The government plans to demolish the Finance Ministry's building, a Soviet relic built in 1977, only to rebuild it under its current guise and add an identical second tower next to it.
In 2016, the government plans to join the ministries of finance, economy, interior and social affairs at the Suur-Ameerika 1 building, reported Eesti Päevaleht. The buildings of the three other ministries will be sold.
The construction project will cost 20 to 25 million euros according to initial estimates and officials say they aim for building to begin next year. Although the plan is to preserve the building's stylistic integrity, the interior layout will be changed, giving preference to large, open floor plans as opposed to current tight office spaces.
A previous plan was to renovate the existing building, but the facade has deteriorated to such a bad condition that it no longer meets the standards required to qualify for a renovation project, according State Real Estate's communication director, Madis Idnurm.
The Architects' Union has dismissed the plan to demolish and rebuild the building as “strange,” though the organization has advocated for the preservation of the historical building, calling it an architecturally valuable monument to its era.
It is not yet clear where Finance Ministry officials will be located during construction. One option is the nearby Tax and Customs Board offices, which will be freed up in the second half of 2013 when that agency's new headquarters in Ülemiste are completed.