Fahle Gallery Street

  • #Estonia
  • #Tallinn
  • #public
  • #conversion
  • #heritage
  • #sustainable
  • #green
  • #industrial
  • #steel

Location

Tartu mnt 80, Tallinn, Estonia

Area

740 m2

Status

Completed 2021

Client

Fausto Capital

Architecture and interior architecture

LUMIA and studio ARGUS

Margit Aule, Toomas Adrikorn, Laura Ojala, Katri Mets, Margit Argus and Katariina Teigar

Landscape architecture

KINO maastikuarhitektid

Photography

Terje Ugandi

Awards

  • 2022 - Annual Award 2021 of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia (Architecture Endowment) in the category ‘New from old’

  • 2022 - Annual Award 2021 of the Estonian Landscape Architects’ Union in the category of ‘Landscape and building’

The rebirth of the historical cellulose and paper factory area as Fahle business estate in the centre of Tallinn is marked by dialogue between the massive limestone walls of century-old industrial buildings, modern glass volumes and verdant vegetation.

Built mostly between 1908 and 1915, the block of buildings accommodated a paper factory with its various departments until the 1990s. In the 21st century, it is undergoing conversion from an industrial to a post-industrial space.

Fahle Gallery Street is a covered passage born out of this conversion. Formerly a narrow street between factory buildings, then walled up and closed altogether, it was reopened in 2021 as a glass-roofed, tropically vegetated oasis that knows no winter, even when it is all ice and snow outside.

The robustness of old limestone walls is now seconded by slender additions of steel. The greenish-toned solar control glass up above rests on the Art-Nouveau-inspired roof structures of the historical factory complex. The beams of the glass roof are supported directly, without any columns, by new concrete girders built into the cornices of the existing buildings. The slope and height of the roof vary in order to include all the Art Nouveau frontispieces on the walls in the interior space. The buildings on both sides of the passage are interconnected into a whole by a bridge crossing the airspace of the lofty gallery, and actually by the entire indoor street.

The passage is lined with offices, shops, restaurants and terraces extending into the oasis. The light and airy terrace furniture in variations of green creates street-like vibes while elements characteristic of a park and the barely perceivable borders between the indoor and outdoor spaces evoke a shift in the frame of mind, giving the gallery a distinctive dreamy atmosphere, which has become a favourite for special events or just meetups.

The landscape architecture of Fahle estate has been conceptually inspired by the idea of nature taking over the city space. Luxuriant greenery has found a place to establish itself in most cracks. There is grass growing under the trees and bushes and in the joints of the white granite slab pavement. The concept of nature coming back recurs throughout the development of Fahle estate as a whole, where the dense limestone environment is animated by the seemingly wild vegetation.

‘For us, the most important aspect in planning Fahle Gallery Street was that it should be a cosy and comfortable meeting place in Fahle Park all year round. The restored historical street, where, in addition to offices, we now also have cafés and restaurants and a glass roof above a tropical garden, is the perfect place for meeting up and having a good time.’

Sven Mihailov

Co-owner of Fausto Capital

Previous project

Valli­kraavi 14

Next project

House in Suurupi