St John’s Almshouse Museum
Rävala boulevard 2, 10145 Tallinn, Estonia
Completed in 2003
During the course of constructing a major new road in central Tallinn, the ruins of a 13th century almshouse were discovered in the ground. The almshouse belonged to the nearby St John ́s church which has survived to this day, a lovely small baroque edifice oddly standing between glass office buildings. To expose the findings, the road had to be slightly realigned. The unplanned shelter had to fit into quite a tight budget. Hence, the solution, which was chosen in an open competition, was simple and minimalist: like the surface of the road itself turning slightly upwards to reveal the historic layer underneath. The illuminated glass facade was meant to enliven the pedestrian area and to create a sort of a public front for the buildings opposite the structure; however, this has not quite happened and the pavilion might feel slightly out of place in the middle of traffic.