St John’s Almshouse Museum


Toivo Tammik
Sven Koppel


Rävala boulevard 2, 10145 Tallinn, Estonia


396,9 m2


Completed in 2003


Martin Siplane


Historical, Public Projects


Public, Refurbished, New City Area, Religion, Tallinn

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.