Centre of Rural Architecture is a department of the Estonian Open Air Museum. Established in year 2012, our main activities include researching Estonian vernacular rural architecture and landscapes, organizing practical trainings, seminars and public events, co-ordinating house counsellors´ network and curating content for different information carriers, such as publications and exhibitions.
As leading organization of the field, we prioritize inclusive and holistic view on safeguarding the rural built environment. We have become both a strategic partner to official heritage and/or rural life representatives and also to old house owners. We encourage open dialogue and direct contact between specialists and house owners by co-ordinating the network of house counsellors and craftsmen. With yearly fieldwork, we monitor the current condition, state and problems of vernacular architecture and map the most urgent and relevant issues of the field. In total, we do not only promote the use of traditional building skills and materials, but also the integration of modern know-how, materials and technology to adapt old houses to the contemporary world.
Serving as a hub for communication and information, the centre uses a variety of platforms and mediums to be present and engage with the audience. The centre has around 2300 followers in Facebook and around 1700 people receiving monthly newsletter. In average, we organize 30 events with around 1200 participants per year.
Internationally, the centre has been the lead partner for two INTERREG IVA projects financed by the Central Baltic Sea programme: "Healthy and Energy-efficient Living in Traditional Rural Houses" (HELTH, 2010-2013) and "Fungi and Beetles in Buildings on Islands of Baltic Sea" (FaBBi, 2010-2013). In 2015, the centre won EU Prize for Cultural Heritage in Europa Nostra Awards for organizing practical and theoretical training for house owners and developing a counselling network.