Tallinn, Estonia


September 2017
Tallinn is a series of discrete building blocks, that can be assembled into a variety of structures.


The building blocks are based on cheap, off-standard sheets of 18mm exterior plywood (3.3 x 1.35 m) which were locally available. Each sheet is cut by a CNC-machine, and can then be assembled into a stiff building block capable of bearing structural loads. The blocks exist as a family of straight,45 degrees, 90 degrees, and 135 degrees elements. Over 380 m2 of plywood was cut and assembled into 80 building blocks. The entire structure was fabricated locally in Tallinn, in collaboration with local manufacturers.


These building blocks are designed to perform “just good enough” in any structural condition: under compression, tension, as a cantilever, or as a column. The connections are based on off-the-shelf threaded rods, used in suspended ceilings, or to hang cable gutters. These rods connect through several pieces, forming a stiff structure under tension.


The blocks can be quickly assembled on-site, using only a set of ratchet-spanners and bolts. The assembly remains reversible, it can be modified or taken apart afterward. The whole pavilion, covering an area of 75 m2 was assembled in just 4 days by a crew of 4 people, without any mechanical tools such as a crane or lift. The pavilion is materially and structurally efficient: the overall weight of the pavilion is only 2 tons, while it can support local loads of four people and can be extended with a roof. Using only 18mm thin plywood, cantilevers of up to 4m and are achieved.

Production Chain
Structural Analysis


Shuffling blocks to make the best structural performance.

How to make a beam

This pavilion wants to be understood as part of a larger whole, as a unit in a mass-housing system. The pavilion is never finished: its stackable and repeatable elements mean that it remains open and adaptable.