o p u s



Location: Tallinn, Estonia

Year: 2018

Status: Competition. Purchase prize.

Program: Theatre, multifunctional performance spaces

Client: City of Tallinn

Area: 2 600 m2


The city of Tallinn held an open international competition for the extension of its theatre in the old town of Tallinn. The task was to create a functional urban infill in a dense area of the old city. The site is small and compact and is flanked by a large enclosed courtyard on one side, and by a curving and narrow street framed by high volumes and silent walls on the other.


The proposed design is formulated as a combination of interconnected pitched roof volumes. Each volume serves specific functions and offers something to both the urban situation as well as the interior world of the theatre. The interconnected volumes merge with the surrounding structures in a subordinate manner. The totality has a sense of vagueness that piques the curiosity of the visitor. The city block can be seen as a unified entity with a common language, yet all of its parts are articulated as singularities.


The functions of the extension can be seen in two separate worlds, the exterior and the interior. The outside theatre is found within the courtyard, under the changing characteristics of natural light. A large sunken volume with a pitched roof holds the seating for its many stages. The historical backdrop of the city creates a specific atmosphere and place, a scenography of memory. Hidden underground, is the internal and abstract world of the theatre. The simple interior spaces are rendered in to form by filtered light and soft shadow. The emptiness of the rooms works as a vessel for creating and curating different situations within its spaces, both real and surreal. Arched fenestrations create portals between the interior and exterior dimensions.