Tallinn University of Applied Sciences

  • #Estonia
  • #Tallinn
  • #public
  • #renovation
  • #education

Location

Pärnu mnt 82, Tallinn, Estonia

Area

9500 m2

Status

Completed 2017

Client

Tallinn University of Applied Sciences

Architecture and interior architecture

LUMIA and studio ARGUS

Margit Aule, Toomas Adrikorn, Margit Argus and Kaiko Kerdmann

Photography

Maris Tomba

The symmetrical architecture of the building, completed in 1953 (i.e. during the Stalinist period) is stern, awe-inspiring and academic. It is a symbol of the era, a vehicle of deep ideological messages infused with admiration for the empire, characteristic of Russian chauvinism. Stalinist architecture took pains to oppose the triumph of modernism in the West. Nonetheless, the architecture of that period, inspired by neo-classicism, is also fascinating in its exuberant high-rising columns, cornices and lofty rooms.

We preserved and highlighted the grandeur of the historical interior, emphasising the important aspects. For example, we recreated the authentic atmosphere of the assembly hall and restored the details – the parquet, cornices, décor, etc. – as closely to the original as possible. In contrast and alleviation to the strict architecture, we inserted modern, youthfully coloured interior elements to stand out against the historical.

In order to bring light and lightness into the dark, serious building, the architecture is light-coloured while the furniture and fixtures (chairs, lamps, textiles) are rather modern. This results in an integral and sensitive environment, a dialogue between the old and the new, between the massive architecture and modern minimalist contents, and conveys a message about the openness and youthfulness of the present-day university.

Following the triangular character of the university’s graphic identity, we have based the design of the public lounges, counters and other interior elements on a triangle motif. The entrance to the building is more visible now in the city space. Rooms of different functions have been zoned by means of colours, to add freshness.

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