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.
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.
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.
“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.”
Joel Kopli, Koit Ojaliiv, Juhan Rohtla, Eik Hermann, Kalle Komissarov, Rene Sauemägi (KUU Architects)
“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.”
Jury: interior architects Eeva Masso and Liis Tarbe, architect Karli Luik, art historian Leele Välja and external expert interior architect Vertti Kivi (Finland)
Tarmo Piirmets, Raul Tiitus (Pink)
“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.”
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.
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.”
“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.”
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.”
Kārlis Bērziņš, Niklāvs Paegle, Dagnija Smilga, Laila Zariņa, Jurga Daubaraitė, Petras Išora, Ona Lozuraitytė, Jonas Žukauskas, Johan Tali
Priit Ingver, Maire Suimets, Elina Lobunkova, Birgit Pukk, Anete Tammeveski;
Supervisor: Kristi Grišakov
“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.”
Jury: literary researcher Jaak Tomberg
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.
© Eesti Sisearhitektide Liit 2019