Estonian embassy in China competes for the 'Concrete Building of the Year' title
The newly opened purpose-built Estonian Embassy building in Beijing will compete at the local architecture competition.
"The embassy has got a very beautiful building and the construction is now also competing for the 'Concrete Building of the Year' title. It certainly stands out in comparison to neighboring embassies,” Astrid Kannel, ERR's correspondent currently also in Beijing, said.
The embassy is in the Chaoyang district, close to the US and French embassies. It was designed by Estonian architects Andres Põime, Lauri Vaimeli ja Liisa Põime and is only the third purpose-built Estonian embassy building. The first one was built in Finland in 1933 and the second one in Lithuania in 1998.
It is arguable whether the embassy building is too large because it was planned at the time when the Estonian economy was doing better. Our relations with China are not also very active, so we might ask why does Estonia need such a large embassy, with over 2,200 square meters of space,” Kannel said to ERR radio news.
Kannel added that bilateral relations with China are improving, however, so that there may be a need for large building in long term. The building will for the time being also accommodate the Embassy of Iceland.
According to Kannel, there is a long way to go, to achieve proper and constructive agreements between Estonia and China.
“China has its own rules and there is a lot of corruption too. There are opportunities, but to take an advantage of these is another and complicated matter,” Kannel said.
The new embassy building will be opened by the Estonian Foreign Minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus.