The 2019 Estonian Architecture Awards were announced in Tartu

PRESS RELEASE
7 December 2019

On 6 December, at the awards ceremony at Tartu Comb Factory this year’s architecture awards were announced and the brightest stars and trailblazers, and best works and creative ideas were recognised.

 

At the awards ceremony concluding the year in architecture, the Architecture Endowment of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia and creative associations Estonian Association of Architects, Estonian Association of Interior Architects and Estonian Landscape Architects’ Union announced the laureates of their annual awards. Additionally, rising stars – students of the broad field of spatial creativity were recognised and for the first time ever, architecture magazine Maja and culture newspaper Sirp also presented their Architecture Publication Awards.

“From the perspective of spatial culture, 2019 was an incredibly great year. Space is becoming increasingly important, as testified by the record number of projects submitted to the architecture awards. This year is characterised by successful international collaborations and good quality public space emerging in the smallest corners of Estonia,” concluded Kristiina Kupper, head organiser of this year’s Architecture Awards ceremony and the Chairwoman of the Board of the Estonian Landscape Architects’ Union.

“Among the winners, there are unique objects that have both a national and international character, like the new building of Estonian Academy of Arts or the Memorial to the Victims of Communism in Maarjamäe. We also see that space has a social dimension, supporting people in special moments in their life, like the newborns department project at the Children’s Hospital. Exhibitions and spatial experiments have been set up to contemplate the various aspects of space. The new central square in Valga, creating a more dense space and reconsidering the meaning of city space is, no doubt, of regional significance,” said Kristiina Kupper, highlighting some of the examples.

“Successful collaborations should definitely be mentioned. For example, the light and brisk Arvo Pärt Centre that became the finest example of efficient and trust-based collaboration between the client, architects and constructors. One of the best examples of collaboration between different fields is the new building of the Estonian Academy of Arts that received several awards and was born out of cooperation between the academy’s alumni – architects, interior architects and landscape architects – who poured their soul into the creative work while striving towards a common goal. The result is an open building, an environment where space can be changed and shaped by the people working there,” said Kupper

“It is amazing to see that Baltic architects joined forces and this resulted in a border-crossing project, the first ever joint exposition of the Baltic States at the Venice architecture biennale. Collaboration was also highly praised when an award was given to Tartu City Government for their continuous good work. Perhaps the broadest collaborative work presented was the experiments in temporary solutions for the Paide Central Square. And this, too, was recognised by the jury,” added Kristiina Kupper.

 

Annual Architecture Awards of Estonian Cultural Endowment 2019

Jury: interior architect Pille Lausmäe-Lõoke, architects Emil Urbel and Peeter Pere, landscape architect Anna-Liisa Unt, product designer and docent at Estonian Academy of Arts Merike Rehepapp, art historian Andres Kurg, urbanist Teele Pehk.

Annual Award of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia in architecture – Arvo Pärt Centre 

Fuensanta Nieto, Enrique Sobejano (Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos)
The award will be presented to the winners at the awards gala of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia on 31 January.
Jury’s comment:
“The building blends into the surrounding environment, yet simultaneously creates a completely new kind of space, seemingly breathing in the same rhythm as its surroundings. The new construction in the middle of a pine forest and blueberry fields is like a temple of silence and carefully arranged sounds. A complex spatial programme has been masterfully arranged into a flowing whole, while maintaining the various characteristics of different spaces and linking them to their surroundings in a multifaceted way with each detail thoroughly analysed and in harmony with the whole.”
BROADCAST: https://youtu.be/CD81n5Ny1BQ

Architecture – architecture of the new building of the Estonian Academy of Arts

Joel Kopli, Koit Ojaliiv, Juhan Rohtla, Eik Hermann, Kalle Komissarov, Rene Sauemägi (KUU Architects)
Jury’s comment:
“The new building of the Estonian Academy of Arts has created a new environment between Põhja puiestee and Kotzebue streets, bustling with bicycles and a hunger for knowledge and ideas. The new space that the building creates makes even those happy and proud who are not directly connected to the academy. A well-functioning learning and artistic environment, the smooth transformation between buildings constructed in different periods into a magnificent whole, an inspiring structured space. The architects have managed to bring the spirit of the old building of the academy on Tartu maantee into the new one.”
BROADCAST: https://youtu.be/AnbSezJNBfc

Reconstruction projects – KAOS Architects
Recognition for three reconstruction projects: Museum of Haapsalu Castle, Park Hotel Viljandi, the Estonian Embassy in Moscow.
Jury’s comment:
“The jury recognises the whole bureau for consistent reconstruction work: the visitor centre-museum of the Haapsalu Castle, Park Hotel Viljandi and the Estonian Embassy in Moscow. A sensitive approach to detail, respectful attitude towards historic buildings, professionally conducted combination of new and old architectural expressions. KAOS’ projects give equal attention to layers from very different periods. In addition to being respectful they always add something clever and contrastingly novel, maintaining a tension and provoking reconsideration of the familiar.”
BROADCAST: https://youtu.be/pghS3tpMCok

Good public space – The Memorial to the Victims of Communism and Estonian Officers in Maarjamäe
Kalle Vellevoog (JVR Arhitektid), Jaan Tiidemann (Ninja Stuudio), Tiiu Truus (Stuudio Truus). Plants: Lidia Zarudnaya. Sculptor: Kirke Kangro.
Jury’s comment:
“The solution adds to the existing complex in a manner that is simultaneously delicate and powerful: it does not directly intervene with what is already there, still, the new episode, sharply driven into the ground is clearly presented as a continuation of the memory field. The memorial’s contribution both to our history and cultural history and the high quality public space it creates are definitely worth high recognition. This is a monument that can bring society together.”
BROADCAST: https://youtu.be/J7HkKEIHcwc

Exhibition curation – exhibition “A Room of One’s Own. Feminist’s Questions to Architecture”
Ingrid Ruudi
Jury’s comment:
“An extensively researched exhibition that raises significant questions about the gender bias in architecture and its institutions. After an exhibition like that it is difficult to claim that focus on feminism and gender is nothing but a niche issue in architecture. Hopefully, this exhibition paved the way for other researchers looking into the social role of architecture.”

Exhibition curation – curatorial exhibition “Nearly Zero” by the Estonian Association of Architects
Eik Hermann, Mihkel Tüür, Rene Valner
Jury’s comment:
“Global climate change forces us to radically redefine architecture. The exhibition approached the issue from a broad perspective: from private houses to global warming. Based on their analysis the curators offered clearly stated solutions to private consumers as well as the state as a whole. The exhibition had a clear manner of presentation and an attractive design. Another forte of the exhibition was its web archive. Hopefully, this was a trailblazing endeavour that will lead the way for all the following exhibits on this pressing subject matter.”

Annual Awards of the Estonian Association of Architects 2019

Jury of the Annual Architect Award: architect Lina Ghotmeh (France)
Eramu Award jury: architects Raul Vaiksoo and Siiri Vallner, interior architect Kätlin Ölluk, landscape architect Ülle Grišakov and Lithuanian architect Gintautas Natkevičius

Annual Architect Award 2019 – the new building of the Estonian Academy of Arts
Joel Kopli, Koit Ojaliiv, Juhan Rohtla, Eik Hermann, Rene Sauemägi, Kalle Komissarov (KUU Architects)
Jury’s comment:
“With its great balance of complex solutions, well-paced rhythm, proportions, dimensions and innovation, the building of Estonian Academy of Arts has to be highlighted for its architecture and sincerity and recognised for the architects’ innovative approach and their ability to tie the building complex into an intricate urban environment.”
BROADCAST: https://youtu.be/AnbSezJNBfc

Eramu 2019 – Sauna at Lusthoone Farm
Peeter Pere, Eva Kedelauk (Peeter Pere Architects)
Jury’s comment:
“I was thoroughly impressed by the extremely high quality of Estonian architecture. The sauna at Lusthoone Farm is an expressive landmark, an original signature in nature, yet very fine and poetic. With its modest interior three layers are brought together: history, nature and contemporary architectural language.”
BROADCAST: https://youtu.be/rKWYFKv4YMA

Student Award 2019 – Master’s thesis “Affordable Housing” in Architecture and Urban Design at the Estonian Academy of Arts.

Veiko Vahtrik

Annual Awards of the Estonian Association of Interior Architects 2019

Jury: interior architects Eeva Masso and Liis Tarbe, architect Karli Luik, art historian Leele Välja and external expert interior architect Vertti Kivi (Finland)

Park Hotel Viljandi
Margit Argus, Margit Aule, Kaiko Kerdmann (KAOS Architects)
Jury’s comment:
“A modest and refined solution, skilfully balancing the dignity of the historic building and trendy solutions in a way that is beneficial to all. Especially worth highlighting is the former inner courtyard designed into a foyer with its space cleverly sectioned using wooden pathways between the corridor and hotel rooms.”
BROADCAST: https://youtu.be/pghS3tpMCok

Tallinn Children’s Hospital’s newborns department
Mari Põld (T43 Interior Architects)
Jury’s comment:
“A task with particularly complex terms of reference, where in addition to taking into account medical devices, functional needs and hygiene requirements the aim was to create a pleasant and comforting environment for mothers who often need to stay there for long weeks and months with their newborn requiring medical help. The bright white light in the corridor is an intriguing solution – contrary to what one would expect, it does not feel cold and sterile but vivid and warm instead. It is worth pointing out that a high quality professional solution has become part of a health facility.”
BROADCAST: https://youtu.be/h0Jnc2LQi74

Suure-Jaani Tervisekoda Health Centre
Riin Kärema, Kerli Lepp, Mari Põld
Jury’s comment:
“The interior architecture continues the main architectural direction of the building – in order to blend into the surroundings the building is seemingly made up of several interconnected buildings reflecting the surrounding volumes. The concept is thoroughly executed, large glass surfaces and brick walls work in perfect unison.”
BROADCAST: https://youtu.be/kcZQ816GIkg

The new building of the Estonian Academy of Arts

Tarmo Piirmets, Raul Tiitus (Pink)
Jury’s comment:
“This building is a significant landmark in Estonian architecture and its interior architecture reflects that as well. The interiors reveal a multi-layered approach allowing for creative freedom while exhibiting the building’s older layers, it also features spaces with trendy solutions and surprising qualities. The building, although relatively complex functionally, has been cleverly adapted to current needs. While the various building stages are clearly evident in the exterior, in the interior everything is tied into a seamless whole. The cherry on the top is that historic details are exposed here and there, such as banisters and windowsills in the Functionalist part or the impressively massive shelter doors in the Soviet section of the building.”
BROADCAST: https://youtu.be/AnbSezJNBfc

Estonian Association of Interior Architects, Vello Asi Student Award 2019 – Kirke Kalamats

In collaboration with the Department of Interior Architecture at the Estonian Academy of Arts a student award is presented for a work that conveys the values of the legendary interior architecture professor Vello Asi – his principles, ethics, work and creative attitudes.

Annual Awards of the Estonian Landscape Architects’ Union 2019

Jury: landscape architect Martin Allik, landscape architect Kristian Nigul, architect Kaja Pae, urban designer Kristi Grišakov, landscape architect Merle Karro-Kalberg.

Annual Award – Central Square in Valga

Gianfranco Franchi, Chiara Tesi, Rea Sepping (Franchi+Associati)

Jury’s comment:”The design for the central square in Valga really is the right space in the right place. Opening the historic bloc number 8 and designing it into a square is a great example of how to concentrate a small town with a decreasing number of inhabitants. The central square in Valga highlights historic buildings and places them on the centre stage without overshadowing anything. The new space is multifaceted, the nooks and corners of the square are like an optical illusion: the square is larger and richer than it seems at first glance. The new square organically flows between buildings and highlights the best of Valga. This is not a place screaming for attention, the square is quiet and balanced, not a self-centred Instagram-landscape.”

BROADCAST: https://youtu.be/a3H8F66mVCY

Cooperation Prize – The Spatial Experiment in the Central Square in Paide, 2017–2019

Elo Kiivet

Jury’s comment:

“The spatial experiment in Paide is a success story in experimental culture. The experiment proved that it is possible to create dignified and active space with the people living in the city. The spatial needs of the city’s inhabitants are skillfully and clearly translated into the language of landscape architecture. In this space several hard-to-define aspects of space-making meet: ideas from the community, the willingness of local government, temporary spatial solutions, the positive impact of a large-scale event in the city (Arvamusfestival). The question of how to create temporary space together is answered clearly: ask people and create and build together.”

BROADCAST: https://youtu.be/CXyA_mNVoIk

Annual special award for continuous work in creating public spaces – Tartu City Government

Jury’s comment:”For years Tartu City Government has stood out for its thoroughly analysed activities in creating a friendlier, versatile city while being dedicated to developing a public space that supports various modes of transportation. A significant factor has always been its willingness to establish a dialogue between citizens, the city government, designers and builders. This has resulted in public spaces which, even though constructed at different times, still feel uniform and abundant.”
BROADCAST: https://youtu.be/7xjf1j870Xc

Idea Award – the Baltic Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale

Kārlis Bērziņš, Niklāvs Paegle, Dagnija Smilga, Laila Zariņa, Jurga Daubaraitė, Petras Išora, Ona Lozuraitytė, Jonas Žukauskas, Johan Tali

Jury’s comment:
“The joint Baltic exposition “Baltic Pavilion” at the XV Venice Architecture Biennale was unique. Approaching the Baltics as a unified space and landscape was a high calibre achievement. The landscapes of the Baltic States were brought together and presented as a whole, not as pieces cut up by the countries’ borders.”

Student project of the year – research project “Temporary Mustamäe”by landscape architecture students at TalTech

Priit Ingver, Maire Suimets, Elina Lobunkova, Birgit Pukk, Anete Tammeveski;

Supervisor: Kristi Grišakov

Jury’s comment:

“The student project “Temporary Mustamäe” is looking to create a better public and semi-private space, using temporary and/or affordable landscape architecture solutions. The volume and relevance of the project are impressive and awe-inspiring. In light of limited financial resources, the proposed cooperative temporary solutions form a convincing method of acupuncture fulfilling the set aim – the creation of a better outdoor space.”

 

Annual Article Awards by Estonian architecture magazine Maja and culture newspaper Sirp 2019

Jury: literary researcher Jaak Tomberg

Maja Annual Award – Siim Tuksam, “But why?” (available in Estonian: “Aga miks?”)
Jury’s comment:
“A polished and current article offering powerful conclusions on the possibility of symbiosis in human and machine thinking in the architectural creative process. The article concisely drafts the main traits of the evolutional development of architecture which are followed to the state that contemporary architects find themselves in, where a balanced co-existence of machine and human thinking should be the goal. Based on strong knowledge of history and offering philosophical and sensorial meditations to shed light on the nature of the discipline for those outside it and as such, could be the foundation for more extensive research.”
Sirp’s Annual Award – Eva-Maria Truusalu, “Space potential in pre-school education” (available in Estonian: “Ruumi potentsiaal alushariduses”)
Jury’s comment:
“The article emphasises the importance of play in cultivating imagination and thinking through that as well as in developing relational and creative thinking. Based on observations, the article looks at the relationship between space and play and the role of space in shaping the experience of play. According to this premise the short text offers a play-based and relatively nuanced concept for a kindergarten, stemming from relevant ideas from 21st century expertise. The focus of the article is innovative and the topic relevant. The text is well-written with a strong pedagogical message and is definitely interesting for readers outside the discipline of space-making.”

Maja’s notable mention for developing architectural thought – Urmo Mets, “Of the Measurable and Unmeasurable in Architecture” (available in Estonian: “Mõõdetavast ja mõõtmatust arhitektuuris”)
Jury’s comment:
“An incredibly powerful and thought provoking essay discussing architecture from a phenomenological perspective, on the one hand, looking into the part of the architects’ work that is difficult to acknowledge and is often not verbalised and on the other, its non-verbal and purely sensuous effect that is so often primary and definitive. Instead of the quantified attributes of architecture the article discussed its immeasurable layers. The text is simultaneously a document of deep meditation and a manifest of the sense of duty, presenting equally well as a description and a prescription.”

 

About the Awards:

The annual Estonian architecture awards were given out at a joint ceremony for the fifth time. The event was hosted by Estonian Association of Architects, Estonian Association of Interior Architects and Estonian Landscape Architects’ Union as the main organiser of the 2019 event.

The event was organised in partnership with architecture endowment of the Estonian Cultural Endowment and the publishing house Arhitektuurikirjastus.

The event was supported by the Estonian Cultural Endowment and the Ministry of Culture. The awards ceremony’s grand supporters in 2019 were Luminec, Extery and Fagerhult. The event was also supported by the city of Tartu.

We thank also: Aluprof, Bole, Bruns Pflanzen, Eg-Trading, Floorin, Geberit, Juhani Puukool, Jung, Lincona, Nophadrain, Puustelli, Rake, Thermory, VectorWorks – Ultirender, ViaCon, Wermstock.

The whole broadcast on YouTube: TV show: Estonian Architecture Awards 2019.

The extensive stories about the laureates and nominees as well as interviews with the authors and jury members are published in the yearbooks “Ruumipilt 2019” (Estonian Association of Interior Architects awards) and “Estonian Architecture Awards 2019” (Estonian Association of Architects, Estonian Landscape Architects’ Union and architecture endowment of the Estonian Cultural Endowment awards). Yearbooks are available soon in Estonian book stores.

All the laureates and nominees are listed on the website www.arhitektuuripreemiad.ee/en.