Made up of three modernized kodas, this wood-clad cottage features bright, minimalist interiors.

The larch wood cladding helps the cabins blend in with their forest site.

Inspired by the Estonian koda—a traditional hut that dates back to the third millennium BC—this forest hideaway tucked in the Northern Estonian village of Muraste consists of three light-filled cabins that sport modern, pyramidal roofs.

The pyramidal roofs of the cabins allow snow to slide down to the ground.

The pyramidal roofs of the cabins allow snow to slide down to the ground.

Courtesy of Tõnu Tunnel

Designed by Estonian studio KUU arhitektid, all three cabins are set upon a single, raised timber deck that has a circular section cut out to accommodate the trunks of existing trees.

The three cabins have north-facing windows that frame views of the Baltic Sea.

The three cabins have north-facing windows that frame views of the Baltic Sea.

Courtesy of Tõnu Tunnel

KUU arhitektid who designed this retreat says they were inspired by traditional Estonian "koda" huts.

Koda, originally meaning “place for living,” is closely related to the Estonian words for “home” (kodu) and “place” (koht). Different types of kodas have emerged over time—kodas for socializing, working, and worship.

Courtesy of Tõnu Tunnel

Together, the three modernized kodas offer 829 square feet, and their minimalist interiors look out to breathtaking views of the surrounding forest. 

The living areas have north and south facing glass walls.

The living areas have north- and south-facing glass walls.

Courtesy of Tõnu Tunnel

The largest unit holds the open-concept living, dining, and kitchen areas, and connects to the unit containing the bedroom and ensuite bathroom.

The angular form of the cabins give the interiors an edgy, modern look.

The angular form of the cabins give the interiors an edgy, modern look.

Courtesy of Tõnu Tunnel

The simple, fuss-free kitchen and dining area flows into the living lounge.

The simple, fuss-free kitchen and dining area flows into the living lounge.



Courtesy of Tõnu Tunnel

Both of these cabins feature natural, larch wood siding and roofs, and glass walls oriented north to capture tranquil views of the Baltic Sea. The larger cabin also has a south-facing glass wall that floods the living areas with more light. 

The sloping ceiling creates a varied sense of space within each cabin.

The sloping ceiling creates a varied sense of space within each cabin.

Courtesy of Tõnu Tunnel

On the western side of the deck is the third and smallest cabin, which houses a sauna with a north-facing picture window. This sauna cabin is also clad in larch, but painted with tar oil for a striking contrast. 

The cabin where the sauna is located was painted in black tar.

The sauna cabin bears a coat of black tar.

Courtesy of Tõnu Tunnel

The deck space between the main living areas and the sauna creates a large, outdoor terrace that connects the three units to each other and their forest environment. 

Fully-glazed walls on two sides, and a triangular skylight flood the living areas with light.

Fully glazed walls on two sides and a triangular skylight allow light to permeate the living areas.

Courtesy of Tõnu Tunnel

All three cabins have triangular skylights cut out from the converging ceilings, drawing in the sun’s rays during the day, and allowing for views of the stars at night. 

A modern forest dwelling in the village of Muraste in Estonia.

A modern forest dwelling takes cues from traditional kodas in Muraste, Estonia.

Courtesy of Tõnu Tunnel

An ancient Estonian wigwam-like cabin informs the design of the forest retreat.

Wood construction is a long-held tradition in Estonia.

Courtesy of KUU arhitektid

Floor plan drawing.

Cottage in Muraste floor plan

Courtesy of KUU arhitektid


Project Credits: 

Architecture: KUU arhitektid 

Interior design: Aet Piel (Aet Piel Disain OÜ)

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