Andres Sevtsuk is a Professor of Urban Science and Planning at the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT, where he also leads the City Form Lab. Maroš Krivý is a professor of Urban Studies at the Estonian Academy of Arts.They shared their insights on current state and challenges of Estonian architecture.
A Hundred Issues of Critical Discussion on Architecture: a Round Table Discussion With Editors-In-Chief of MAJA
Since 1994, the architectural review MAJA has been the key platform for promoting and reflecting on Estonian architecture. On the occasion of the 100th issue, all former editors-in-chief – Leele Välja, Piret Lindpere, Triin Ojari, Katrin Koov and Kaja Pae – came together to discuss their working principles and the changes the journal has undergone in the past twenty-five years. Interviewed by Andres Kurg.
The reconstruction of buildings under heritage protection and providing them with new content is one way to make a small borough known and alive again.
What are the advantages and pull factors of rural areas?
What can barn-dwelling architecture teach us today?
There are approximately 50 unused or ruined churches in Estonia. The Master’s thesis suggests establishing columbaria, i.e. burial places for cinerary urns, in abandoned sanctuaries in Estonia. Changing the condition of the buildings as little as possible is intentional: the lives of the buried souls and the sanctuaries that surround them have ended.
Delving into characteristic coastal community places is one option for boosting Estonia’s coastal landscapes. The selected coastal cultural spaces – Liu boat workshop, Kabli bird station and the former polder field with an abandoned pump station – are places on the coast of Pärnu Bay that are worth reviving for the benefit of locals and visitors alike.
A story of ruptures and their appropriation.
The Master’s thesis is concentrated on four Estonian small towns (Mõisaküla, Püssi, Kiviõli and Räpina) implementing three stages: intervention, new programme and planning. The intervention is a small-scale realization of an idea, such as an installation, which functions as a test to initiate a dialogue with the residents of the town. The new programme describes the implementation of the idea in a small town, including a new function for a plot by which both the urban landscape and structure undergo changes.
The question is concerned with the unknown and how to give sense to it. As in the end, every unfamiliarity may be given a familiar, perceivable context. However, let us talk about the feeling of unfamiliarity. Could it be something more, something more genuine or even more delicate than the most obvious, for instance, an abandoned building?