Lai 29, Tartu, Estonia
Margit Aule and Katri Mets
Katariina Teigar and Liis Tarbe
In the Old Town of Tartu, there is the former telephone exchange building located on the main pedestrian street. The owners of the Scandium Kinnisvara real estate company saw the potential in it for a presentable and innovative concept: an apartment house that is not just a home but a home with amenities on the spot. The building accommodates lofts rising through two storeys, and a cinema, a gym, cafés, a rooftop terrace and a laundry room for shared use.
The building has a newer, modernist ribbon-windowed volume built in 1979; the older, Functionalist volume is a monument completed in 1937. It was originally built to serve the public switched telephone and telegraph network. The restoration preserved the grandeur of former times: lofty ceilings, spacious entrance hall, dignified elements, including the doors and windows. This dignity is highlighted in the new interior solution by means of colours, elements and materials, using a symbiosis of golden, yellow and black. The result was worked out in detail as a collaboration between the client, the building contractor and the interior architects.