Plans for designing an open urban space on the territory of Tallinn Prison

Tallinn, Estonia
Client: State Real Estate Ltd
Invited architectural design competition: 2008, 1st prize
Size: 70,000 m2


The planned area is located near Tallinn city centre, on the current territory of Tallinn Prison. The prison will be relocated outside the city and a residential area is planned to replace it. A quality residential quarter with a special milieu is situated on the northern border of the quarter, an arterial road (Lõunaväil) on the southern border, a cemetery on the eastern and private houses on the western border.

The plan for the area values the connection between new buildings and the surrounding city, and the space between the buildings is emphasized. Trees, easily accessible recreation areas, good connections with the city centre, quietness and privacy all ensure a high quality living environment.

The apartment buildings in the design mainly have three floors with an added lower ground floor. The area below each apartment building is between 300–400 m2. The buildings are articulated so that a sufficient number of terraces and balconies could be created each of a decent size. The commercial and office buildings along Lõunaväil road have been heavily articulated to create enough rooms with daylight. The commercial buildings have been placed quite tightly together to create an additional noise barrier for the apartment buildings. The commercial and residential buildings are connected by parking, which partly runs below ground and the roofs of which are covered with plants. In addition to the open green areas – the central promenade and raised ground along Lõunaväil road – semi-private gardens have been created between the apartment buildings and the street as well as private courtyards between the apartment buildings.