Vallikraavi street that winds below the slopes of Toome Hill in Tartu will get three new capacious apartment buildings this year, doubling the number and area of living spaces on this short street that has merely a couple dozen houses altogether. Systemic densification of old towns enhances the possibilities of urban life and helps to save energy through more economical mobility.
Infrastructure is inherently spatial, but what role does architecture play in its grand schemes? You are invited to submit a 200-word abstract in English or in Estonian as a proposal to contribute.
An industrial construction technology based on modular and reusable building components can resolve many problems in the construction sector.
What is surprising and innovative about Fahle Park Gallery Street compared to earlier reconstructions of industrial architecture?
Preservation has achieved cultural significance as a lens through which various urban experts have come to imagine what a socially and environmentally sound future might look like. As an approach, preservation has been applied to disparate phenomena ranging from historic neighbourhoods and natural environments to democracy and identity.
What is the image conjured up by the phrase ‘the industrial heritage of Tallinn’? Is it the Creative Hub (Kultuurikatel), Rotermann Quarter or perhaps Noblessner Foundry (Valukoda)? Henry Kuningas resorts to outstanding examples to describe the main features implemented in the reconstruction of the industrial heritage in the past two decades.
Replies by Ott Kadarik (Kadarik Tüür Architects, author of Kalaranna 8 buildings) and urbanism-related Facebook group ‘Mitte_tallinn’
Thinking through stone opens up a fresh perspective on construction culture (and the lack thereof), availability of local building materials and their untapped (economic) potential, and, ultimately, on building truly long-lasting buildings.
The genesis of Kalarand is a search for novel urban ideals. Amidst arduous planning and controversy, a number of urban activists matured and professionalised. In a prototyping-like process, several expectations we consider fundamental today on the subject matter of public space and spatial justice were made visible, and solidified. Johanna Holvandus writes on the changes in urban activism and urban processes.
The Kalaranna development in progress was preceded by a controversial, landmark planning process lasting from 2008–2016, during which the Telliskivi Society and a large variety of urban activists stood for the spatial qualities and interests of the seaside promenade and the popular ad hoc sea-bathing spot. The urban space and architecture that took shape as a result is reviewed by the capital’s city architect of the time, Endrik Mänd, who was directly involved in the processes.
North-Tallinn development areas. The size of the population will estimably grow by 44,000 people, that is, up to 100,000 residents.
The Rotermann Quarter was the first ambitious attempt in independent Estonia to create a comprehensive and architecturally high-level urban space. 20 years have passed since the confirmation of the zoning plan that underlies the development of the area. Urbanist Mattias Malk examines what lessons could be drawn from the formation of this emblematic and groundbreaking space.
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Editors' choice

The architecture offices born at the time of economic downturn are inevitably much less inclined to undertake bold experiments than the ones whose beginnings are rooted in more auspicious times. Instead, what becomes crucial then is an ability to make the most out of the limited resources in a nuance-sensitive way. Thus, KUU architects are, in a sense, minimalists, yet they do not seek minimal form, but look for opportunities to efficiently utilise the existing contexts in order to create spaces that empower its users.
The architecture offices born at the time of economic downturn are inevitably much less inclined to undertake bold experiments than the ones whose beginnings are rooted in more auspicious times. Instead, what becomes crucial then is an ability to make the most out of the limited resources in a nuance-sensitive way. Thus, KUU architects are, in a sense, minimalists, yet they do not seek minimal form, but look for opportunities to efficiently utilise the existing contexts in order to create spaces that empower its users.

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The bastion belt should be a park with its use activated by a building.
For the current article, I spoke with two architect and interior architect tandems whose cooperation has become their preferred form of creative effort: Kalle Vellevoog and Tiiu Truus as well as Mihkel Tüür, Ott Kadarik and Kadri Tamme.
Vallikraavi street that winds below the slopes of Toome Hill in Tartu will get three new capacious apartment buildings this year, doubling the number and area of living spaces on this short street that has merely a couple dozen houses altogether. Systemic densification of old towns enhances the possibilities of urban life and helps to save energy through more economical mobility.
Teist põlve arhitekt Ralf väidab, et tal ei ole eriala suhtes illusioone; seda muljetavaldavama järjekindlusega seisab ta projekteerimisprotsessis arhitektuurse tuumidee säilimise eest. Arhitektiks olemine defineerib Ralfi kogu tegevust ja maailmavaadet töötegemisest reisimiseni – võib-olla ainult muusikal õnnestub hetkiti samavõrdse tähelepanu eest võistelda. Küsis Ingrid Ruudi.
August Krogan-Rolay is an artist living and working in Brooklyn, New York.
Several competition entries captured quintessential characteristics of Tartu. How to plan future competitions so that these characteristics could be more systemically written into competition briefs and implemented in 21st century projects?
In 2013, American political theorist Benjamin R. Barber convincingly argued that contemporary cities are better poised than nations to solve global problems. According to Barber, this is also true for the responses to climate change: ‘Where states can be said to have done the least, cities have done the most.’
The Curated Biodiversity landscape laboratory in Tartu has organised six experiments so far. Running a small operation, we might not be able to change the world at the snap of a finger, but we can start with what we can handle.
‘Heliorg’ explores the possibilities for reviving the bastion belt surrounding Tallinn Old Town.
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The bastion belt should be a park with its use activated by a building.
No more posts