Tallinn initiates detailed planning process for new US Embassy building

Perspective view of the U.S. Embassy from Suur-Ameerika tänav, Tallinn.
Perspective view of the U.S. Embassy from Suur-Ameerika tänav, Tallinn. Source: Mark Cavagnero Associates Architects

On Wednesday, the Tallinn City Government agreed to initiate the detailed planning process for the new U.S. Embassy, which is set to be constructed on the plot between Suur-Ameerika tänav and Väike-Ameerika tänav. Once complete, the embassy building could be up to 45 meters high.

The proposal for the detailed plan includes a main building with two underground floors and up to nine stories high. The complex will also include up to seven additional smaller buildings, each with two underground floors and up to two floors above ground. The maximum height of the main building will be 45 meters.

According to the explanatory memorandum drawn up by landscaping company AB Artes Terrae, the proposal includes a prestigious entrance and exit for visitors and high-ranking individuals on Suur-Ameerika tänav, while service personnel will be able to enter via Väike-Ameerika tänav.

Among the terms in the memo, are requirements for the embassy to be surrounded by a people-centered streetscape, and, where possible, for perimeter fences to be combined with a green space. According to the memo, the fences should be transparent allowing for the provision of an attractive streetscape.

The entire complex, including landscaping, will be built in a single phase, rather than in stages.

U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Officer Mark Naylor previously told ERR, that during the process, the embassy will hold talks with city residents and those living in the surrounding area to assist in finalizing the design and layout.

Three objections to the proposal to begin detailed planning have already been submitted to the Tallinn City Planning Department, one from a neighborhood housing association.

The proposal to initiate detailed planning for the site was submitted last December by OÜ Esplan on behalf of the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On November 22 this year, an administrative agreement for the preparation of the detailed plan was signed by representatives of the Tallinn City Planning Department, Esplan and the U.S. The property is currently owned by the Estonian state.

Location of the U.S. Embassy in Tallinn. Source: Mark Cavagnero Associates Architects

Tallinn City Council transferred ownership of the property at Suur-Ameerika 3/Väike-Ameerika 4 to the Estonian State in summer 2020. Estonia and the U.S. then signed a diplomatic agreement to carry out the sale of the property, which has an estimated value of €6 million.

The plot measures a total of 14,881 square meters and is located behind the Super Ministry complex. The embassy will be surrounded by residential buildings on Väike-Ameerika tänav and Toom-Kuninga tänav. Apartment buildings are also planned for the plot between Suur-Ameerika tänav and Tuvi Park, which is currently used as a car park.

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Editor: Michael Cole

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