Gallery: Palms and urban lilies decorate Old Town's new roadblocks

This week, roadblocks designed by architect Villem Tomiste, in which smaller trees and shrubs can be planted, have been placed on the streets of Harju and Kullassepa in Tallinn's Old Town. For now, palms have been planted in the roadblocks.

The urban environment and public works department of Tallinn city government organized an idea contest in 2018 to create urban designs for the roadblocks used in Old Town. The contest's goal was to find roadblocks that are suitable visually and meet technical requirements, explained the department's deputy director Tarmo Sulg.

14 different proposals were presented for the contest with Stuudio Tallinn's "Roheline linnamüür" ("Green city wall") chosen as the winner. The work's architect Villem Tomiste proposed the roadblocks be designed while drawing inspiration from the city walls of Old Town and its towers. To make the towers stand out in the urban view, the design saw fit to plant smaller plants in the roadblocks.

"The small forms were born inspired from Old Town walls and bastions. They are roadblocks to protect the Town Hall Square, developing this modern green city wall," Tomiste commented.

"The public space is the living room of a city resident and as is at home, the space of Harju tänav has been designed to change, to become modern and fresh. In the winter, there are evergreen pines and rowans growing here, palms and exotic plants will grow in the summer," the architect added.

The 30 roadblocks reached Harju and Kullassepa streets on Monday and the concrete pots can be placed in necessary locations around the city, in groups or one by one. For now, dwarf palm trees, strelitzia and tough urban lilies have been planted in the roadblocks, Tarmo Sulg said.

The plant pot-roadblocks weigh 340 kg and are made of light gray concrete. The winning work also saw the roadblocks used in the form of a small souvenir.

The prototyping and preparing of the idea contest winning roadblocks was a time-consuming process as there was no experience of making such concrete elements in Estonia, Sulg noted. Therefore, the elements were made in Barcelona, the total cost of production and delivery came out to €67,320.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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