Exhibition on combining old and new in Estonian modern architecture

Photo exhibition "Conversion in Contemporary Estonian Architecture" was opened in the end of August at Arhitektuurikatel.  The exhibition, on view until the end of October, is curated by Andrus Kõresaar from KOKO Architects and features 13 remarkable examples of Estonian contemporary architecture.

Estonia was an independent republic between the two World Wars and regained its independence in 1991. During the 20th century new buildings and public spaces in towns were influenced by different economic and political ideologies or war damages – ideas that are not valid any more.

The industrial buildings of the beginning of last century were built of robust materials and with high aesthetics, everything was created for eternity. The reality however didn’t support this approach and industries closed down. At the opposite end during the Soviet era defence structures and industry was built in town centres characterized by ugly appearances and self-destructing quality of workmanship. In city centres of Tallinn and the former Baroque pearl Narva whole quarters were destroyed during Soviet air raids in 1944; these areas have been empty until now or in low scale use.

These situations have developed Estonian architecture and tested the creativity of architects in order to join the existing disrupted city texture with the ideas defining the present. Successful architecture competitions and private initiatives have created unexpected forms and new symbioses of content.