Hiiu Lõvi Apartment Buildings

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Alver Architects

Project team

Andres Alver, Tarmo Laht, Indrek Rünkla, Ulla Mets, Sven Koppel


Hiiu-Suurtüki 4, 11612 Tallinn


8,500 m² (total)


Phase 1 completed 2013, phase 2 and 3 incomplete


OÜ Tardamel


Landscape and Urban Planning, Residential


Residential, Landscape & urbanism, Urban planning, Landscape design, Apartment building, Apartment, Tallinn

The first phase of the Hiiu-Lõvi residential development consisted of five small apartment buildings, all integrated into the surrounding landscape of the Tallinn’s picturesque historic garden neighborhood of Nõmme. The project was defined by its site and the local zoning regulations which restricted the amount of developable space to a maximum of 33 housing units. Thus, the overall concept of the project became to be “Buildings in the park”.

The apartment houses are put into a relatively dense arrangement on the western side of the site to provide for a more urban/communal atmosphere. The parking level is located underground, reducing the bulk of the development and tying the buildings together both underground and above via a communal public space.

There were a number of factors that defined the solution for the facade of the apartment complex. First and foremost, it was the picturesque environment in which the complex was to be placed. The architects wanted to blend the complex into the environment, but to do it in a modern way. Thus, it was decided to go with copper cladding. Given its chemical properties, copper will turn green over time, letting the building age elegantly while slowly blending into its surroundings.

Using copper was also dictated by the will of the architects to merge the roofs and walls of the buildings. In Nõmme, the picturesque historic area of Tallinn, the zoning regulations restrict the maximum bulk of buildings to two floors with a half-floor attic. Alver Architects used the restriction as a creative form-generating tool.