Lift11: The Pier


Kavakava Architects


Kalarand, Tallinn, Estonia




Built and Dismantled in 2011


Lift11 Urban Installations Festival


Margit Argus, Siiri Vallner


Landscape and Urban Planning, Public Projects


Public, Tallinn

The Pier was part of the LIFT11 urban installations festival ( The location-specific projects of the festival were created at various locations of Tallinn to highlight sites and viewpoints, which contrast the ‘postcard’ image of Tallinn, addressing local residents as well as visitors. Moreover, LIFT11 attempted to break down prejudice towards contemporary art in public space and draw attention to the ample array of opportunities of using the cityscape.

The aim of The Pier installation was to encourage the use of temporary structures and bring forth the beauty of decaying places. The installation explored the site before its “real official use. Time had weathered and deformed the old pier over decades. It was no longer fit for accepting boats. However, it had become a perfect place for sitting, relaxing and having a good time.

The constantly changing surface was living a life of its own, which was amplified by covering the concrete pier with wooden boarding. Thus, a desolate crumbling object was returned to contemporary urban space. The boards mimicked the shapes of concrete slabs created upon disintegration. Contemporary architects often make an effort to create spaces and surfaces that look unstable. Here a broken up old pier was already in place and it was used as a testing ground for urban experimentation.  

In 2013 the installation The Pier of the LIFT11 festival received a special mention at the Estonian Architects Union competition SMALL 2010–2012.