Rotermanni Old and New Flour Storage

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Architect

HG ARHITEKTUUR

Project team

Hanno Grossschmidt, Tomomi Hayashi, Yoko Azukawa

Competition & awards

Invited, 2005, 1st Prize

Location

Rotermanni 8, 10111 Tallinn

Size

9,002 m2

Status

Completed 2009

Client

Rotermann City OÜ

Photos

Kaido Haagen, Reio Avaste

Typology

Refurbishment, Awarded, Commercial, Historic, Public

Tags

Public, Refurbishment, Tallinn city centre, Interior, Commercial, Awarded, Historical, Office building, Retail premises, Extension, Reuse, Office, Tallinn

Whereas reconstruction principles, choice of materials and other aspects of new additions in the Old Town are strictly regulated, guidelines in the Rotermann quarter focus mainly on the structure of urban fabric. Thus, the architects have more freedom to rethink and redefine what is worthy and dignified architecture in a historic context. In this case, an old flour storage acquired two extra floors and a new addition in front of it, connected with a gallery and forming an atrium in-between.

In case of the old flour storage the planning dictated that an addition can be made that is similar in volume. The new flour storage was added on the western side and thanks to the cantilevered parts it now is one of the most striking structures on the central plaza of the Rotermann quarter. Thanks to the atrium in between the two buildings and the walkways the structures function as a whole. The two-floor addition on top of the old flour storage is slightly more conservative in its design.

Contrasting Cor-Ten steel speaks to the roughness of historic industrial buildings; the unusual proportions of openings in the facade are a reworking of former industrial window patterns. At the front of the building, an urban square is formed as the main public gathering space. Creating a fully pedestrian, contemporary public space has been one of the strongest ideas of the district’s developers.

The old and new flour storage won the prize of the Estonian Cultural Endowment in 2009.