Memorial of Victims of Communism

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Architects

JVR Architects
Ninja Stuudio
Studio Truus

Project team

Kalle Vellevoog, Jaan Tiidemann, Tiiu Truus, Martin Prommik, Kersti Nigols, Liis Voksepp, Annika Liivo, Marianna Zvereva, Kirke Kangro (sculpture), Martin Pedanik (graphic design), Lidia Zarudnaja (greenery), Margus Triibmann

Engineering

Estkonsult, Contactus

Competition & awards

Open, 2016, 1st Prize

Location

Pirita Tee 78, 12011 Tallinn

Size

3.8 ha

Status

Completed, 2018

Client

State Real Estate Ltd.

Photos

-

Typology

Awarded, Landscape and Urban Planning, Public

Tags

Public, Pirita, Memorial, Landscape & urbanism, Awarded, Public space, Installation, Landscape design

The Memorial to the victims of communism in Tallinn at Maarjamäe is dedicated to all who lost their lives to the terror perpetrated by the occupying power, were murdered, or deported. The communist terror started when Estonia was occupied on 17th June 1940 and ended when Estonia regained its independence on 20th August 1991. The memorial is situated next to the existing Maarjamäe memorial complex. The main volume of the new memorial complex consists of a path flanked by two metal walls.

The memorial has two main parts – the „Pathway“, the tunnel-like 200m long corridor with plaques with names of all the victims of the communist terror (more than 22,000 names) and the ceremonial field, the so-called „Home garden“, the symbol of salvation. The path and the amphitheater like open area are accompanied by several smaller details – e.g., stones that mark the places where the terror was carried out and information texts on the outside of the walls of the pathway that provide facts about the terror and losses in Estonia. Another smaller memorial commemorates all the Estonian military officers that fell victim to the soviet terror. The positioning of the main elements of the memorial complex was dictated by the location and existing architectural elements.

The pathway has been described as minimalist monumentality and the „Home Garden“ as a place for dreams, memories and longing to interweave. As a reference to a garden the ceremonial field is decorated with apple trees and the walkway crisscrosses between them. On the wall there is a swarm of stainless-steel bees, a symbol of a unified nation. The extensive use of metal was but in place in the early stages of the development of the project, use of marble or granite was consciously avoided. The ceremonial field is meant to be used for different memorial events and gatherings. The completion of the project took three years and the design process incorporated landscape, graphical and sculptural design.