In September 2019, March Studio was invited, along with other architects and designers, to present their project Transoccupation in Estonia at the occasion of the TALLINN ARCHITECTURE BIENNALE TAB 2019, “Beauty Matters: The Resurgence of Beauty” curated by Dr Yael Reisner.

This project is simultaneously an investigation into a 1:1 plywood box truss and a 1:15 structural system for a tower. The work continues a wider body of research undertaken by March Studio where materials, technology, and structure are used to explore disorderly form in order to propose new opportunities and architectural typologies.

Transoccupation is an evolution of an earlier piece from 2009, the 4” × 2” Nest. Made of a 20-tonne stack of 4” × 2” ordinary builder’s hardwood, the 4” × 2” Nest is a rudimentary habitation for one person. Fabricated entirely from one material, the construction is elemental.

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In the case of Transoccupation, we propose a new, interchangeable residential tower that is more akin to a vertical village than a typical extruded tower model..

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Photography: Peter Bennetts

Photography: Peter Bennetts



Transoccupation is a residential tower that can house upwards of 500 people, or less, if other usages are added, (shops, schools, parks, swimming pools, etc.) Since each module is a rigid, independent structure, the possibility to replace parts of the building or to move them is plausible.

Inhabitants are invited to reconfigure their dwelling based on personal preference. Transoccupation uses a super structure as the base upon which timber truss containers are placed within.


Each dwelling is a variation of a standard CLT box beam structure.

With steel and concrete production being one of the most energy-consuming and CO2 emitting industrial activities in the world, we turn to a 100% renewable material and new constructions techniques that can help to save our climatic future.”

Plantation forestry combined with new technologies should be the goal of the construction industry.

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The model for the 2019 Tallinn Architecture Biennale is at a scale which tests the structural and material logic.

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The dwellings come in 11 different sizes, with the multiplier determined by the structural logic of the box beam truss.

The sizes of the dwellings range from 35 sqms to 200 sqms in size and are placed in the super structure at the height purchased.

The potential for nomadic occupation of this building means that one dwelling can be swapped out with another. The tower therefore has the ability to evolve over a period of time. The result is continual flexibility and reconfiguration.


Transoccupation is currently exhibited at the Estonian Centre for Architecture (ECA) in Tallinn until November 2019.

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Project Team

Julian Canterbury | Anne-Laure Cavigneaux | Wilko Doehring | Rodney Eggleston | Maya Le Bransky | Jason Tam | David Thomas | Julien Ybert

Photography + Film Sequences | Peter Bennetts
Synopsis | Ellie Nielsen

We would like to specially thank the people who made this installation possible.

TAB Curator | Dr Yael Reisner
TAB Curating and Producing | Liina Soosaar | Barnaby Gunning | Maria Kristiin Peterson | Eve Arpo

Plywood Sponsor | UPM-Kymmene Otepää
CNC Cutting | Väino Madar

All the wonderful TAB volunteers.

MARCH.STUDIO presenting Transoccupation at TAB Symposium “Beauty Matters. Just Like Love, It’s Real”.

MARCH.STUDIO presenting Transoccupation at TAB Symposium “Beauty Matters. Just Like Love, It’s Real”.