08. Oct 2020

Estonian-Irish architects team won the Wood Works curatorial competition

The Estonian Association of Architects (EAA), Estonian Centre for Architecture (ECA) and Irish Architecture Foundation (IAF) have announced “There is a forest in my backyard but my house is built from trees grown far away” as the winning proposal of the Wood Works Curatorial Team Competition. The winning proposal is curated by Estonian-Irish architects team: Aet Ader, Helmi Marie Langsepp and Mari Möldre (all b210 Architects, Tallinn) and St John Walsh (Alder Architects, Dublin).

Wood Works winning proposal “There is a forest in my backyard but my house is built from trees grown far away” is a call for noticing and creating variety in a world that is otherwise striving for common standardised values. Timber is often treated similarly to other inanimate building materials, yet each tree is unique, their growth impacted by many factors such as the earth, wind, climate and topography, as well as man. To produce timber elements that are both transportable and modulated for construction, a standardisation process is undertaken, during which a tree is cut back to common increments.

The curators wish to explore this act of transformation across the life cycle of timber; from the extraction to transportation, standardisation to encapsulation in construction, and disassembly for potential reuse. What are the demands of the building industry for wood materials and what are the limitations and opportunities of this? Is such an abstraction necessary for a designer? What opportunity exists to interpret and reuse standardised material extracted from existing sources following deconstruction?

“There is a forest in my backyard but my house is built from trees grown far away” aims to be an engaging exhibition featuring a number of themes or branches, which will allow exhibitors to respond to this condition across the life-cycle of the material from cradle to cradle. Speculations will touch on all aspects of the building process itself through workshops facilitating collaboration, exchange and transport of exhibits.The current uncertain status of the world will guide the process with a physical exchange of models and ideas by post is proposed. Here the act of transfer becomes a reflective action and an important part of the exhibition, where the container or vessel is as much an artefact of the process as the contents. 

The Wood Works is an Estonian and Irish collaboration that focuses on the use of wood in design and construction in architecture. The result of the Wood Works project will be a travelling exhibition which will be opened at Solstice Art Centre in Ireland at the end of March 2021. The Wood Works project is supported by the European Regional Development Fund through the Enterprise Estonia.


The curatorial team

b210 (Aet Ader, Helmi Marie Langsepp and Mari Möldre)

b210 is an architecture office with a think tank approach to everyday spatial challenges. We believe that positive change in the built environment is driven by a smart design process where architectural ideas are as important as methods of developing them. We like to design ways of thinking as much as physical spaces.

Alder Architects (St John Walsh)

Alder Architects is a multidisciplinary practice based in Dublin & Cork. We enjoy applying our design skills to projects at all scales focusing on inventive use of materials and light. We place a strong emphasis on collaboration and participation with clients, communities and artists. Commissions to date have included new residential & commercial buildings, extensions to existing structures, workplace design and public installations.



Contact information

Kadri Laar

Estonian Association of Architects / Estonian Centre for Architecture