Saue Municipality Center

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Architect

Molumba Architects

Project team

Karli Luik, Johan Tali, Mae Köömnemägi, Heidi Urb

Interior design

Eeva Masso, Katrin Tammsaar, Jaana Albert (eeoo studio)

Landscape design

Molumba Architects, Maarja Gustavson (Ruumikujundusbüroo Polka)

Engineering

Laur Lõvi, Triin Sigus (Makespace), O3 Technology

Competition & awards

Open, 2017, 1st Prize

Location

Kütise 8, Saue 76505, Harju County

Size

1,300 m2

Status

Completed, 2020

Client

Saue Municipality Government

Photos

-

Typology

Culture, Sustainability, Awarded, Public, Wood

Tags

Public, Interior, Landscape & urbanism, Wood, Awarded, Sustainable, Public space, Landscape design, Office building, Administrative building, Public service, Municipal building, Wooden construction

Saue parish lies south-west of Tallinn with its municipality center in the town of Saue. The new structure is placed in the central park area of the settlement tying together the opposing parts of existing urban environment. The triangular municipality center gathers several functions – the public services and the office of the rural municipality government. The service center with its auxiliary premises is on the ground floor and the office area is on the first floor. The built internal space is disparate from the competition work – the final solution was arrived to during extensive consultation with the client.

The main idea behind the internal structure was to not only avoid making everyone their own office cubicle, but also a non-fixed workstation system was shunned as too extreme. The office area has workstations for 74 employees and the resulting office has been characterized as activity based. The internal program is organized around the triangular central core which houses the meeting rooms, staircases, technical rooms, etc. This somewhat closed core is surrounded by a more open area for the workstations and the public service areas. The interior design is in line with the exterior – both are representing the best of wooden architecture of Estonia.

On the outside the most distinct feature is the pixelated arcade that surrounds the structure on all three sides. The main aim for the architects was to create a building that would be democratic and as open, warm, and inviting as possible. From this derived the structure they describe as a pavilion in a park not a cold distant palace of power. For this reason, wood was chosen as the main building material – at the annual timber building awards the building received the main prize for its novel, clever and sustainable approach to wooden construction. The expressive exterior is amplified by the landscaping that surrounds the municipality center – each side was treated differently and according to the main functions of that part of the building. The entrance side is more ceremonial, the „back side“ the most laconic and the park side the most playful.