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Alvar Aalto, 1932. Maquette: Peet Veimer. EAM MK 47

Villa Tammekann in Tartu

February 3 is the 125th anniversary of the birth of the world-famous Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. The private residence of the University of Tartu professor August Tammekann at Kreutzwaldi st. 6 Tartu is the only completed building in Estonia designed by architect Aalto. The flat roofed, two-storey functionalist building was partially completed in 1933. According to the style’s principles, the building’s facade reflects the usage of the interior spaces. On the street side, a stairwell rises behind the vertical window, on the courtyard side, the central element is the wide ribbon window of the living room with a fireplace located at the bottom of the window. The flat roof of the house, which was not widespread at the time, caused a lot of discussion among the locals and was even considered as an anti-God phenomenon. The villa was rebuilt into an apartment building during the Soviet period. In 1994, the building was returned to Professor Tammekann’s offspring, in the 1998 University of Turku bought the building. The villa was restored according to Alvar Aalto’s project in 2000. Today, the Granö Centre of the universities of Turku and Tartu is located in the building.
The maquette of Villa Tammekann was made for the Estonian Architecture Museum exhibition “Aalto: three projects in Estonia” by Peet Veimer in 1998. Text: Anna-Liiza Izbaš