The three plots in Ülenurme raise quite a challenge. Two of the plots indicate that entrances can be placed to the north and therefore living room can be placed in the south facing the greenery of the plot. But the third plot has the entrance on the south side which would leave the living room facing the north side. Driven by the need to be as flexible as possible we are proposing a type solution.  

The plan has been designed so that the entrance lobby can be located in the north (type a) as well as in the south (type b). All other rooms remain in their location. With east- west orientation type a placement can be applied. This small manipulation allows the row house to be applied on any plot possible. 

The second conceptual decision takes into consideration the different densities of urban areas. Although Ülenurme has a lovely low density this may not always be the case. The most typical row house offers each unit a terrace on the back side with some kind of light division wall for privacy. Is it private? In most cases not. Although the light shade might block the view, it does not make the terrace sound- proof and therefore the terrace is more semi private then private. For the privacy and the comfort of the family our design adds a new private garden to the unit. The inner garden is located in the center of the unit and ensures the upmost privacy and provides extra natural light to the rooms. 

The design manipulates with daylight and direct sunlight. The living room exploits direct sunlight according to energy efficiency methods. But because of the oblong shape of the unit all the rooms do not have the same privilege. And therefore by cutting into the volume we can provide daylight for more rooms. 

 The inner garden...  
 - works as a extension of rooms  
 - creates fascinating interior illusions  
 - allows to take a private break from a hot sauna  
 - allows children to play safely in plain sight  
 - allows daylight into the living room from two sides  
 - allows to plant unique plant species 

The building is designed as compact as possible. The volume is divided into a symmetrical grid and can therefore be manufactured from wood elements. The grid also easily allows changes in the floor plans.  
The ground floor level is 40cm higher from the ground level, which makes it easier to build the foundation at the location and unite it with manufactured elements.  
 The length of unsupported openings is minimized, wet rooms on the first and second floor are located in the same area. 

The facades finishing materials are easily obtainable, absurdly costly materials are avoided. Most of the outer volume and the second floor volume is finished with tarred dark gray wood. The wooden slats covering the shed, giving privacy to the terrace and accenting the second floor windows are as well processed with dark gray tar. 
To separate the units a color concept is integrated into the design – the entrances on both side of the building are finished with colored wooden cladding.  
The border wall of the inner garden is finished with red bricks. The brick wall continues indoors in the living room and in the master bedroom. Other three facades are mainly glass.  
The roofs are finished with modified bitumen waterproofing SBS, the color of the roof should be similar to the dark wood walls. The units are constructed from two- dimensional elements.  
The floor plan is divided into a grid and all elements fit the 3mx10m requirement. The manufactured wall, floor, roof and ceiling elements are plain wooden structures.  
The window and roof window types will be chosen according to the energy efficiency requirements. 

For energy efficiency direct sunlight is avoided in the summer and taken advantage of in the winter. At the summertime living room facade is protected from direct sunlight with an extended roof volume as well as with a wooden slat. At winter time the sunlight can be used for heating the rooms. No windows are designed to the north to minimize heat loss. 

Solar panels are used to cover part of the energy required for household water and heating.  
The high efficiency heat exchanger is used. The household is well insulated with a good air tightness.  
The precipitation water is collected and used for the plants in the inner garden as well as in the wc swill boxes. 

construction area _ 113.0m2  
gross floor area (bruto) _ 158.0m2  
net area (neto) _ 131.0m2  
shed net area _ 10.3m2  
terrace net area _12.7m2  
inner garden net area _ 28.6m2  
volume _ 440.7m3  
width of one unit _ 10m  
width of the row house _ 30,5m  
length of one unit/ row house _ 14.4m  
max height of the row house _ 7.05m  
 The full construction surface is 20% of the total area of the site. 
Authors: Karisma Arhitektid, Risto Parve, Kai Süda, Margit Valma
Keyword: See
Status: 2nd prize