Professor: Linnahall structures would allow preservation

Professor Jarek Kurnitski.
Professor Jarek Kurnitski. Source: ERR

The results of a survey show the bearing structures of Tallinn's Linnahall arena are in a satisfactory or even good state and considering the uniqueness of the grand hall of Linnahall, it makes sense to preserve it, Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) professor Jarek Kurnitski told public broadcaster ERR.

Speaking on ERR's Terevisioon morning program on Friday, Kurnitski, a researcher in the field of energy performance and indoor climate of buildings, said the building's ice sports arena and the portion of Linnahall facing the sea could be pulled down and built up again in accordance with modern needs.

Kurnitski said the grand hall of Linnahall which has an original capacity of 4,800 seats and the even greater interior space created when the curved back wall is raised are unique in the world and definitely worth reconstructing as they are.

He said the decision on whether to reconstruct or pull-down has to be made quickly, as moisture is causing damage to structures and the technical condition of Linnahall will soon be such where there is nothing left to reconstruct.

It was reported in August that the City of Tallinn is still awaiting authorization from the European Commission to grant state aid for the reconstruction of Linnahall and that the situation has seen no new developments since spring.

In accordance with the national budget strategy for 2020-2023, the government decided as part of a plan to develop Tallinn as a destination of conference tourism to invest 40 million euros in the reconstruction of Linnahall into a multipurpose culture and conference center. Of that money, 20 million euros would be allocated in 2021 and 20 million in 2022. The City of Tallinn, too, said it would contribute 40 million euros.

Linnahall is a large structure on the Tallinn seafront originally completed in time for the sailing events of the 1980 Moscow Olympics in Tallinn, which was last open to the public in 2009. The city government has said it intends to transform Linnahall into a conference center which would seat up to 2,500 people, a concert venue which would seat at least 3,500 people and commercial space.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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