Spring 2022: Opening Tallinn To The Sea

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’
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.
If there is any feeling of blandness, or risk aversion, or scant sense of place, it is not due to insufficient bike lanes or pedestrian squares, but rather because the larger questions of what is produced and who gets to have how much have already been decided.
The general plan for the Põhja-Tallinn city district is headed in the overall direction of diminishing the proportion of industry, increasing openness to the sea, developing the mobility environment via public transportation and bicycle traffic, and strengthening the blue-green network of the district.
Living close to water is good for our health: it reduces the risk of premature death, obesity, and has a generally restorative effect on people’s mental and physical health. 1 In the city, water is often so near, yet so far. Did you know there are more canals in Birmingham than there are in Venice, but people have been separated from the water by bad urban space? Tallinn has a long coastline but there are very few places in the centre where you can access the sea at all.
Rotermann Quarter stands out for the diversity of its new-builds and reconstructed former industrial buildings. There is probably no other area in Estonia awarded with as many prizes as this one. Mathilda Viigimäe and Kristi Tšernilovksi shed light on the architectural development of Rotermann Quarter.
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