Tatari Apartment Building

View Guided Tours

Architect

Novarc

Project team

Martin Aunin, Lauri Laisaar

Interior Design

Hillar Mänd (Sisearhitektibüroo Link)

Engineering

Novarc

Location

Tatari 30, 10116 Tallinn

Size

2,350 m2

Status

Completed, 2009

Client

Horch OÜ

Photos

Kaido Haagen, Martin Siplane

Typology

Residential

Tags

Residential, Apartment, Tallinn

Positioning a new structure into a historical settlement is a creative challenge for an architect. Should a pastiche be preferred, or should contemporary architecture be created based on the environment? The Tatari district is a suburban idyll in the heart of the city. The tone is set by century-old wooden houses interspersed with modern apartment buildings.

This luxurious apartment building (the average apartment size is more than 90 m2) is in a dialogue with the one of the most iconic buildings of Estonian architectural history – Karl Burman’s Art Nouveau residence at Tatari 21b, which is located across the street. Respecting the architectural pearl, the new building steps back from the street, thus creating a front yard that provides entry into the underground parking garage and access to the Soviet-era garages located in the backyard.

The dwelling is divided into smaller volumes in order to better accommodate it to the surroundings – two apartment blocks that are displaced in relation to each other, connected by a fully glazed and unheated stairwell-gallery. According to the architect, his goal was not to make references to the past, but to try and interpret the old milieu in a contemporary way – to approach the location contextually. Giving testimony to this is the choice of natural materials for the façade cladding, which alludes to the surrounding history with its “well-worn” appearance. The veneered façade tiles, which look like wooden shingles, are color-matched to the Cor-ten steel sheets on the end walls; the jalousies comprising of oiled wooden battens and concrete treated with iron sulphate that has been sandblasted to create a texture. Most of the apartments have balconies. The ground-floor apartments have access to the terrace garden built on top of the garage. Ultimate privacy is provided by the roof terraces of the apartments on the top floor.