Baltic Film and Media School


Salto Architects
Karli Luik
Kristiina Arusoo
Maarja Kask
Pelle-Sten Viiburg
Ralf Lõoke

Interior design



Tallinn, Estonia




completed 2012


University of Tallinn


Kert Saarma, Martin Siplane, Karli Luik

Competition 2009

1st prize


Annual Architecture Award of the Architecture Endowment of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia 2012
Tallinn Culture and Heritage Department Prize: Best Building in Historical Environment 2012


Awarded Projects, Public Projects


University, Kadriorg, Competition, Educational, Tallinn

Urban space belongs to the public, whereas a building is private property. Thus, the outer shell of the building may be also interpreted as public property. One of the aims of Salto architects was to focus on this outer shell, to use it as an urban device for integration. Apart from the main function, one very important task of the BFM building was to organise the Tallinn University campus courtyard made up of several densely packed buildings constructed at different time periods. As one of the latest additions to the ensemble, BFM tries to tie together the area creating a participatory space instead of designing just another imaginative facade.

The building’s interior layout is very specific, consisting of work studios on the lower floors and small office spaces and editing rooms on the upper floors. The inclined floor of the cinema shapes the roof of the stage outside. The stage works as a main entrance to the building, as a terrace for the cafe and as a gathering spot in front of the atrium. The stage functions as decorum, while also being an essential part of the school’s structure and social program.

The architects had to manage on a very tight budget of 2,2 million euros, which meant that a multifunctional program had to be fitted into an extremely small volume. The interior design is characteristically bare with concrete surfaces, visible communications and structural elements that have been highlighted in most parts of the building. This functional approach accentuates the pragmatic feel that one experiences inside but is softened by brightly coloured details found within the interior.