Museum history

The Museum of Estonian Architecture was founded on January 1, 1991 – at a time of political anxiety that lasted for a little over six months more, until the restoration of Estonian independence. Since 1996 its permanent home has been the historical building of the Rotermann Salt Storage – one of Tallinn’s most outstanding examples of industrial architecture. The Museum of Estonian Architecture aims to operate on a broad front and be able to offer something to specialists, tourists, as well as schoolchildren. The Museum also communicates actively on the international level – it is a board member of the International Confederation of Architectural Museums (ICAM) and has good relationships with both Nordic and European architectural institutions.

Like the majority of architectural museums in the world, the Museum of Estonian Architecture focuses on collecting, researching, and displaying 20th-century and contemporary architecture. The Museum possesses a very good archive of drawings and design projects from the 1920s–1930s as well as from the Soviet period, and also a photo archive and a constantly-expanding collection of models. The greater portion the latter is on display as part of the permanent exhibition titled “Space in Motion: A Century of Estonian Architecture”. Active engagement with the issues surrounding contemporary architecture is important to the Museum too, as residing in a very quickly-changing era means an obligation to analyse and acquaint today’s living environment to the greater public. The Museum’s exhibitions on local architectural history, international practice, as well as the most up-to-date architecture still in its conceptual phase are one way to teach individuals to notice that environment.