Gallery: Winning design for new ERR TV building unveiled

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A jury has selected "Roheline lina" by Kadarik Tüür Arhitektid as the winner of the architectural design contest for the new Television Building of Estonian Public Broadcasting.

The new Television Building to be built between ERR's Radio Building and News Building will, as its name suggests, house the public broadcaster's TV studios and editorial staff.

The task set out by the architectural design competition was to design a solution that would take into account special heritage protection conditions as well as be comfortable, modern, energy efficient and with low operational costs.

Of the 25 designs submitted, the jury selected "Roheline lina" by Kadarik Tüür Arhitektid as the winner. The authors of the design were Ott Kadarik, Mart Kadarik, Mats Põllumaa, Indrek Rünkla, Tanel Tremm and Mihkel Tüür.

The jury highlighted the winning design's thoroughly worked out solution as well as its top quality and professional presentation.

"The new building forms a whole with the existing buildings," the jury decision states. "The architectural solution is cogent, the overall concept delicate and modest, and it respects the existing Radio and News Buildings."

Highlighted was the fact that the new building's main entrance is recognisable and easy to find, the entrance pedestrian-friendly, the main foyer well organised and guest access to the building logically organised.

Likewise noted was the compact and realistic building volume, the appropriate street space solution and the opportunity to use rooftop space as an outdoor studio.

The winning design for ERR's future new Television Building. Source: Kadarik Tüür Arhitektid

Tallinn Chief Architect and jury member Endrik Mänd told ERR that when it comes to the planned new Television Building, it is important to work as high a volume as possible in between existing valuable buildings while also taking the surrounding urban spatial situation into account.

"On one side we have the Radio Building, which architecturally is a very valuable object, and on the other side we have the classic, ante-Kadriorg street space of Kreutzwaldi Street, and in addition to that, a school building on the Gonsiori Street side, and a spacious sports field next to the park in front of it," Mr Mänd said, describing the challenge given to architects. "How do you best unite these contexts?"

What the capital city's chief architect liked most about the winning design was how the new building managed to tie the entire block together — pedestrians would be able to access Raua Street from Gonsiori Street via Raua Põik, and a clear and worthy new entrance area was integrated into the Kreutzwaldi Street side.

Another aspect, Mr Mänd continued, was how the new building would interact with the existing residential building that stands on the corner of Raua Põik.

"There may be a few small things here or there that will want some adjusting in the project going forward, but distance [from the existing building] was maintained relatively well, and the light situation, which is crucial in the city, was well captured," he explained.

"And of course the terraces designed for the roof, which on one hand are a headache but on the other add value, as it will allow for open-air programmes to be filmed, which are relatively popular today," he highlighted.

The jury deliberated for two long days, but according to Mr Mänd, the winning design rose to the top with very few arguments, although several other submitted designs included very strong elements.

Central Tallinn will be gaining a worthy addition both in terms of a functional new Television Building as well as in terms of the district's urban space, the city's chief architect said.

The winning design for ERR's future new Television Building. Source: Kadarik Tüür Arhitektid

Indrek Rünkla, one of the architects behind the winning design, told ERR that in working out their solution, they kept in mind that on one hand, a TV building has to allow for television production, but on the other, this project involved public space. Both of these aspects have to work well in order to provide a good building.

"Third, it is a tight spot there — the property where the building has to fit is tiny and tight," Mr Rünkla explained.

He added that their goal was to ensure that the public area be as enjoyable is possible, making it undestandable that the building really belonged to them.

While Kadarik Tüür Arhitektid's design won the contest, that does not mean that their work is done here. According to Mr Rünkla, architectural work is best done interactively, when a client can clarify on a running basis what is important to them.

"Naturally everything is resolved to some degree, but to what degree something or other is suitable is a complex matter — none of us have designed very many TV buildings before," he said.

The roof of the new building will feature solar panels. Mr Rünkla noted that the function of a roof has generally been to keep the building below it dry, but the world has grown more complex, and a surface that receives sunlight can be utilised to produce energy.

The winning design for ERR's future new Television Building, featuring solar panels on the roof. Source: Kadarik Tüür Arhitektid

According to ERR Administrative Director Janar Vilde, later stages of planning will reveal to what extent the solar panels may cover the energy needs of the building itself.

He added that the next stage will consist of planning, which, together with various surveys, should last approximately 15 months.

"After that, a construction procurement and construction will follow," Mr Vilde said, noting that this stage will involve several other procurements. "We would like to move in in 2023."

ERR Board Chairman Erik Roose said that in building the new TV building, ERR wants to bring all of its operations to one central location, forming a complex together with the Radio and News Buildings.

Some 420 jobs are expected to move to the new building once it is complete. The financing of its construction awaits a decision regarding the state budget strategy.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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