Estonian Association of Interior Architects / winner of the interior architecture award 2023
Photo
Albert Kerstna

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Individual style and the customer’s perspicacity have long drawn attention to the work of Hanna Karits. This year, the three projects that Karits was involved in have been singled out at the Estonian Association of Interior Architects annual awards and for good reason – the works emanate down-to-the-last-detail refinement, sophisticated taste and harmony between the new space, the existing environment and the customer’s preference.

Hanna believes that catching a good result begins in the early design phase. Trying to make the interior architecture brief more exciting is a separate part of the job that inspires and actually determines the path of the whole process. Sufficient time for making sense of it is important, as it gives an idea of whether the ensuing course of developments will be pleasant. The work between the different participants must be genuinely conscientious. Difficult decisions can come up in the course of any architectural design, but at the end of the day, people invest much time in it, and that time should not go to waste.

Looking at the interiors designed by Karits and listening to people’s comments, we are left with the impression that in addition to her work as an interior architect, Hanna is something of a close friend, family member or therapist for the customers. She can tell the homeowners’ family stories captivatingly, with verve, as if she had been there herself. Understanding what makes people tick is part of the professional profile of an interior architect – they have to keep their team together. Teams are often fairly large, including the architect and builder’s people as well. Every job is different and requires flexibility and courage of convictions. In designing Põro House in the forests of Võru County, Karits worked closely with architect Mari Hunt – a memorable collaboration. Both decided to step out of their customary role and trade places. It was an experience that added a truly charming detached home to the Estonian architectural scene.

Besides a functioning team, Karits believes that good work is predicated on clear, sometimes strict boundaries envisioned by the terms of reference. These require the interior architect to shift to a higher gear. Estonian interior architects have to often manoeuvre between different types of projects – homes, hotels, offices or large public buildings – but Karits says well-being is a common value for all of them. Her aim to turn her designed spaces into pleasant places to be in and that feeling transcends the physical scale of the buildings.

This edition of Ruumipilt features three interiors designed by Hanna Karits – Wiigi Villa in Haapsalu, Bestwine Studio and Põro House in southern Estonia. In two of them, Karits worked with a customer she has previously collaborated with since there is a good “click” between them. Karits runs on customers’ trust, and in exchange tries to deliver the best possible result.