9 September - 18 October 2015

9.09 - 18.10 2015











Tallinn Architecture Biennale 2015 Body Building Installation to remain open for public until end of 2016


The large spidery installation that was erected in front of the Estonian Museum of Architecture to mark the beginning of the third installment of Tallinn Architecture Biennale back in 2015, will remain in place until the end of 2016 for public viewing. The structure titled Body Building was designed by curators of the TAB 2015 main exhibition, architects Sille Pihlak and Siim Tuksam, and quickly became one of the most photographed objects of the biennale in the public space of Estonia’s capital.

The installation, located on the main artery of Tallinn is a conceptual signpost of sort, pointing towards the three locations where the biennale took place: the Museum of Estonian Architecture; the city centre main traffic roundabout on Viru Square, and the Culture Cauldron – hotspot for several architecture events in Tallinn. The installation’s freeform structure (body) is the result of algorithmic negotiations between ideal geometries like lines, planes, circles and cuboids (building). By using computational methods, the wooden installation brings softer, airier, more natural forms and materials into the otherwise angular and somewhat unapproachable city centre. 

The airy installation is a contemporary take on wooden post and beam construction, manufactured on a fully automatic timber house production line in Estonia, where on a daily basis traditional log houses are produced. One of the goals of the installation is to show how new quality can be brought to the urban space around us by melding contemporary tools and the skills of young Estonian architects with the high-tech digital production opportunities available in the country. The project aims at bringing algorithmic design into industrial production and igniting a discussion on the future of wooden architecture between the local wood industry, engineers and architects.

Technical details

The 236 unique elements of the Body Building installation were generated using widespread algorithmic design and engineering software (Rhino, Grasshopper, Karmaba3D). The 95x95 mm lumber elements (Narvo - nordic timber), with 500 different joints were 5-axes CNC milled on a Hundegger 2Ki in 10 hours (MountainLoghome) and assembled with 2000 screws (Würth) in 5 days by volunteers. The fully algorithmic 3d model was developed by PART over a period of 6 months, resulting in a design tool, where the base geometry is interchangeable within seconds and various parameters of the design are controlled by numeric input. Using the Karamba finite element calculation plugin, all the structural changes are constantly recalculated and optimized.


Siim Tuksam, Sille Pihlak
PART - Practice for Architecture, Research and Theory is a young Estonia based architectural office for experiential, digital and technological innovation research and implementation.

The project is supported by Narvo - nordic timber, MountainLoghome, Würth, Estonian Centre of Architecture, Museum of Estonian Architecture and Cultural Endowment of Estonia.

Photos: Tõnu Tunnel




Media contact:

Triin Männik