Tag Archives: architect: Leonhard Lapin

Competition entry for the Arctic Centre in Rovaniemi

Andres Alver, Leonhard Lapin, 1982. EAM.5.4.70

Eight countries in the northern hemisphere, including the Soviet Union with three entries from Estonia, took part in the international architectural competition the purpose of which was to introduce Arctic nature, history and culture. The designers for the entry “CDF” drew inspiration from Caspar David Friedrich’s painting The Sea of Ice. The shape of the building, which houses two different museums – the Arctic Museum and the Provincial Museum of Lapland – bears direct resemblance to ridged ice. The idea of being dominated by Nordic nature is further emphasised by the complex being situated on the steep riverbank that follows the natural relief of the plot. Nine large-format drawings altogether with the axonometric projection shown here were brought to the museum by the authors in 2008. Text: Sandra Mälk


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City of the Living – City of the Dead

Leonhard Lapin, 1978. MEA 4.18.2

In the 1970s, in order to voice common opinions and organise a number of social-critical exhibitions and undertakings, avant-garde architectural students united to form a group later called the Tallinn School. “Elavate linn – Surnute linn” (“City of the Living – City of the Dead”) is Leonhard Lapin’s satirical take on the construction of characterless mass housing. The author hid several important allegories in the drawing: the words “Väike õhkamine” (“Little Sighing”) stuck between the buildings symbolise the Pruitt-Igoe Modernist housing project in St. Louis, MO, USA (demolished in 1972); while “Autodes matmine” (“Burial in cars”) in the centre of the work references Lapin’s friend Vilen Künnapu (also an architect), who was one of the first members of the Tallinn School to acquire a vehicle. The drawing was displayed at the Library of the Estonian Academy of Science in 1978 among other works of which many were donated to the museum by engineer Reet Lumiste in 1991.


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