Colourful slim high-rise in the Maakri Business Quarter

Client: Esimene Arendus OÜ
Invited Competition: 2017, 1st prize
Completed: 2021
Size: 14,300 m2

Maakri Quarter is situated in the historic Maakri district, the story of which stretches back to the 13th century. Starting in the second half of the 19th century, many shops, businesses and guesthouses started to converge on the densely built up urban area. A large proportion of the city built at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th was destroyed in the bombings of the Second World War. Maakri district was given a new lease of life as a business quarter in 1999, when the first modern high-rise building – the SEB head office – was erected. Nowadays, most of the high-rise buildings in Tallinn have been built in the Maakri Quarter alongside surviving older buildings. The resulting cityscape is often chaotic, but more built up in an urban sense than the rest of the centre of Tallinn.

The high-rise at Maakri 30 is situated between historic buildings, some of which have survived in their initial form, some have been restored. The historic buildings on the eastern side of Maakri Street have survived and thus we decided to continue the same height and urban density on the western side. Consequently, the tower section of the building will be clearly set back and only a four-storey section will border the street, which itself will engage with the streetscape in steps or stages.

The high-rise buildings in the Maakri Quarter resemble many new high-rise buildings in terms of their clean glass surfaces and lack of detail. In contrast to this drab and characterless quality, KOKO decided to move toward the other extreme – in the direction of the total design of the initial heyday of the Maakri Quarter. To that end, a clear characterising detail was added. The result is a pattern, which flows throughout the building, leaving its impression on the facade, in its details as well as in the interior design to build a strong identifying character. This thread runs through the building, working both inside and out, on the street as well as from a distance.