Architects concerned about residential development near ERM

Estonian National Museum.
Estonian National Museum. Source: Vladislava Snurnikova/ERR

There is a residential area development in the area near the Estonian National Museum (ERM), with some apartment buildings planned to stand right aside the museum. Both the Estonian Association of Architects and museum leadership do not want the building anywhere near the museum, as it would pollute the architectural value.

The €75 million ERM building is considered to be of top architectural level by specialists. As developments of residential and apartment buildings in the area have picked up, the Estonian Association of Architects (EAL) is worried about real estate plots situated in the area near ERM.

The association is particularly against a planned building on the plot of Erminurme tee 28, which is set to become a four-story apartment building, all but touching the museum building.

Andro Mänd, president of the EAL, said: "The concept of this building (ERM - ed.) is in its military heritage, it uses the airfield and the building itself is part of the landscape. This all requires there to be a certain buffer around the area, we can not take new buildings right to the side of it, ruining the architectural value."

The administration of ERM also finds that there should be a buffer zone between the museum and residential buildings. In addition, management is worried about hosting events, usually held at the museum's B parking lot, going forward.

ERM development director Viljar Pohhomov said: "There have been large concerts, parades, Rally Estonia this year and hopefully next year. Residential buildings this close will create issues. We have already received notices from the existing buildings that we are disturbing peoples' calm nights with our activities here."

Jarno Laur, Mayor of Tartu, said the detail plans have the necessary superficies in place. "There has never been a presumption that ERM will stand alone in a bush or on a field. All those plans that designed ERM and its surroundings have been drawn up to bring life to the area and around the museums. I think it is completely natural and could be done without disturbing ERM's imposing design and it will not - ERM is so powerful," he said.

The Association of Architects only sees one solution to the issue: That the state would purchase the plot of Erminurme tee 28.

Mänd said: "The state invests €75 million into a building, all the while selling surrounding plots to private developers. This was a predictable issue in that sense and could have been avoided. If only there was someone who would have looked at the bigger picture."

The Estonian National Museum (ERM) building in Tartu. Source: Estonian National Museum


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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