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Tehvandi Ski Centre

Peep Jänes, Tõnu Mellik, Allan Murdmaa (drawing), 1974. MEA 4.6.2

This modern ski centre was built in southern Estonia by commission of the State Committee for Sports of the USSR, and was intended foremost for training Soviet winter athletes. Its location in Tehvandi, on the fringes of Otepää (Estonia’s “winter capital”), was a proper choice, offering a wealth of athletic opportunities amid a landscape of rolling hills. The architects’ vision of a modern centre embedded in an artificial hill, sketched here in perspective, was realised to almost exact detail. Architects’ manner of approaching their task was location-based. Copying Otepää’s hilly landscape, they nestled another spherical form into nature. The Space Race also had a certain influence on the structure’s relatively technical form. The Union of Estonian Architects gave the watercolour to the museum in 1993. Text: Sandra Mälk


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Sketches of Tallinn’s Väike-Õismäe residential neighbourhood

Mart Port, ca 1968. Accession number 52-2-12

When designing the Väike-Õismäe residential neighbourhood, Mart Port and Malle Meelak – a shining tandem of Soviet-Estonian urban planning – seized the opportunity to shape it into an ideal city and avoid mistakes that commonly accompanied the construction of high-density housing projects. In the centre of the district designed for 40,000 residents, they placed an artificial lake with developments extending radially from it centre point. The drafts vividly convey Port’s genuine fascination with the concept of a ring-city. Compared with the earlier Mustamäe district, which was constructed as several independent micro-districts, Väike-Õismäe’s solution was unique and even so novel that there were numerous bumps along the road to gaining approval for its design. The architects had been expected to produce ordinary designs for an urban network, which would contain several smaller neighbourhoods and linear streets. This was precisely what Port and Meelak wished to avoid, instead producing a concentric street-plan with spacious outdoor areas that allowed for a more human dimension.


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