Tag Archives: 1960s

Children’s park in Sindi

Nora Tammoja, 1964. EAM 11.1.32

Landscape architect Nora Tammoja has created numerous projects for urban green areas, cemeteries and children’s playgrounds. The design of children’s park in Sindi (Sindi Lastepark) was completed in 1964, the co-author of the project was architect Kaarel Pedak. The playground included playhouses and shelters, a climbing and sledding hill with a tunnel inside, a swing area, a traffic lane, a sandbox and a Robinson square. Robinson square was a playground construction site where children could build various buildings according to their imagination. The materials needed for construction were collected from various construction sites and were placed in the material warehouse on the playground. Since construction was considered primarily a boy’s activity, a separate play area for girls was planned in the park. The girls’ playhouse consisted of several rooms, one of which had a toy stove, and there was also a shop-pharmacy. In the middle of the playground was a two-way traffic lane with crosswalks and traffic signs. In the centre of the track was a circular traffic island intended for the position of a traffic controller. Sindi Lastepark with various play elements was mainly intended for preschool children and students of younger grades. On the back side of the project photo (EAM 11.1.69), it is noted that the work was awarded a silver medal at the National Economic Achievements Exhibition in Moscow in 1964. Construction work on the children’s park began in 1965, but probably not everything planned was completed. Text: Anna-Liiza Izbaš

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Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs building

Mart Port, Uno Tölpus, Raine Karp, Olga Kontšajeva, 1963. EAM 4.3.2

The 11-storey administrative building influenced by the American so-called International Style was completed in the Tallinn city centre in 1968. The symmetrical facade of the building is characterized by regular rows of ribbon windows and a vertical windowless central part, which was supposed to form the background for the statue that stood in front of the building. The building has a U-shaped ground plan. On the first floor of the office building is a spacious vestibule, the walls of the vestibule were covered with pink Cuban origin marble. The offices are located on the following floors, the utility rooms are on the top floor. Conference and meeting rooms are located in the wing buildings, there is a courtyard in the middle of the building parts. A broad hyperbolic paraboloid-shell made of reinforced concrete covers the large conference hall located in the left wing of the building. Due to the complex construction, the lights were installed on the walls of the room and the ceiling was covered by 60,000 empty sprat boxes. The oiled and round sprat boxes helped to diffuse and reflect the light directed at them and ensured good acoustics in the hall. The location of the building is also significant. The office building was built on the site of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, which was foreseen by 1948 Tallinn Cultural Centre design plan (architect Harald Arman), on the other side of the Theatre Square is the “Estonia” theatre – politics and power is facing culture and spirituality. Since the autumn of 1991, the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been operating in the former Estonian Communist Party Politburo building. The author of the drawings is Rein Kersten. Text: Anna-Liiza Izbaš

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Shop “Silla” in Pärnu

Rein Heiduk, 1964. EAM 6.4.7:76. Photo: Rein Vainküla

In 1968, a newly opened shop designed by Rein Heiduk on Silla street in Pärnu attracted the attention of passers-by with a modern look. Reminiscent of a glass pavilion, the store “Silla” hid food products on the first floor and industrial goods on the second floor. When writing about the architecture of the building, the architectural historian Leonid Volkov has referred to its connections with both the international style and the constructivism of the 1920s (L. Volkov’s manuscript “Eesti arhitektuur 1940-1989. Part II, p. 103). The Estonian Consumers’ Cooperative Union (ETKVL) was responsible for the fresh production of the store network that consolidated the pan-Estonian trade network and, for example, opened the Tapa department store, which was also designed by Rein Heiduk (1966). In 1994, Leonid Volkov’s wife Helga Volkov handed over a manuscript dedicated to Estonian architecture to the museum along with a rich photo collection. The house was photographed by Rein Vainküla. Text: Sandra Mälk

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Five-storey apartment building in Mustamäe, Tallinn

Tiiu Argus, 1966. EAM 4.2.3

The Mustamäe district, which was erected in Tallinn in the 1960s, was divided up into microdistricts that were designed to accommodate 6,000–10,000 residents. The monolithic form of the panel apartment blocks designed for the second microdistrict is based on the development of prefabricated panels, permitting the construction of buildings with five or more storeys, not just four storeys like before. In the context of the depreciated housing options at the time and before the microdistricts became dormitory suburbs, the first panel apartment blocks that dominated the landscape looked innovative. They were thought to display a community effect and bring neighbours closer together. This ink drawing was given to the museum by design office Eesti Projekt in 1992. Text: Sandra Mälk

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Seaside park in Tallinn

Lidia Pettai, 1961. EAM 15.4.150

60 years ago, the opening of the Tallinn sea border was under discussion with the intention of turning it into a green area with port facilities. Back then, In the 1960s, and primarily at Finland’s initiative, plans were made to clear up all the areas surrounding the port with regard to the reopening of the Tallinn-Helsinki seaway and the construction of the passenger port. The seaside area – in the immediate proximity of Old Town – was partly in the military zone and opening it up to the city became a lively issue. Although, only a handful of buildings were fixed up during the Soviet era. New buildings were due to be constructed in the densely built-up industrial area together with the main park road that was in the direction of Mere Boulevard (No. 1), such as the beach café (7), the port building (3) and children’s playgrounds (8).  A team of architects worked with the design at the Eesti Tööstusprojekt. Kalju Vanaselja designed the buildings and H. Parmasto behind the schemes of coastal reinforcements. The plan was designed by architect Lidia Pettai, whose watercoloured work was given to the museum in 2012 by Reet Priilaht. Text: Sandra Mälk

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Pavilion at Nigula bog

Ethel Brafmann, 1964. EAM 35.1.105

The pavilion is located close to the Latvian border in Pärnu County in Nigula Nature Reserve, which was established in 1957. Ethel Brafmann, a young and promising landscape architect at the time, made the design for the pavilion on the territory of the nature reserve. The purpose of the pavilion is to allow travellers to rest and prepare food while in the middle of a display dedicated to the nature reserve. The wooden pavilion is equipped with a stove and consists of a single 27 m2 room, a kitchen and a small hall with windows with shutters. The drawings originated from the collections that were donated to the museum at 2006 by Inga Tõnissar. Text: Sandra Mälk

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Interior design of the Composers’ house in Tallinn

Vello Asi, ca 1960–1964. EAM 4.14.4

The drawing by interior designer Vello Asi depicts a view of the vestibule of the Composers’ House (architects Udo Ivask and Paul Härmson, completed 1964) located on Lauter Street in Tallinn – straight from the street through a big window. The aerial-looking interior with eye-catching low-sitting furniture is designed in the spirit of the 1960s. As was characteristic of the era, the interior designers picked up pointers from Nordic architecture literature that had just become accessible. This new approach to interior design valued open space, horizontal lines and light furniture that could be moved around with ease; it also favoured an inclusive environment to facilitate spending time in passable rooms. The drawing made with ink and watercolours was acquired by the museum in 2017. Text: Sandra Mälk

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Competition entry for the observation and water tower in Mustamäe

Mart Port, 1962. EAM 52.2.11

The quality of the entry submitted for the competition for the observation and water tower that was due to serve the Mustamäe district in Tallinn lies in its pure technically engineered form. The modern concave roof of the lookout platform was possible thanks to the use of reinforced concrete. The area was under intense development at the time: the ski jumping tower on top of a hill slope in Mustamäe had been completed a year earlier and there were plans to build the campus of the university of technology at its foot. The perspective view shows an architectural drawing style that was common at the beginning of the decade where the classical watercolour and ink drawing has been completed using a wide dark-coloured felt-tip pen. The tower was never built. The drawings from Mart Port´s home archive were given to the museum by his family. Text: Sandra Mälk

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Interior design for Hotel Viru

Vello Asi, Väino Tamm, Loomet Raudsepp, 1964–1968. MEA 4.2.2

Hotel Viru (architects Henno Sepmann, Mart Port) was the highest and most modern hotel building in Soviet Estonia. It was primarily targeted at guests from Finland because the Tallinn-Helsinki seaway was reopened in 1965. However, locals were also able to access the bars and cafés of the hotel. The drawings illustrate a restaurant and a bar on the lowest volume of the building. The simplistic style reflected in the interior and the free plan indicate influences by modern Nordic room design – the opposite approach to the extravagant decade that preceded it. Drafts for the interior of Hotel Viru were to the museum by Eesti Projekt in 1994. Text: Sandra Mälk

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Sketches of Tallinn’s Väike-Õismäe residential neighbourhood

Mart Port, ca 1968. MEA 52.2.12

When designing the Väike-Õismäe residential neighbourhood, Mart Port and Malle Meelak – a shining tandem of Soviet-Estonian urban planning – seized the opportunity to shape it into an ideal city and avoid mistakes that commonly accompanied the construction of high-density housing projects. In the centre of the district designed for 40,000 residents, they placed an artificial lake with developments extending radially from it centre point. The drafts vividly convey Port’s genuine fascination with the concept of a ring-city. Compared with the earlier Mustamäe district, which was constructed as several independent micro-districts, Väike-Õismäe’s solution was unique and even so novel that there were numerous bumps along the road to gaining approval for its design. The architects had been expected to produce ordinary designs for an urban network, which would contain several smaller neighbourhoods and linear streets. This was precisely what Port and Meelak wished to avoid, instead producing a concentric street-plan with spacious outdoor areas that allowed for a more human dimension. Text: Sandra Mälk

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