Tag Archives: architect: Mart Port

Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs building

Mart Port, Uno Tölpus, Raine Karp, Olga Kontšajeva, 1963. EAM 4.3.2

The 11-storey administrative building influenced by the American so-called International Style was completed in the Tallinn city centre in 1968. The symmetrical facade of the building is characterized by regular rows of ribbon windows and a vertical windowless central part, which was supposed to form the background for the statue that stood in front of the building. The building has a U-shaped ground plan. On the first floor of the office building is a spacious vestibule, the walls of the vestibule were covered with pink Cuban origin marble. The offices are located on the following floors, the utility rooms are on the top floor. Conference and meeting rooms are located in the wing buildings, there is a courtyard in the middle of the building parts. A broad hyperbolic paraboloid-shell made of reinforced concrete covers the large conference hall located in the left wing of the building. Due to the complex construction, the lights were installed on the walls of the room and the ceiling was covered by 60,000 empty sprat boxes. The oiled and round sprat boxes helped to diffuse and reflect the light directed at them and ensured good acoustics in the hall. The location of the building is also significant. The office building was built on the site of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, which was foreseen by 1948 Tallinn Cultural Centre design plan (architect Harald Arman), on the other side of the Theatre Square is the “Estonia” theatre – politics and power is facing culture and spirituality. Since the autumn of 1991, the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been operating in the former Estonian Communist Party Politburo building. The author of the drawings is Rein Kersten. Text: Anna-Liiza Izbaš

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Visions of Tallinn Olympic Sailing Center

Mart Port, 1972–1973. EAM 52.4.2

Major design work preceded the sailing regatta of the 1980 Olympic Games in Tallinn. The Pirita estuary was redesigned to serve the public and sailors. As the local architects had little experience in creating a building complex that meets the requirements of the Olympic Games, the then city architect Dmitri Bruns decided to travel to Kiel, Germany, where the 1972 Olympic regatta was held, together with Mart Port, chief architect of the Estonian Project, and Urmo Kala, deputy chairman of the sports committee. There, with the kind assistance of the German colleagues the group got acquainted with the construction of the Olympic Sailing Center in Schilksee. The knowledge gained allowed us to announce an architectural competition in 1973 to find a project for the Pirita Sailing Center in which 12 works were submitted. The accompanying visualization comes from an album of Mart Port’s works and was probably part of a set of projects submitted to the competition but not awarded. The hotel has a hotel-bar-restaurant for athletes and guests at the forefront, and of course the Olympic light tower is centrally located in the complex. Like the Schilksee sailing center, the buildings have been built in stages. While in the lower picture the pier edge is used by holidaymakers, in the upper picture the tone is set by cars, which are probably influenced by Western magazines. The design features modern American cars, including the sporty-looking Dodge Challenger. The album was donated to the museum by Heldi Toom in 2014. Text: Sandra Mälk

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Competition entry for the observation and water tower in Mustamäe

Mart Port, 1962. EAM 52.2.11

The quality of the entry submitted for the competition for the observation and water tower that was due to serve the Mustamäe district in Tallinn lies in its pure technically engineered form. The modern concave roof of the lookout platform was possible thanks to the use of reinforced concrete. The area was under intense development at the time: the ski jumping tower on top of a hill slope in Mustamäe had been completed a year earlier and there were plans to build the campus of the university of technology at its foot. The perspective view shows an architectural drawing style that was common at the beginning of the decade where the classical watercolour and ink drawing has been completed using a wide dark-coloured felt-tip pen. The tower was never built. The drawings from Mart Port´s home archive were given to the museum by his family. Text: Sandra Mälk

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Sketches of Tallinn’s Väike-Õismäe residential neighbourhood

Mart Port, ca 1968. MEA 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. Text: Sandra Mälk

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