Gallery in Rotermann Quarter

Location: Tallinn, Estonia

Year: 2007

Status: Design development

Size: 6,300 m²

Program: Retail

Project team: Alver Architects (Andres Alver, Tarmo Laht, Ulla Mets, Sven Koppel, Indrek Rünkla)


Based on the overall vision of the Rotermann Quarter and the surrounding cityscape, the Gallery fills the gap between the bread factory, to which it is attached, and the flour warehouse, all located right at the south-eastern entrance into the Quarter. The Gallery consists of three main elements:

– the covered urban plaza at the entrance into the Quarter, which serves as both the entrance into the building itself, and – via a narrow passage between the Gallery and the flour warehouse building – into the center of the Rotermann Quarter itself,

– a thin tall envelope containing the shafts, elevators and evacuation staircases,

– a tall and spacious atrium inside the building, with the bread factory as one of its walls, criss-crossed by flying buttresses and bridges.

Thus, the Gallery is mostly a public / logistic addition to the existing bread factory, which contains the main program – shopping and catering establishments. All the building elements of the Gallery are designed in such a way that the historic building is highlighted and visible from best angles. Metaphorically speaking, the “exhibition” that is “on” at the Gallery is the historic bread factory.

One of the important components of the architectural proposal is the preservation, and highlighting of the rhythm of gable ends, characteristic to the area. This is also one of the reasons why the protruding cantilever of the Gallery extends all the way to the street line, flush with the wall of the historic factory – it conforms to the line of it’s neighbor’s facade, while marking the entrance, and reminding the visitors of the importance of the Rotermann Quarter within the city.