Kawe Tatari

Location: Tallinn, Estonia

Year: 2014

Status: Competition

Size: 10,031 m²

Program: Office, Retail

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



1) Preserve the existing small-building grain of Tatari St.

2) On top of the smaller “indigenous” volumes, a new orthogonal office slab is placed. By relating with the neighboring Kawe Plaza office building, the two buildings together act as a gate into Tatari St., which itself has a peculiar urbanity to it: the building volumes hang over the street a little like in Lower Manhattan. This tightness could become the defining character trait of Tatari street.

3) The buildings lining Estonia avenue are spaced out, thus the front volume stands a little apart from the main volume of the building and its immediate neighbors.

A separate goal was to preserve the beautiful old linden tree standing right on the corner of Estonia Av. and Tatari St.

Siteplan and logistics

The building is placed on site in such a way as to fulfill the requirement of leaving 20% of the site free for open-air landscaping. An 8-meter stripe is left on the eastern side of the site and together with the terrace and the through-foyer forms a little urban oasis, overlooking the space within the block. Building entrances are arranged along Tatari St. with one entrance into the retail part of the building opening onto Estonia Av.

Functional and volumetric composition

The first two floors are occupied by retail spaces and the building’s main atrium / lobby. The upper floors are layed out as open-plan office spaces: one could either rent out the entire floor, or sub-divide it into sections of varying size. The two subterranean floors are occupied by parking and service spaces. The lower floors of the building are comprised of smaller volumes reminescent of the existing urban grain of the area. The space inbetween the blocks is glazed-in thus uniting them into a single whole. The upper floors are suspended over the “landscape” below on stilts, and are contained within a single orthogonal office block with light shafts.