Open today 11–18

Eliel Saarinen, 1913. EAM 1.1.8

“Suur-Tallinn” (Greater-Tallinn) master plan

In the early 20th century, Tallinn was transforming from a sleepy provincial resort town into a modern, mid-sized European city. Rapidly developing industry and population growth resulted in the need to give consideration to the city as a comprehensive system. Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen had already worked with plans for developing Budapest, Helsinki, and Canberra. Thus, his first-place prize in the 1912–1913 competition for a general plan of Tallinn was somewhat expected. Saarinen’s entry is monumental: the city centre would be stocked with six-storey stone buildings, while worker-class neighbourhoods would be reformed with row-houses. This year is the 150th anniversary of the birth of architect Eliel Saarinen. The drawings, which belonged to the Tallinn City Government for a long time, were recently given to the museum.
Text: Sandra Mälk