The long-term development vision of the Old City Harbour area will be established during a design contest

On Monday, Port of Tallinn announced a design contest for the Old City Harbour development Master Plan in order to find a long-term comprehensive solution that will become the basis for real estate developments in the harbour area and the connection of the urban and public space with the harbour’s functions.


“Within the design contest, we are expecting architectural firms from Estonia and beyond to present their visions of the integrated whole that the harbour and the harbour area could be designed to become from the perspective of the needs of the harbour and urban development alike for the period up to 2030,” said Valdo Kalm, chairman of the management board of Port of Tallinn.


According to Valdo Kalm, the development plan to be devised as the result of the design contest is to incorporate the development of the passenger transportation sector, the principles of the creation of local habitat, laying down the functions suitable for trade and business activities and the vision of the public space of the area, including transport and mobility opportunities.


“In order for the Master Plan to be devised to maximise the integration of the principles supporting the harbour and urban environment development, the judges who are going to evaluate the projects to be submitted within the design contest also include the representatives of Tallinn City Planning Department and the Union of Estonian Architects,” the chairman of the management board of Port of Tallinn noted.


Mr. Endrik Mänd, Chief Architect of the City of Tallinn and one of the jury members of the contest stressed the importance to have a common view of the urban development, given that as the developments in the harbour area are of equal interest to land owners and the residents and guests of Tallinn.


Mr. Peeter Pere, the Vice-Chairman of the Estonian Association of Architects and also a member of the jury noted that the design contest for the Master Plan of the Old City Harbour area provides all architects in Estonia with a unique opportunity to participate in the creation of the face of the urban space in the centre of Tallinn, which will become Tallinn’s and the entire Estonia’s “business card” for the tourists coming to visit us and, hopefully, a new centre of attraction for the city residents.


According to Valdo Kalm, chairman of the management board of Port of Tallinn, the company also aims to create conditions for the flexible stage-by-stage implementation of various development activities.


“In order for the harbour area to become significantly more attractive for the city residents and visitors of Estonia alike, we do not have to wait until all the developments have been completed; numerous initiatives, be it the promenade from the Russalka monument to the Admiralty Basin or new urban landmarks, for example, the bridge over the Admiralty Basin and the lighthouse which is to become the symbol of the Old City Harbour, can already be implemented in the perspective of the next two-three years”,  Kalm noted.


The first stage of the design contest for the Master Plan of the Old City Harbour area involves the selection of six participants who will have to present their initial visions of the future of the area. “The second stage will be held at the beginning of the next year in order to choose up to three contest projects that will be developed in more detail simultaneously,” Valdo Kalm said. “During the final stage of the process, we are going to conclude a contract with the author of the contest project that is deemed to be the strongest; the final Master Plan will be completed by September of 2017 in cooperation with the latter and will also incorporate the best ideas and suggestions from the other projects participating in the design contest”.  


Detailed terms and conditions of the design contest are published on November 22 in Estonia’s official E-procurement environment and on the websites of Port of Tallinn and Estonian Association of Architects (

Additional information: Sirle Arro, Director of Marketing and Communications Department of the Port of Tallinn, ph. +372 5130979, e-mail: [email protected]

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