Tallinn English College Sports Complex
Since the 19th century, Tallinn city center has rapidly expanded around the medieval Old Town. Historic events have caused several interruptions and radical changes in this development. One of the few areas that has been developed quite cohesively in the former bastion zone surrounding the Old Town is the quarter between Estonia Avenue and Pärnu Road.
The new sports building designed by KOKO had to meet all of the school’s needs while taking the established urban context into consideration. The architects wanted to position the new building between the historic buildings as inconspicuously as possible but at the same time also make use of the courtyard and offer a modern and positive learning environment for the schoolchildren.
Only a part of the sports complex extends towards the Pärnu Road, but the design of the section by the street is eye-catching if not provocative. This section is positioned on branched pillars, creating an entrance area for the sports complex and actively shaping the public space by the street – the courtyard of the sports complex seamlessly transitions into a street-side green area with a public bus stop that town people use actively.
The sports complex is built apart from the historic school building. The pool is located in the basement, there is a parking lot above that, and a gym is located on the upper floor. The interior architectural solutions of the sports hall mainly focus on children and young people and are designed with the desire to offer a fun and playful environment. Despite the small size of the site, an outside space resembling an amphitheater was built in the courtyard, where it is possible to organize classes or more ceremonial events when the weather is nice. The excavated amphitheater also provides the pool with natural daylight.