The Baltic Station market is located between the Tallinn railway station and the popular residential district of Kalamaja. Settled in 1993 in the empty warehouses of the former railway industrial quarter, by 2016 the market was morally and spatially outdated. As the former industrial area disappeared, extensive urban spatial potential emerged that needed to be preserved and enhanced with care.
The central idea of the new market building was to preserve the existing limestone buildings by covering them with a uniform roofscape. The result is a unique and striking sawtooth roof that creates different types of retail areas in and between the existing buildings and on three separate levels – a meat hall, a seafood hall, a street food section, a vegetable market, a second-hand market, a clothes market and outdoor market stalls.
As the market can change dramatically with the changing of the seasons, the plan of the building must be flexible. The number of internal walls has been kept to a minimum. The atrium in the centre of the building connects the entire roof area into a visually cohesive whole. There is a square at each end of the building – one meant for morning use and the other for evening use. The two squares are interconnected by the landscape of outdoor markets and terraces zigzagging through the building, offering dining and sitting areas, a playground for children and cafe and restaurant terraces. This area lights up during the evenings and into the night, when people can continue to walk through the space.
The facade of the building is calm and functional in order to highlight the expressive roofscape and has been made using materials and elements typical of local wooden and industrial architecture.
In the interior architecture, natural materials have been used to create a well-maintained rhythm for the market booths and sales areas, allowing the market’s functions to flow effortlessly between different zones.