11. May 2022

Estonian-Irish collaborative exhibition “There is a forest in my backyard but my house is built from trees grown far away” was awarded an AAI Award!

AAI award winners

The award-winning exhibition, which paid a tribute to the “secret life” of wood, from timber to architectural backbone, was on display at the Solstice Arts Centre, Navan (Ireland) at the beginning of 2022. It was curated by the Estonian-Irish architects team composed of Alder Architects, Dublin (St John Walsh) and b210 Architects, Tallinn (Aet Ader, Helmi Marie Langsepp and Mari Möldre).

“As a natural building material, wood contains a unique richness which is impacted by many factors including climate and topography. Whether the building site is next to a forest or not, timber used in construction has been subjected to an industrial decision-making process that dictates its final physical properties. In this act of translation, where wood is often treated similarly to other inanimate materials, a tree’s uniqueness is sacrificed for transportability, structural consistency and usability.” — assert the Wood Works 2022 curators.

In uncovering the unique traits of timber, five Irish and five Estonian architecture offices — Hannigan Cooke Architects, Joseph Mackey Architects, OGU Architects, Robert Bourke Architects, Wrkshop Architects from Ireland and Creatomus Solutions, Paco Ulman & Kaja Pae, Peeter Pere Architects, Ruumiringlus and Studio Kuidas from Estonia — were invited to work in pairs and to question how industry and construction can learn from and be shaped by these inherent qualities of the material.

“There is a forest in my backyard but my house is built from trees grown far away” was the result of the Wood Works creative initiative and travelling exhibition program, initiated by the Estonian Association of Architects (EAA) in partnership with the Estonian Centre for Architecture (EAK) and the Irish Architecture Foundation (IAF). The exhibition will travel to Tallinn for the Tallinn Architecture Biennale (TAB) in September 2022.

Exhibition design by Roji, graphic design by StuudioStuudio. The Wood Works project is supported by the European Commission’s European Regional Development Fund through Enterprise Estonia (project EU52724), with additional support for the exhibition from the Arts Council of Ireland, Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Enterprise Ireland, and Meath County Council.

The Architectural Association of Ireland (AAI) is a non-profit voluntary organisation, founded in 1896, with the aim of promoting greater discussion, dissemination and engagement in architecture and the built environment. Since its foundation, the AAI has developed a range of initiatives to encourage the amelioration of architectural culture in Ireland.