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Shade VARI is the result of a design studio called Bog Hut, part of the Estonian Academy of Arts Interior Architecture department collaboration series with the Estonian Forest Management Centre (RMK). The aim of the design studio series is to enrich Estonian state-run forest infrastructure with innovative and unexpected design by Estonian Academy of Arts interior architecture students. The Bog Hut Studio is the second studio in the series which started with forest megaphones RUUP, and it is for the second time tutored by architecture office b210.

The project brief given by tutors to our first year interior architecture students was inspired by the site. The location for the hut – on the edge of protected wetland Emajõe-Suursoo and next to the only fully navigable river in Estonia – inspired the idea to create a resting stop for hikers coming from a long day trip on the bog or providing boat riders with a reason to stop while going up and down the river.

After each student had developed their own design proposal for the spot, a design proposal called VARI (a play of words: it means both ‘shadow’ and ‘cover’ in Estonian) was selected by the jury consisting of tutors as well as partners from the Estonian Forest Management Centre. During several months, VARI went through a series of changes to better fill the original brief. The hut was installed at Emajõe Suursoo Bog during winter – in bogs and wetlands, all construction is traditionally done during the cold period when the ground is frozen, to preserve the delicate soil.

VARI provides the hiker with a play of light and shadow that is created by the double layer exterior and a fireplace to warm themselves on top of the shade. It is also a place to dry your feet in the springtime when Emajõgi River floods the whole area. As the fireplace is located on the second floor of the hut, under clear sky, it might work at nighttime as a lighthouse for the boats on the river.

The whole process gave students a unique experience of construction, project management, working out problems and finding suitable solutions.

Construction supervisors: Avo Tragel and Marko Aron

Concept: first years students of the Estonian Academy of Arts Interior Architecture BA programme 2015

Tutors: Aet Ader, Karin Tõugu, Kadri Klementi, Mari Hunt (architecture office b210)

Consultants: Derelict Furniture designers Ahti Grünberg, Tõnis Kalve and engineers Alar Just and Eero Tuhkanen

Preparation at the Estonian Academy of Arts wood workshop: Delija Thakur, Janne-Eliise Kond, Anni Kotov, Helga Aliis Saarlen, Anna-Grete Konsap, Elise Roos, Karolin Kaup, Aadam Kaarma, Marie-Elise Chhabra, Heleri Koltšin, Teele Tomson, Helena Leif, Martin Kukk

Wood workshop tutor: Avo Tragel

Installing and building on location: Janne-Eliise Kond, Delija Thakur, Alexander Camelhair, Roland Arnoldt, Mirko Känd, Joosep Noorväli, Hannes Praks, Kristjan Holm

Tutor on location at Emajõe Suursoo: Marko Aron

Consultants: Valdur Mikita, Hannes Praks

The shade is now open for the public, but the road leading there can be a bit muddy until the pathway is finished (end of July).