Dezeen Magazine

B210 designs "treehouse-inspired" Maidla Nature Villa to immerse guests in an Estonian bogland

This wedge-shaped holiday cabin by Estonian architecture office B210 is raised above its boggy site on stilts and features steps that climb over the building to reach a rooftop terrace.

B210, which is based in Tallinn, designed the Maidla Nature Villa for a site on the estate of a former manor house in Rapla county.

An aerial view of a wooden cabin in Estonia
Maidla Nature Villa sits in Estonian bogland

The owners of the Maidla Nature Resort wanted to provide visitors with a unique accommodation experience that immerses them in nature and makes the most of this remote and unusual site.

Described by its owners as a "micro-hotel" situated in an untouched bog landscape, the single-room dwelling is raised up on stilts above the high-water level.

A stilted wooden cabin with a stepped facade
The dwelling is raised up on stilts. Photo is by Priidu Saart

The cabin provides accommodation for one person or a couple in its single room, with terraces around and on top of the building offering plenty of usable outdoor space.

"The entire house is covered with terraces," explained the architects. "A lower morning terrace, gigantic steps leading to the roof and the night terrace at the height of the treetops, for enjoying the sunset, stargazing and birdwatching."

A glass and wood cabin in woodland
It is designed to immerse visitors in nature

A boardwalk that extends across the swamp leads to a deck in front of the building, which is hidden from view amongst birch trees and the surrounding shrubbery. The setting was also carefully chosen to limit the building's impact on the existing ecosystem.

The angular structure is clad entirely in dark-brown, thermo-treated ash that helps it to blend in with its natural setting. B210 said the design was inspired by treehouses and was developed to minimise disturbance to the ground and trees.

Dark wooden decking within woodland
It is clad entirely in dark-brown wood

Seven-metre-long piles driven into the boggy soil support the structure, while the terrace incorporates several holes to allow birch trees to penetrate it.

"To fit the delicate plot best, the shape of the house is irregular, divided into several triangles, circling around the bed area," the architects added. "An unusual floor plan allows for a convenient entrance with a storm porch."

The glass-walled interior of a wooden cabin
The bedroom is lined with full-height glazing

The glass entrance door opens straight into the compact, angular bedroom, which is lined with full-height glazing providing views across the boggy wilderness.

"The interior of the tiny hotel is meticulously considered in the same style as the exterior," claimed B210, "with the goal to blend in with nature, offer comfort and quality in materials."

The interiors of a glass-walled cabin
A wood-burning stove is a centrepiece of the interior

A wood-burning stove located at the apex of the triangular space provides a focal point within the cabin. Curtains can be drawn across the room to separate the bed from a sitting area by the fire.

A small bathroom tucked away behind the bed includes an incineration toilet and floor-to-ceiling mirrors that help to make it feel larger.

Back outside, there is an unheated maintenance space slotted in beneath the steps that lead up onto the roof. When the surrounding bogland is flooded, it is possible to launch a canoe into the water straight from the cabin's decking.

A wood-lined bedroom in a cabin in Estonia
A small bathroom is tucked behind the bed

B210 was established in 2012 and functions as an interdisciplinary cooperative, working on projects that aim to enact positive change within the built environment.

The studio was selected for the Maidla Nature Villa on the basis of its previous work on projects in the Estonian countryside, including a floating timber sauna designed for a wilderness workshop and the installation of three timber funnels built to magnify the sounds of a forest.

Photography is by Tõnu Tunnel unless stated.

Project credits:

Architect: b210 Architects​
Mari Hunt, co-authors Aet Ader, Karin Tõugu, Kadri Klementi
Engineering:​ Peter Stumbur and Veiko Koppe
Otto Ehitab
Maidla Nature Resort

More images and plans

A floor plan of Maidla Nature Villa
Floor plan
A section of Maidla Nature Villa
A cabin within woodland in Estonia
Dark wood decking outside a small cabin
The dark-wood cladding of a bogland cabin
The glass walls of a cabin
Estonian bogland with a wood-clad cabin
The decking outside a wood-clad cabin
The small bathroom of a holiday cabin
The wooden decking of a holiday cabin
A small holiday cabin within bogland
The stepped facade of a wooden holiday cabin
Wooden decking outside a holiday cabin
Photo is by Priidu Saart
Photo is by Priidu Saart
The roof terrace of a holiday cabin
Photo is by Priidu Saart
The wood-clad exterior of a holiday cabin in Estonia
Photo is by Priidu Saart