Skellefteå, a small Swedish city with about 100 000 inhabitants situated just below the Arctic Circle, has a long history of timber building. Architects Robert Schmitz and Oskar Norelius from White Architects are making a monument to the city’s timber tradition, the Sara Cultural Centre, which will be one of the world’s tallest timber buildings.

As your family and your needs grow, your house starts to feel too tight.
We've been there ourselves...

This is why, a couple to years ago, we started to play with the idea of bringing to life a garden room.

What is a garden room?'s an extra room with the same qualities of the rooms of a high-end house (great insulation, great soundproofing, privacy, ...) that you can just place in your garden.

This summer we finally built one and it took us just 4 days!

Recently, we attend a seminar and exhibition on new Swedish wooden architecture.
As new construction technologies become more affordable and safe, this sector of the building industry seems to be booming.

We wanted to get more information on this... and so we interviewed someone who is dealing with wood architecture on a daily basis.

This year, a total of 12 projects made it to the international finals of the Huts and Habitats competition, part of TAB (Tallinn Architecture Biennale). 
Steampunk was the unanimous favorite of the jury right from the beginning.   

To date, Steampunk it is the largest and most ambitious project in the world implemented using augmented reality… and it’s entirely made of wood.

So you are working on a new housing project and you are wondering whether you should build it entirely on-site or you should take advantage of some sort of prefabricated construction method.

As soon as you look into prefab construction technologies, you realize there are 3 ways you can go about it:

How can you determine which one is the best for your project?

This article is all about that...

Historically, timber has been a popular building material for schools in the Nordic countries. 
In Estonia, the advent of new materials brought a pause of about 100 years in the construction of wooden schools. 

This pause was finally broken in autumn 2018 with the construction of Viimsi State Secondary School by KAMP Architects: a stunning CLT building which also became the largest wooden public building in Estonia.

COMPACT is a prefabricated wooden house developed for residential and recreational use.
The architectural concept of COMPACT stems from the collaboration between Nordic Houses and the Architects of Trilog Studio, building on an award achieved by Nordic Houses in 2015.

In the middle of nowhere deep in the South-Estonian woods, we are surprised by a striking industrial complex. An eye-catcher that so far has caught only a few eyes wandering in this faraway place.

It was precisely the idea of architects Ott Kadarik, Mihkel Tüür, Aleksei Petrov and interior architect Kadri Tamme (Kadarik Tüür Arhitektid, i.e. KTA) to prove that very good architecture can be created also in peripheral areas.

...and what do they do in this building anyway?
Production of laminated timber.

Instead of planning an ordinary three-story apartment building according to the zoning plan, in the Tallinn suburb Tabasalu architects Oliver Alver and Egon Metusala convinced the real estate developer to build exciting modern wooden townhouses instead.

From the ordinary to the extraordinary – now three black wooden townhouses are perfectly in tune with the natural surroundings.

The Estonian timber house industry is well known. The industry is one of the few in Estonia that exports most of its production.
Estonians were involved in the construction of the tallest timber building in Norway (80m).
Today, thanks to Matek - custom-made prefabricated timber frame house producer - Estonia has a perfect exemplar of a prefabricated apartment building, built using modern technologies and in a way to satisfy the needs of the real-estate market.

The buildings in Norway produced by EstNor and designed by Mihkel Urmet that were awarded the prize for the Best Private House category of the Pre-fab House of the Year Award in 2019, have been recognized as modular houses with excellent engineering solutions, cleverly combining materials with the architectural form. We asked the CEO of Estnor Renee Mikomägi and the architect of TEMPT Architects Mihkel Urmet to give further insight into the creative process.

There is a saying in Estonia that summarizes the national real estate dream: every Estonian would like to have a private house in the city center in the middle of greenness and by the water.

The garage-house in Lubja street in Tartu fulfills that ambition. It is located on the banks of river Emajõgi, 10 minutes bicycle ride away from the central square and in the middle of the green gap, a place that is kind of a void in the urban fabric and greenery has had years to grow.

Jaak from ÖÖD is an easy-going person. 
He wants to go to the woods, but not to carry hiking gear or spend the night in a standard cabin, which is inevitably wet and cold and there’s a good chance of meeting other hikers.
The requirements for the ÖÖD house were born from the idea of a personal comfort zone:

4-star accommodation in the middle of nowhere,
at least as comfortable as your home”.

There was no such product on the market...

How much does it cost?

This is by far the most asked question when it comes to prefab houses.
The answer is not a short one.

Most Manufacturers will not be able to quote a house on the spot and will dodge the question with "it depends".
Well, that doesn't really answer the question... does it?

Unless you are ready to settle for a catalog house (not really custom-made), you'll have to wait... and we are talking about weeks!

To put an end to the problem of pricing a prefabricated custom-made home, we partnered up with "Creatomus", an innovative Startup leading the way of mass customization of factory-made homes.

To answer the question "how much does a prefab house cost" we developed a house price calculator.

This time, we went to Amsterdam and had an interview with Gerald Lindner, a design-minded engineer who partnered with an architect - Thomas Dill - in order to build one of the most surprising two apartment house we have ever seen: a greenhouse building...

Last week we had the pleasure to meet with Lauri Tuulberg, CEO of the Welement AS.

Welement is a brand new house factory in Tartu (Estonia), established in 2017 as part of Rand & Tuulberg Group,  of one of the most successful construction companies in the Country.

Welement house factory was built with efficiency and quality in mind and inside the factory you can find top-of-the-line German equipment.

After almost one year of operations, we asked Lauri a few questions to better understand how automation can improve the production process of prefabricated wooden houses.

And so yesterday, 23rd January 2018, announced to the World its new Vision.
The "Gallery Hall" at the Estonian Center of Architecture was fully packed with people who came to assist to the Launch in first person.

The New Year brings new resolutions and everyone sets new ambitious goals. 
This year we decided to make something special and to up our game in order to serve more people and help them to get the house they want.

We started katus .eu with the aim of promoting modern Architecture. 
Since the very beginning, has been a place for Architects to share their works.
Today we are changing the concept to a broader vision and we set ourselves the goal of helping all those people who want to build a prefabricated wooden home.

Who doesn't wish to live in one-of-a-kind house?
Every year, hundreds of thousands of new homes are built in Europe. Many of them are custom-made, unique works of fine architecture and engineering.
Despite the number of successes, building a prefab wooden house is not as easy as it could be. Many give up just because they cannot find the right information from the start.

Can automation help the Prefab Wooden Houses Industry to run faster and better?

For the longest time, we have been looking for a modular system flexible enough to allow building different architectural solutions while remaining simple and affordable. Teokarp does just that.
Can it be the one-fits-all answer we've been waiting for?

Innovation often comes from applying knowledge from one field to another one which is totally unrelated. This is exactly what happened with this modular wonder. 
The Wikkelhouse was designed and built by a small Company in Amsterdam that started up as a theatre scenery Company in 1989.

Two years ago we made an exception to our "wooden only" policy and we had an interview with people from Kodasema OÜ, a small and ambitious Company providing a clever turnkey housing solution.
Today we went back to see how they are doing...

“The A-frame house is an A-shaped building which, back in the Soviet era, was familiar to people as a building typology that had the roof touching the ground, or Rannapiiga. This typology is not known for its trendiness but rather for being (by square meter) at least half the price of a normal new building” explains Indrek Kuldkepp, the founder and one of the owners of Avrame.

Back in spring, we met at Timbeco factory near Tallinn to discuss how the collaboration between the client, architect, manufacturer, and constructor contributes to the establishment of modern houses. Our panel discussion was attended by architect Tiit Sild, Madis Lobjakas and Marek Roostar from the factory, and the undersigned. The main focus was on the question how to involve all the partners right at the beginning of the process so that designing, producing and building would be more reasonable and economical.

Meeting with the client and visiting the first built house purchased at took place a bit later, at the beginning of the summer. 

Small prefabricated house from a company called Kodasema has been erected on the lawn in front of the Tallinn Creative Hub. It is a rather unique house with 27 square-metres of usable floor space, built-in cupboards and several surfaces for functional cross-usage (e.g. shower area is also used as a sink). I will be talking to Ülar Mark, one of the creators of Kodasema house concept, about the way they are trying to change the world while also hoping to shake the foundations of housebuilding industry.