“Golden Home” development in Pärnu
KEK (Kolhooside EhitusKontor) was a co-operative construction organization for the collective farms of a region. They were formed starting from 1956. The one for the Pärnu region was formed in 1958 and it soon became one of the most profitable KEKs in Estonia. This also soon manifested in their architectural ambitions. This became especially apparent in 1970s and 1980s when the vice chairman was engineer Andres Ringo, who led the architectural push of the co-operative. In 1969 he organized the architecture competition for the Pärnu KEK housing development. This was won by Toomas Rein, who during the 1970s designed several of the larger buildings of the KEK development. A re-worked version of the competition plans was used as the basis for this development. The Pärnu KEK development is located on the outskirts of town straddling the Tallinn-Riga highway bypass. The industrial section is on the northern side and the residential quarters on the southern.
The centerpiece of the residential part was the 700 m-long apartment building. The building runs parallel to the highway and is 4 – 5 stories high. The long apartment building was built in sections up till the end of the Soviet era. The first four sections of the apartment building and all the ground-floor apartments consist of large co-operative apartments; the remaining apartments were owned by the employer and could be rented at minimal cost. On the ground floor of the apartment building there is an interior corridor passing through all the sections. The initial plan was to build a 16-story tower with apartments and shops in the middle of this; however, this did not materialize. The missing 16-storey apartment block was to be the start of a T-shaped section. The second axis was meant to have a kindergarten, sports complex, and an indoor pool. From these only the kindergarten was realized. The name “Golden Home” of the co-op was chosen by its members.
At the end of the 1970s, the building of the KEK developments was handed over to Ell Väärtnõu, who designed low, densely populated housing and a gallery accessed apartment building at the southern end of the development.