Tag Archives: architect: Alar Kotli

Reconstruction of the Toompea Castle and the castle garden

Alar Kotli, 1933–1936. EAM 2.11.15

The aspiration for representability that began in the second half of the 1930s made its way to architecture via state buildings, manifesting in the use of traditional forms and details. The Estonian government, which had centred around Toompea, reconstructed the southern wing of Toompea Castle and the Governor’s Garden in front of it, opting for a Neo-Baroque style that harmonised with the 18th-century Late Baroque look of the front of the castle. The supporting wall of the Governor’s Garden also received a fresh look. The Coloured copy in watercolour technique was added to the museum collection in 1991. Text: Sandra Mälk


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Tallinn Song Festival Arena (sketch)

Alar Kotli, 1957-1958. MEA 23.1.51

The Tallinn Song Festival Arena represents the re-arrival of modernism to Estonia during the Khrushchev Thaw. The Estonian SSR leadership commissioned the structure to mark the 20th anniversary of Soviet rule, but to Estonians, it was a symbol of their nationality and culture. The Song Festival Arena was essentially also a way of the nation thumbing its nose at the USSR – with its completion, Estonians’ nearly 100-year tradition of holding mass song festivals was immortalised. Alar Kotli came close to an entirely innovative final solution already when making his initial sketches, which include a saddle-roof in the shape of a hyperbolic paraboloid that functions as an acoustic screen. The sketches were donated to the museum by Anu Kotli in 1997. Text: Sandra Mälk


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