Tartu City Government
Photo by Maanus Kullamaa
105 entries were submitted to the international architecture competition for the downtown cultural centre. Of these, 27 works were from Estonia and 78 from abroad. In total, entries were submitted from 26 countries.
According to Urmas Klaas, Mayor of Tartu and chairman of the architecture competition jury, it is gratifying that there is great interest in the architecture competition among both Estonian and foreign architects. ‘The jury now faces the challenging task of finding the one work that would provide a great home for the city library and art museum, a real community centre for the townspeople, and a centre of attraction for visitors. In addition, this solution must breathe new life into the entire urban space surrounding the building,’ the mayor added.
The architectural competition will continue with an assessment of the conformity of the works. It will then be decided which entries will move on to the jury for judging.
The work of the jury will last for approximately two months. The keywords for the best entries, in alphabetical order, together with their visuals, will be made public on 3 July. All entries will be made public and the winner will be announced on 14 July.
The work of the jury is not public, and it is standard practice in architectural competitions not to present competing entries to the public until the jury has completed its work.
The jury is composed of Urmas Klaas, Mayor of Tartu and Chairman of the Jury; Kristina Pai, Director of Tartu City Library; Joanna Hoffmann, Director of the Tartu Art Museum; Priit Metsjärv, Head of the Construction Service of the Tartu City Government; Tõnis Arjus, Tartu City Architect; architect Enrique Sobejano (Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos, Spain); architect Lina Ghotmeh (Lina Ghotmeh — Architecture, France); architect Tõnu Laigu (QP Arhitektid, Estonia); and landscape architect Martin Allik (MARELD landskapsarkitekter, Estonia/Sweden).
In addition, experts from various fields will give their opinion on the works: ecology and biodiversity, accessibility, library and museum requirements, heritage conservation, construction costs, energy efficiency and CO2 footprint, fire safety, structures, event centre or halls.
Six prizes will be awarded: first place €60,000, second place €40,000, third place €20,000 and three incentive prizes of €10,000 each.
The Tartu City Government and the Estonian Association of Architects announced the international architectural competition for the Tartu downtown cultural centre on 2 January 2023, the deadline for the submission of entries was 5 May 2023.
The aim of the one-stage public architectural competition is to find the best architectural solution for the building and outdoor space of the Tartu downtown cultural centre. The challenge is to come up with a conceptual design for the cultural centre, which includes rooms for the Tartu City Library, the Tartu Art Museum, an events centre and other functions supporting the cultural centre, and a vibrant and diverse park landscape and human scale public space around it. The building must fit in with the given location and milieu, and create a whole with the urban space along the Emajõgi River.
For more information, please contact Mayor of Tartu Urmas Klaas, tel: 513-5145, or City Architect Tõnis Arjus, tel: 5304-6148.
Downtown cultural centre website (in Estonian).
Dear journalists! The planchettes for the competition entries will arrive in Tartu on Monday, 8 May at around 13:00. If you are interested in covering the arrival of the competition entries in Tartu, please let Lilian Lukka know (Lilian.email@example.com, 516-4592).