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BIG WINS A COMPETITION TO DESIGN TALLINN’S NEW CITY HALL
June 24, 2009
BIG Bjarke Ingels Group Tallin Town HallAn international idea contest was held for Tallinn’s new City Hall in Estonia and the best concept was presented by the Bjarke Ingels Group from Denmark, authored by Bjarke Ingels and Jakob Lange and Adams Kara Taylor.
The purpose of the international idea contest was to find the best architectural solution for the new administrative building of the city government that will be situated on a 35,000 m2 plot near the Linnahall building. The contest for the new City Hall was met with a great interest, 81 architects and their teams were willing to present an entry. Of those, the international jury chose the best 9 to shortlist as finalists into the second phase of the competition. By May 15 the finalists handed in their final solutions. The international jury’s decision to award BIG’s entry first place in the competition was unanimous and was presided by the vice mayor Taavi Aas.

Bjarke Ingels, BIG, Partner-in-Charge
There is a saying that success has many fathers. That is especially true when designing such a crucial public building and public space as a town hall. The design needs to be shaped by input from neighbors’ and users, citizens and politicians. Paradoxically we architects often find ourselves isolated from this crucial dialogue at the moment of conception, due to the anonymity of the architectural competition. Since this was a 2 stage competition, we already had our first feedback from the jury – causing us to dramatically rearrange our design to fit the citizens’ needs. As a result we have envisioned a very elastic structure – capable of adapting to unexpected demands. We see it as the first conversation in a design dialogue we look forward to continue.

BIG Bjarke Ingels Group Tallin Town HallJakob Lange, BIG, Project Leader
The Town hall is not only surrounded by public space - but literally invaded by the citizens in the form of the public service market place beneath the canopy of the public offices, where the citizens of Tallinn can meet their public servants.

Hanif Kara, Adams Kara Taylor
The structural concept reflects the simplicity of the architectural intent; a grouping of “easily assembled individual Frames” that through vierendeel frames free the connection of the city at ground level whilst simultaneously act as a “group” to resist lateral loads. The result is an economic ,fast build adaptable solution.

Bjarke Ingels, BIG, Partner-in-Charge
For a Danish architect it is a special honor to design the new Town hall of Tallinn – cause after all – they designed our flag.

The Jury
The international idea contest was jointly organized by the City Planning Department and the Union of Estonian Architects. The members of the jury were: Head Architect of Tallinn Endrik Mänd, Administrative Director of the Tallinn City Office Viljar Meister, head Architect of Riga Janis Dripe, architect Tarald Lundevall from Norway, architect Peter Wilson from Germany, architects Martin Aunin, Tiit Trummal, Kalle Komissarov, and Andres Levald as a substitute member. The winning project was awarded with 500,000 kroons. The mayor of Tallinn Edgar Savisaar stated contentment with the results of the competition, thanked all the participants and expressed his hope that the new administrative building of Tallinn will be built sooner or later, despite the hard times in the European economy.



Credits
Drawings courtesy by BIG Bjarke Ingels Group
 
 
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