“sLender”: New standardised wooden apartment building

EKA PAKK and Arcwood started a cooperation project in 2021 with the support of Enterprise Estonia to create a modern approach to the century-old Lender standard house, a simple and affordable apartment building. Lender’s houses were built in Tallinn a hundred years ago so much that the number of wooden houses in the city doubled in just a dozen years, offering a solution to the housing needs of fresh Talliners who moved to the city

Project executor: Algoritmic timber architecture research group
Partner: Peetri Puitu OÜ / Arcwood

Involved: dr Alar Just, dr Eero Tuhkanen, Marko Ründva ja dr Simo Ilomets
Period: 09.2021 - 12.2022

But what type of apartment building does Tallinn need today and how to solve a new apartment building using the best knowledge of the Estonian wooden architecture industry and architects?

According to Professor Mart Kalm, Rector of the Estonian Academy of Arts, EKA is always happy to be a laboratory where new knowledge and industry opportunities meet: “One hundred years ago, the “newcomer” of wooden architecture, which today we conventionally call the Lender House, changed the look of entire districts of Tallinn to what we know today on the example of Kalamaja, Pelgulinn, and some parts of Kadriorg and Uue-Maailma district. Continuing to value cultural heritage, a 100 years later it is time to ask which wooden apartment building project could prove so popular today that it would shape the new face of Tallinn.”

The project involves renowned Estonian researchers, in addition to architecture, also specialists in wood engineering, energy efficiency, acoustics and fire safety. As a result of a project that will last one and a half years, a preliminary design of a four-storey apartment building in the city of Tallinn will be completed in accordance with current construction standards.

Researchers and house construction companies have set their minds on the most climate-neutral construction possible, one that would value ​​domestic raw materials and would also be fast thanks to modular construction, says Tarmo Tamm, Member of the Board of project partner Arcwood: “Together with EKA, we are investing in science and construction so that the CO2 footprint of the new apartment building in Tallinn can be as minucule as possible, and at the same time we want to know what a standard building should offer today, in order to become as successful as the Lender house a hundred years ago.”

The aim of the sLender project is to develop social housing system which deals with flexible and adoptive living units, uses zero waste mentality and organic materials, applies circular economy with purpose of find applicable and affordable housing in Tallinn.

sLender multi-storey building system characteristics

sLender apartment