• Interior Design: Külli Salum, Riina Harik
  • Location: Vene Street 9, Tallinn, Estonia
  • Size: 6845m2
  • Status: completed 2007
  • Construction: Hea 5 AS
  • Client: Veglio OÜ, Vene Posti Operaator AS
  • Photos: Kaido Haagen, Arne Maasik, Tiit Veermäe

One of the most luxurious of the five-star hotels in Tallinn’s Old Town is located in a building that originally housed a commercial bank – the Revaler Handels-Bank (architect Peter Schreiberg from St. Petersburg, completed in 1878). Before World War II and during the Soviet period, the building on the corner of Apteegi and Vene Sts. served as a postal- and telegraph centre. Later, it stood empty for several years.

The building, which has abundant Historicist ornamentation, is striking in the context of Medieval Old Town – and thanks to the new lighting solution, this is also true at night. The windows of the fourth floor added during the Soviet period have been recessed, so that small balconies were created behind the historical cornice.The balcony doors are glazed, thereby ensuring that the rooms on the top floor have sufficient light and good views.

Of the building’s historical interior, only the formal staircase has survived. An annex now stands in place of a building in the yard that was destroyed in World War II. Its link with the main building serves now as the hotel’s most important hub, connecting the various floors and the garden wing. The design of the annex is simpler than the main building and represents contemporary architecture. As befitting of the Old Town, the use of glass on the façade has been kept to a minimum. Wall surfaces dominate, with narrow windows and high attic dormers cut into the exterior. The desire to fit into the historical environment is also expressed in the use of aged or old materials. These include dark concrete panels that are hand-treated with copper sulphate; patinated copper, which will turn green in time resembling the nearby church towers; and the ground floor retaining walls made of broken limestone blocks, which made use of as many historical stones as possible.

The restaurant and spa with a pool are located in the lower part of the annex; the underground parking garage is unusual in Old Town. The exclusive, even extravagant hotel is a success in both the commercial and the architectural sense. It has received a cornucopia of awards and has been peacefully accepted as a newcomer in Estonia’s most sensitive built environment.