Maidla Nature Resort grows with Villa POKU

KTA Architects,

Priidu Saart, Tönu Tunnel,

Maidla, Estonia,



POKU is the name of the latest addition to the Maidla Nature Resort in Estonia. The Villa was built by the Estonian studio KTA Architects and is elegantly based on Estonian timber construction traditions. The third element added by the growing Resort to the main guest house, recognised with the People's Choice Award at the 2022 Estonian Wooden Architecture Prize.

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Maidla Nature Resort grows with Villa POKU
The Maidla Nature Resort is a hotel complex, immersed in the forest, situated about fifty kilometres south of Tallinn in Estonia. A place with 15th century manor buildings, to which new buildings have been added in recent years, such as the small Nature Villa KASEKE designed by architect Mari Hunt from the b210 architecture studio (https://www.floornature.it/blog/micro-hotel-estone-maidla-nature-resort-di-mari-hunt-b210-16076/), Villa KÄBI and now Villa POKU, designed by the KTA Architects Estonian studio founded by Ott Kadarik and Mihkel Tüür. The architects caught the attention of the Maidla team with their reinterpretations of traditional Estonian timber constructions.
The project was commissioned to the studio last winter and the construction phase was very quick as Villa POKU is already available to welcome guests. For their proposal, the KTA architects were inspired by Maidla's nature and by the challenge of designing the project in such a way as to impact as little as possible on the delicate natural landscape. All this, in search of an answer to the question that the architects asked themselves together with the clients: what does a person need in a space, what form should a space assume for a person so that the user's needs are satisfied, in a comfortable way and with a touch of spatial luxury?
From these initial reflections a wooden structure with an organic shape was thus born, similar to a cocoon, which, however, turns out to be a real experimental laboratory of the latest technologies in the sector. As the architects explain: "The concept started with a desire to erect the building on the edge of marshland as quickly and smoothly as possible – using all the technology advances available by the very advanced Estonian timber industry: design just a few factory-produced elements to create modules of individual rooms, from which a small building could be quickly set up on the rather delicate natural landscape." To tackle the complexity of the arched geometry characterising Villa POKU, KTA collaborated with skilled local carpentry experts. The various elements of Villa POKU were thus assembled on a cross-laminated wooden plate (CLT) on micropiles. The space between the plywood ribs consists of insulating foam modules with a plastered surface, while the reed roof stands in the air above the cocoons cluster that makes up the cottage.
Villa POKU is a literary reference immediately recognised by lovers of local children's literature – "pokus", in fact, are characters created by Estonian author Edgar Valter –, as well as the Estonian name for the grassy tussock sedges that grow in the area, consisting of 7 cocoons or "pokus". In a mere 40 square metres of space, this group of circular rooms under a roof of reeds offers guests everything they need for a comfortable stay immersed in nature. In addition to the sauna and bathroom, each pokus also includes a separate tea room, a bedroom and a lounge area, with views of the surrounding nature. Completely insulated with triple-layer windows, as standard in the Nordic countries, it is a warm and welcoming space even in the middle of winter - the ideal place for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the holiday season or regenerate in close contact with the unspoiled nature that distinguishes the Maidla Nature Resort, where the mix of architecture also invites guests to travel back in time.

Christiane Bürklein

Project: KTA Architects
Location: Maidla, Estonia
Year: 2022
Images: Priidu Saart (winter) Tönu Tunnel (summer)
Find out more: https://www.maidlaresort.com/