Location: Tallinn, Estonia
Status: Urban Design Concept
Size: 24,600 m²
Project team: Alver Architects (Andres Alver, Tarmo Laht, Indrek Rünkla, Ulla Saar, Sven Koppel), Tiit Trummal, Veljo Kaasik
Credits: Visualizations – white Mammoth
The second stage of Liberty Square aimed to implement the broader ideas proposed by the original competition entry for the Liberty Square by Alver Architects in 1998.
The main idea of the original proposal was to provide a clearly defined and socially active public space to clean up, expose and augment Tallinn’s unique historic architectural heritage, manifested in its bastions and towers set against a rich landscape of Toompea. Unfortunately, so far only the first stage of the proposal has been realized: getting rid of vehicles on ground level and providing a versatile public square for citizens of Tallinn. However, neither the effort at revealing Ingveri bastion, or establishing a connection between Liberty Square and Hirve Park located next to the Parliament building on Toompea, have been realized. Thus, Liberty Square Stage 2 focused on a feasibility study that would enable the original concept to be fully completed.
In order to provide a strong commercial anchor and incentive for the city to complete the square while filling yet another missing link in the infrastructure around Tallinn’s bastion belt, a subterranean building volume at the intersection of Kaarli Ave. and Toompea St. could be added. The new building would connect to the recently finished square via a ramping boulevard, receiving visitors through an entrance open north-east and then redirecting them north, towards Hirve Park and Toompea.
The building would keep a relatively low profile in order not to obstruct the view of Ingveri bastion, while also staying well connected to both the top and the bottom levels of the recently completed first stage of Liberty Square. The roof of the building would be solved by an artificial landscape, accommodating different types of vegetation and paving, while also letting natural light seep into the building. The building itself would go as deep into the ground as economically feasible, while also taking into account the stability of the near-by bastion’s foundations. Functionally, it could be filled with diverse services aimed at both citizens and visitors to the city – from art galleries and meeting spaces, to cafes, small workshops and retail stores, that would spill out onto the boulevard during warmer months, activating the entire perimeter of Ingveri bastion. Deliveries would be organized via an extension connecting to the lower level of the existing square.