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To Think In Actual Space, With Actual Materials: An Interview with Siiri Vallner of Kavakava Architects

09:30 - 30 December, 2015
To Think In Actual Space, With Actual Materials: An Interview with Siiri Vallner of Kavakava Architects, Narva College (2012). Image © Kaido Haagen
Narva College (2012). Image © Kaido Haagen

Estonian contemporary architecture is diverse in nature. Here, one can find the spark and freshness of Danish- and Dutch-influenced architecture as well as the tradition-carrying conservatism of Nordic Modernism. A third trend that can be highlighted in contemporary Estonian architecture is a context-sensitive approach to built environment, in which particular emphasis is placed upon the historical, social, as well as spatial contexts. Siiri Vallner’s works may be classified into the latter of these three groups. The buildings she has designed do not number many, but by way of their spatial ideas and solutions they have strongly influenced and enriched Estonia’s architectural culture.

Siiri Vallner is currently sharing her office Kavakava with Indrek Peil, another relatively young Estonian architect. Vallner has received several awards over the last few years. In 2013, together with Indrek Peil, Katrin Koov, and interior architect Hannes Praks, she was awarded the National Culture Award for their architectural solution for the University of Tartu’s Narva College in Narva, Estonia. She was likewise one of three female architects to be given special international recognition at the “arcVision Prize – Women in Architecture” competition in Italy (2013). I spoke with Vallner about both her work and her projects.

Kindergarten Lotte (2008). Image © Aivo Kallas The Pier (2011). Image © Margit Argus Tartu Health Care College (2011). Image © Jaan Sokk Villa Lokaator (2007). Image © Paul Riddle + 7

Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos Bag Victory in Contest for Estonia's Arvo Pärt Centre

00:00 - 20 June, 2014
Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos Bag Victory in Contest for Estonia's Arvo Pärt Centre, 1st Place: Tabula / Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos. Image Courtesy of The Union of Estonian Architects
1st Place: Tabula / Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos. Image Courtesy of The Union of Estonian Architects

Today the President of Estonia announced the Spanish firm Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos as the winner in an international competition to design a new Cultural Centre in Estonia. The Arvo Pärt Centre is dedicated to the Estonian composer and will house an archive of his work, making it available to researchers and enthusiasts at the new site in Laulasmaa.

Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos came first from a shortlist of 20 architects, including names such as Zaha Hadid Architects and COOP HIMMELB(L)AU. Second and third prize went to US practice Allied Works Architecture and Kavakava Architects of Estonia respectively. See images of the top three projects after the break.

2nd Place: Between Stone and Sky / Allied Works Architecture. Image Courtesy of The Union of Estonian Architects 2nd Place: Between Stone and Sky / Allied Works Architecture. Image Courtesy of The Union of Estonian Architects 3rd Place: Väike Sekund (Small Second) / Kavakava OÜ. Image Courtesy of The Union of Estonian Architects 3rd Place: Väike Sekund (Small Second) / Kavakava OÜ. Image Courtesy of The Union of Estonian Architects + 7

Narva College / Kavakava Architects

01:00 - 14 August, 2013
Narva College / Kavakava Architects, © Kaido Haagen
© Kaido Haagen

© Kaido Haagen © Anu Vahtra © Anu Vahtra © Kaido Haagen + 33

  • Architects

  • Location

    20307 Narva, Estonia
  • Category

  • Architect in Charge

    Siiri Vallner, Indrek Peil, Katrin Koov KAVAKAVA
  • Design Team

    Heidi Urb, Maarja Tüür, Andro Mänd, Sten Mark Mändmaa, Helina Lass
  • Area

    2812.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2012
  • Photographs

The Pier / Kavakava Architects

01:00 - 6 April, 2013
The Pier / Kavakava Architects, © Margit Argus
© Margit Argus

Pier was part of the "lift 11" urban installations festival (www.lift11.ee). The aim of the installation was to encourage temporary uses and bring out beauty of decaying place.

Villa Lokaator / Kavakava Architects

01:00 - 1 April, 2013
Villa Lokaator / Kavakava Architects, © Paul Riddle
© Paul Riddle

© Martin Siplane © Paul Riddle © Paul Riddle © Paul Riddle + 16

Tartu Health Care College / Kavakava Architects

01:00 - 29 March, 2013
© Jaan Sokk
© Jaan Sokk

© Martin Siplane © Martin Siplane © Martin Siplane © Martin Siplane + 28

Kindergarten Lotte / Kavakava Architects

01:00 - 26 March, 2013
© Aivo Kallas
© Aivo Kallas

© Kaido Haagen © Kaido Haagen © Kaido Haagen © Kaido Haagen + 21