Port of Tallinn’s long-term development vision panel selects 6 entrants that include prominent Estonian and foreign architectural bureaus

By the end of its first stage, AS Tallinna Sadam’s planning competition for the Old City Harbour long-term development vision 2030 received 30 applications from architectural bureaus situated in 15 countries.

The panel’s task was to select six entrants to participate in the second stage of the competition. The successful entrants had to be capable of submitting high-level proposals aimed at formulating a comprehensive Old City Harbour development plan.

The selection process relied primarily on the projects already completed by each entrant (i.e. portfolios), with the panel assessing such aspects as the methods for developing a long-term vision and the teams engaged in these activities. 

According to Valdo Kalm, head of the panel and chairman of the management board of the Port of Tallinn, many of the entrants presented strong cases with impressive portfolios, and that made the panel’s selection process quite difficult. “The successful entrants’ portfolios were most interesting, with solid listings of previous work and inspiring solutions. The panel wanted to select companies with diverse strengths,” Kalm explained.

The panel selected the following entrants for the second stage of the competition (in alphabetical order):

Alver Arhitektid OÜ (EST) – possessing thorough knowledge of the Old City Harbour area and over 20 years of experience in development in this district.  The architects are well-versed in the spatial and technological harbour structures and have conducted urban improvement work at several harbours and surrounding territories.  Another factor in their favour was success in many public-space and urban project architectural competitions, with both wins and subsequent implementations.  

Arkkitehtitoimisto ALA Oy (FIN) – this bureau boasts multiple wins in various international architectural and planning project competitions, as well as international awards. They have plenty experience in designing buildings of urban importance, for instance, the Helsinki Central Library, the Kilden Performing Arts Centre and the Kristiansand Concert Hall. Their portfolio also includes several seaside area development projects, such as the Kantasatama, the Helsinki South Harbour, the West Harbour and the Kotka harbour area general development plan. 

City Form Office ja KCAP Architects & Planners (EST and NL) – this consortium possesses a great deal of architectural and urban planning experience. Many of their projects have received awards and global attention due to unique concepts and attractive architecture. They also have the skill to compile long-term strategic plans for complex projects, for example, the general development plan for the HafenCity District in Hamburg. They also have a strong academic background coupled with experience in conducting urban space usage surveys. 

KavaKava OÜ ja Alejandro Zaera-Polo & Maider Llaguno Architecture (EST and UK) – KAVAKAVA won a vital and extensive urban space improvement competition to redesign Tallinn’s main street. They have actively participated in urban forums and workgroups concerned with coastal area issues, for instance, the international workshop analysing the new residential development projects for the Kalarand District. This consortium stands out due to a strong combination of local knowledge, international urban planning experience and academic activities.

Terroir ApS ja Karres en Brands landschapsarchitecten b.v. (DK and NL) – they have made a name for themselves by thoroughly designing perfectly sized solutions for particular districts, efficiently adjusting multifunctional areas and ensuring that everything is convenient and user friendly. The panel noted the architectural and spatial quality of their planning projects and the strong methodological basis. They have provided successful solutions for downtown areas in Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Tampere, including the Hedenhusen Quarter in Copenhagen, which has gained international recognition.  Other large projects worth mentioning are the harbour and train terminal connection in Moss, Norway, and the Circular Quay development in Sydney. 

Zaha Hadid Architects (UK) – one of the most globally prominent architectural bureaus. The list of their long-term development visions is very long.  To name but a few: the Zorrozaurre former harbour in Bilbao and the Salerno harbour terminal. This company creates bold and distinct urban space solutions.

The panel consists of Valdo Kalm, chairman of the management board of the Port of Tallinn; Hele-Mai Metsal, head of development department of the Port of Tallinn; Endrik Mänd, chief architect of the city of Tallinn; Peeter Pere, vice chairman of the Estonian Association of Architects; and Ülar Mark, a member of the Estonian Association of Architects.  

The task facing the six selected entrants at the second stage of the planning competition for the Old City Harbour long-term development vision is to submit to the organiser by the beginning of April their initial ideas concerning the future of the area. At the end of the second stage a total of no more than three proposals will be selected for further elaboration in cooperation with the architects. And finally the port will conclude a contract with the creator of the most viable entry. The parties will then jointly create by the end of 2017 the Old City Harbour long-term development vision 2030 that will include the best ideas and suggestions from other competition entrants and contributors as well.

The Old City Harbour long-term development vision 2030 must include improvement of passenger facilities, principles for the local residential environment, functions favouring trade and commerce and a local public space solution with transport and pedestrian options.


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