Riigikogu building to mark 100th anniversary

The Riigikogu building (1920-1922), Herbert Johanson, Eugen Habermann (photo taken from the internal courtyard).
The Riigikogu building (1920-1922), Herbert Johanson, Eugen Habermann (photo taken from the internal courtyard). Source: Museum of Architecture

The Riigikogu celebrates the centennial of the opening of its main building on Toompea on Monday, with an exhibition and presentation of a commemorative stamp.

Housed in Toompea Castle, the Riigikogu is the only parliament of any country in the world to be housed in an Expressionist building.

Building work started in 1920, shortly after the Treaty of Tartu, to designs from architects Eugen Habermann and Herbert Johanson, and was ceremonially opened on September 12, 1922.

The building is situated on the site of a former convent and encloses a courtyard between it and the much older Toompea Castle.

All of its furniture was made to order at the Luther factory (the present-day Luhteri Kvartal) in Tallinn, to match the architecture of the building. The construction also included an early use of reinforced concrete, as well as being the first public building in Estonia where consideration to the overall design and architecture was made when installing its electric lighting.

Riigikogu Speaker Jüri Ratas (Center) is to open Monday's exhibition, together with Rector of the Estonian Academy of Arts (EKA) Mart Kalm.

The exhibition will conceptualize the Riigikogu building through simple geometrical forms, for instance cones, cylinders, spheres and cubes.

At 1 p.m. the commemorative stamp, designed by Jaan Saar, will be unveiled, with speeches from state postal service Omniva/Eesti Post board chair Mart Mägi, and president of the national architects' association Andro Mänd.

The commemorative stamp has a notional value of €0.90 and will be on-sale at the presentation, as well as at post offices nationwide.

Guided tours of the Riigikogu are available to the public Saturdays and Sundays for the next four weeks, from September 17 to October 9 inclusive, 12.00 p.m. to 2 p.m. (email here).


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

Source: Riigikogu press office

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