Workers´ housing in Kohtla-Järve
Eugen Habermann, 1920–1921. EAM Fk 3105, Fk 15852
The Siidisuka neighborhood located in Kohtla-Järve has a garden city concept. The housing scheme was commissioned by the Estonian Oil-Shale Factory for its employees and built between 1920–21 according to the design of Eugen Habermann. This was one of the first urban concept in the life of the newly formed city. The name Siidisuka – which means Silk Stocking – shows the status of the habitats whom most were the leaders, engineers, and officers of the oil company and could afford buying silk instead of cotton fabrics to their family. The semidetached dwellings have unified concept with 4-5 different type of plans. The appearance of the houses are formed by the traditionalist trend and vernacular tendencies. In this case the architect blended the motifs of the modern architecture with characteristics of the local vernacular aspects such as the use of the rusticated limestone. The most characteristic elements are the precipitous sloping roofs and screwed pilasters. The buildings are linked with a perpendicular secondary house that divides inner and an external yard. The decorations on the façades, for example the typical zig-zag motifs show the influences of the architecture of the german expressionism. The photos were acquired by the museum in 1996 and new photos made by Martin Siplane in 2009 for the museum exhibition. Text: Anna Zsoldos
Album of Villa Ammende
Harald Krannhals, 1926. EAM 1.2.43
The newest addition to the museum collection is related to the well-known Art Nouveau villa in Estonia. The album of Villa Ammende in Pärnu (architect Frithiof Mieritz, 1904) is exceptional not only for its photos of large variety of exteriors and interiors but as well as for some of the pictures taken from unusual places such as the kitchen with its staff, backyard and greenhouse depicting fruity grapes. The album shows the life and living manners of the family of a prosperous merchant displaying splendid furniture, textiles and items.
The album, lately owned by Irina Mirkov – the grandchild of Hermann Leopold Ammende – was put together for selling the house. Mr Ammende, an established merchant from Pärnu, commissioned the building from an architecture office in St Petersburg called Mieritz & Gerassimov for the wedding party of his daughter Ellen. After the festivities, the family used the luxurious house as a summer cottage until moving back to Germany in 1927.The pictures taken in 1926 are made by Harald Krannhals, the photographer from Pärnu. Addition to his work are pictures taken by Mihkel Õnnis some years later. Altogether 21 photos show some typical deteriorations happen in time. The dim areas of the photos have spots of silver coating. The album was given to the museum by Aivar Roosaar, who was involved in restoration of the villa (1995–1999). The gift shall be a befitting addition to the original project previously given to the museum (EAM 1.2.11). Text: Sandra Mälk
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