Tag Archives: 1980ndad

Opera and ballet theatre

Peep Jänes, Henno Sepmann, Rein Kersten, Loona Kikkas, 1986. EAM 5.4.35

Tallinn’s new opera and ballet theatre was planned to be built in the area of Süda Street, in the intersection of Pärnu Road, Süda Street and the planned extension of Rävala Boulevard. Architects Peep Jänes and Henno Sepmann won the invited architectural competition in 1984. A year later, together with architects Rein Kersten and Loona Kikkas, they began designing an opera theatre that meets modern requirements. The project of the new opera house was grandiose. The most spectacular part of the building, the brightest in the evening, was to be the curved glass facade. A powerfully shaped stage tower was to crown the central part of the building To balance the scale of the building, the choice of materials and colours was modest: grey reflective glass, silver grey glazed brick and dolomite, to make the building look harmonious with the historical buildings and Tallinn Town Wall. The theatre building’s large hall with four balconies had to accommodate 1,100 spectators. The choice of the location of the monumental building caused an active discussion in the society; there were both passionate supporters and ardent opponents. The new opera and ballet theatre would have significantly changed the milieu of the Süda Street area, the existing buildings would have been demolished and a number of trees, including the protected ginkgo tree, would have been cut down. To preserve the ginkgo, a square was planned in front of the opera house. The design process for the new opera house, which lasted several years, ended in November 1988 and the building was never constructed. Text: Anna-Liiza Izbaš


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The Architects’ House

Andres Siim, 1989. EAM 5.4.9

The Architects’ House was to become the centre of Estonian architectural life, replacing the buildings destroyed during the war on the Apteegi Street in Tallinn’s old town. Among the 11 entries in the architectural competition, which ended in the spring of 1989, the design “Eclipse” by architect Andres Siim stood out. His work corresponded to the vision of the architects’ house and was awarded the first prize in the competition. The building had to be based on the structure of historically developed properties in the old town; the new building had to represent contemporary architecture in a dignified manner, while the volume of the building, the articulation of the facade and the roofscape had to match the milieu of the old town. The jury highlighted the conformity of the external and internal spatial solution, the multi-layered and interesting floorplan of the Architects’ House designed by Andres Siim. The narrow plots, characteristic of the old town, were clearly reflected in the facade design of the building, the special-shaped windows and the yellow section of the building added character. In addition to work and meeting rooms, a hall and library, cinema projection, archive and exhibition rooms and a cafe-club room were planned for the Architects’ House. Although the design of the building received positive feedback, the future progress of the project was difficult. The dream of an architects’ own house faded behind the bureaucracy of the authorities, construction and financial issues. A noteworthy project was not built. Text: Anna-Liiza Izbaš

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Dialogue “Client-architect”

Veljo Kaasik, 1982. EAM K 31

“Client-architect” by Veljo Kaasik is a visual dialogue between the architect and the client. The work depicting the design process of a private house located on Nisu Street in Tartu shows how the building is completed in cooperation between an ambitious architect and a demanding client. Both parties are connected to each other from the planning of the building until its completion. The architect’s imaginative ideas are often influenced by the different sense of aesthetic and disagreements of the parties involved. Mostly, compromises are made. The final result is more or less different than originally planned. Veljo Kaasik’s work was on display at the exhibition of ten architects in the salon of the Tallinn Art Hall Gallery (exhibition 23.12.1982–9.01.1983). Text: Anna-Liiza Izbaš


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EMA 30 / Tiny tour of models: Cultural Centre in Paide

The model of the Cultural Centre in Paide, 1986. EAM MK 91

The Paide Cultural Centre was designed in the Estonian Rural Construction Project in 1984–85. The architect Hans Kõll and the designer Rein Üts are the authors of the project. The stained glass window of the façade was designed by the artist Kaarel Kurismaa. The unique interiors of the cultural centre are the work of interior architects Tiiu Pai and Taimi Rõugu, stained glass windows are designed by the artist Kalev Roomet. The representative building on the corner of Pärnu and Tööstuse streets – where the new social center of Paide was to come – was completed on 1987. On January 1, 1988, the magazine “Sirp and Vasar” (The Hammer and the Sickle) published photos of the new culture house on the front page and wrote:

“The dream of the people of Järva County has come true – on December 27, the cultural house of Paide district was opened. The biggest in Estonia, the best in Estonia. Quickly and well-built, given to the customer half a year before the deadline – this should be the perestroika momentum for other constructions as well, especially for cultural objects.”

Despite this and the building being criticized at the time for its scalability and restless façade design it was named the best building of 1988. The Paide Cultural Centre (now the Paide Music and Theater House) has so far functioned in its original use and preserved its authentic appearance and interiors. In 2016, the building was declared as a cultural monument. The 1:100 model of the Paide Cultural Centre was made by Rein Koster and Ants Anari, it was added to the museum’s collection in 2001. Text: Anne Lass


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Competition entry for the Arctic Centre in Rovaniemi

Andres Alver, Leonhard Lapin, 1982. EAM.5.4.70

Eight countries in the northern hemisphere, including the Soviet Union with three entries from Estonia, took part in the international architectural competition the purpose of which was to introduce Arctic nature, history and culture. The designers for the entry “CDF” drew inspiration from Caspar David Friedrich’s painting The Sea of Ice. The shape of the building, which houses two different museums – the Arctic Museum and the Provincial Museum of Lapland – bears direct resemblance to ridged ice. The idea of being dominated by Nordic nature is further emphasised by the complex being situated on the steep riverbank that follows the natural relief of the plot. Nine large-format drawings altogether with the axonometric projection shown here were brought to the museum by the authors in 2008. Text: Sandra Mälk


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House in Tallinn

Vilen Künnapu, 1981. EAM 41.1.11

The reason architects from the Tallinn School were fond of axonometric projection is that such drawings are object-centred. Unlike the viewerspecific perspective, this viewpoint places emphasis on the relations of the object with its different parts, i.e. the measurements of floors and walls and the distance between such elements. This leads to a different perception of space – stairs that have been divided at the top and disappear into the unknown and multilayered patterned rooms. This is proof that axonometrical drawings can be used to convey complicated spatial structures. The coloured pencil drawing was donated to the museum by Vilen Künnapu in 2005. Text: Sandra Mälk


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