeks at a time, flooding roads and entire sections of town. During this period, locals get around their flooded towns by using boats. The architecture students wanted to experiment with a new way of rising to this challenge; a building that rises and falls with the tides.

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The structure originally held a sauna; during the testing period, the sauna sunk to the bottom of the lake, which the participants described as a useful learning opportunity in how materials function in different conditions.

The structure completed by the students is now part of a larger network of forest structures, organized by the State Forest Management Centre of Estonia. Since the structures completion 2016, it has become available to visit by tourists and locals.

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