Sõmeru Community Centre


Karli Luik
Maarja Kask
Ralf Lõoke
Salto Architects


Annual Award of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia 2010

Estonian National Culture Award 2010

Wooden Building of the Year in Estonia: Best facade 2010


2004, 1st prize


Kristiina Arusoo, Margit Argus




Completed in 2010


Sõmeru Parish


Sõmeru, Lääne-Viru County, Estonia


Awarded Projects, Public Projects, Wooden Architecture


Public, Competition, Wooden construction

Sõmeru Community Centre, located just outside the North-Estonian town of Rakvere is made up of the parish administration, library and a community club with a hall. The new centre aims to enhance a sense of a common identity for inhabitants of the scattered mostly Soviet-era settlement. The solution is a compact blend for various functions with enough communal space to be used in many different ways.

The interior and exterior intermingle, creating a park-like structure. Cosy gardens are concentrated pieces of nature that offer a change from the sparsity of the surrounding environment. Overall, the space revolves around three open courtyards that provide natural light to each room in the building.

The community centre has just one floor, the undulating roofline is the result of varying heights of the rooms. Its distinct character stems from using colourful straw-like wooden bars attached to the black-and-white concrete facade. The same aesthetic continues into the interior, however the wooden slats here hang freely down from the ceiling creating a lively accent above the black walls. The interior design aims to create a warm environment by using felt and goat wool. While the lobby and dark walls create a background where timber ceiling and bright floors complement each other, the mid-century modern furniture adds a sense of domesticity.

The festive front yard with a fountain and a flag post represents the municipality administration is suited for formal events. The club and café have a separate yard with a fireplace, while the library has an intimate grass-covered garden that can be used as a reading space.