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Copper House, Vaskmaja, Estonia

Urmas Muru and Peeter Pere

This copper-clad house is located on a limestone plateau near Tallinn, close to the sea in a small rapidly developing residential area which was formerly occupied by a Soviet army base.  The site is open to the winds blowing in from the sea, and it has a nearby forest park which includes a limestone cliff, which has been placed under state protection due to the uniqueness of this coastal feature, as well as spectacular views.

The client was a young family with two children whose wish was to create an atypical house.  Since the family originates from the South of Estonia the architectural solution combines hints from the Piusa natural sandstone caves and the so called proto-house as a spatial conception of the primitive mother.

Historically, Estonian wooden houses are unfinished and naked before nature, thus the building materials continuously change over the course of time.  The special structure of the Copper House was designed to resemble a cave in its complexity and be reflective of change, suggesting the rotation of the seasons.  The materials used inside are monolithic concrete, natural birch plywood, birch parquet. From the outside the house is covered with copper sheet. 

The structure is surrounded by slightly billowy lawns.  The border fence is transparent, made of perforated and folded zinc sheet.  The effect created by this is a misty horizontal ‘cloud’ which conceals the yard from the outside world.

Thought processes

The house is under process of constant change, it continues self-construction according to the parameters the architect has directed.  Being open from all directions, it reflects every change in light.  The circulation of day and might, light and darkness, time – is supported by the round shape of the building.  The same can be stated about the outside characteristics.  Due to the chemical reactions of copper, the active changing never stops.  In such context ROOM TIME and LIGHT are in natural interactive co-existence.



Completion date: 


Type of building: 
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Name, office: 
Arhitektid Muru & Pere

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