A triad formed by the music of a world-renowned composer, and the natural landscape and space of Laulasmaa

Laulasmaa, Estonia
Client: Arvo Pärt Centre
Pre-qualified architecture competition: 2014
Size: 2,000 m2

The architectural design competition organised by the Arvo Pärt Centre and the Union of Estonian Architects aimed to find the best architectural solution for a building that would house Arvo Pärt’s archive at its core. The building should include among other things a concert hall, café and office space.

The starting point for the architectural design of the building was the music of Arvo Pärt with its asceticism, clarity and concentration; the inspiration for the design was Arvo Pärt’s tintinnabuli composition technique. The most important aim was to minimise any interference with the surrounding environment and remain sensitive to the pine forest in the dunes near the seashore in order to maintain harmony between the activities within the building and the natural surroundings.

The building consists of two intertwined forms whose meeting point creates the courtyard. Large undivided rectangular windows offer panoramic views of the surrounding forest landscape. The remaining walls have been created from transparent elements that at a smaller scale are reminiscent of the brick-shaped form of the building. The wall elements – wooden squares filled with blocks of glass – are placed at angles creating the image of a sound wave moving along the wall. The building opens up quietly for the viewer from the inside and outside, depending on his or her location and movement. The creative spaces that require most silence and privacy have been placed on the second floor, and accessed via the gallery stairs.

The main concepts for the interior design are purity, simplicity and warmth. The interior design concept for the auditorium highlights the person and the sound. The structure of the building is made of local sustainable construction and interior design materials.