Hayashi–Grossschmidt Arhitektuur firm wins Patarei design competition

Architecture firm Hayashi – Grossschmidt Arhitektuur's (HGA) design "Taevakaar" won the competition to redesign the courtyards, glass roofs and outdoor areas of Tallinn's Patarei sea fortress.

Deputy Head of the Tallinn City Planning Board Oliver Alver said the outdoor areas were very good and the beach promenade incorporated in the winning work will significantly improve people's access to the sea.

HGA partner Hanno Grossschmidt said the team of architects wanted to find new meaning and opportunities in the historic building and to create a harmonious environment.

"We tried to bring out the other side of the sea fortress which had been hidden there all this time," he said.

HGA will start designing the courtyards and outdoor areas of the sea fortress in cooperation with the chief designer of the sea fortress Arhitekt 11.

Construction Director of US Real Estate Tarmo Pohlak said all the entries were high quality and choosing a winner was not an easy process. The deciding jury was made up of experts from the fields of energy efficiency, civil engineering, heritage protection and art history who analyzed the designs. 

All the submitted entries can be viewed from Thursday at the Goržhi courtyard at Patarei Sea Fortress from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. 

Patarei will be completed in 2026 and discussions with the first tenants have already begun. 

The construction of Patarei Sea Fortress started under the orders of Nicholas I in 1828 and after completion, it began operating as an artillery battery. The premises, covering four hectares, has had different functions and was used as a barracks and a prison.

It is also memorial to the victims of communism and fascism, as well as a meaningful symbol of resistance on the part of martyrs of the Republic of Estonia.

The fortress also includes an exhibition area "Communism is a Prison", which introduces the ideology and crimes of communism and the history of the building. The exhibition area covers nearly 1,200 square meters in the eastern wing of the prison.

The Patarei complex today. Source: RKAS

Government debating crisis loan for Patarei

Minister of Finance Martin Helme (EKRE) and Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas (Center) said at the government's press conference on October 15 that they would be in favor of a Kredex loan on favorable terms to be provided to the development of the historic Patarei naval fortress in Tallinn.

At the beginning of October, Urmas Sõõrumaa, the businessman whose company recently bought the Patarei complex, told ERR that he was refused a €40 million loan by Kredex as according to the latter Patarei was not a property under construction on the day the crisis measures starts on March 12. 

Helme said last week that Kredex should give out grants and loans faster and on a larger scale, and in addition to the Porto Franco development, several other projects could also receive loans. Aas agreed with him.

However, both ministers pointed out that before the decision to support a nationally important project reaches the government table, it must be approved by the KredEx Council.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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