Arvo Pärt Centre

Architect

Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos

Project team

Fuensanta Nieto, Enrique Sobejano, Luhse&Tuhal (local partner), Arau Acústica (acoustic consultant)

Engineering

PIKE OÜ, HEVAC OÜ

Competition & awards

Open, 2014, 1st Prize

Location

Kellasalu tee 3, Laulasmaa, Harjumaa, Estonia

Size

2,850 m2

Status

Completed in 2018

Client

Arvo Pärt Center Foundation

Photos

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Typology

Awarded Projects, Interior Architecture

In 2018, as a part of the celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia, the Arvo Pärt Centre in Laulasmaa was opened. The building is designed as a place to concentrate and study and to keep the creative legacy of the great Estonian composer alive. The architects of the new Centre building are Fuensanta Nieto and Enrique Sobejano from the Spanish architecture firm Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos, who won the international architectural design competition with their entry Tabula in 2014. The construction project was prepared jointly with the Estonian architectural office Luhse & Tuhal. The construction was financed by the Estonian government.

According to the architects, their design was inspired by the silence and geometry of Arvo Pärt’s music, creating a balance between the modern architectural form and the natural environment. Besides the archive and employees’ workspaces, the building with several courtyards and no right angles also accommodates a library, a 150-seat chamber hall, an exhibition area, a video hall, and classrooms.

The centre is situated in the coastal forest of Laulasmaa amidst a dense clump of tall pines. The design originates from a geometric pattern formed by pentagonal patios. Variations of the size and position of the small courtyards generate spatial sequences that configure the different areas of the plan. In the exterior, the part of the structure that ties the entire project together is the large roof. It has been conceived as a folded platform to adapt to the different heights required in the interior. The facades are treated as a filter defined by a series of thin circular columns that make up the supporting structure of the roof. The greater or lesser density in the arrangement of the pillars allows for alternate areas of great transparency with others more protected from the natural light. A slender helical observation tower and a small chapel inserted in one of the patios, complete a project in which music, landscape and architecture come into resonance.