Reconstruction of the characterful historic market between Tallinn’s main station and Kalamaja

Location: Tallinn, Estonia
Client: Astri Kinnisvara OÜ
Commission: 2014
Completed: 2017
Size: 25,000 m2


The Balti Station market is located in north Tallinn between the city’s main railway station and the popular residential district of Kalamaja. The nostalgic market from 1993 famous for offering exotic post-soviet experiences especially for tourists, was quite the attraction with its colourful selection of merchandise. In addition to reasonably priced groceries, visitors could find anything from Soviet era vintage clothing, everyday items and toys to used sanitary fittings, tools and plumbing equipment. The second-hand stalls were a goldmine for vintage clothing and music fans.
In the beginning of 2016 the market was closed for reconstruction. In order not to lose the vibe of the market place and not to upset the everyday customers and sellers, the developer offered a solution by moving the market to the next door plot in the meanwhile.

The aim of the reconstruction design was to create a contemporary and diverse retail and service centre with the market at its core. It was important to save the character of the old market place and complement it in a way that would attract many target groups: train passengers, local residents and tourists.

The existing limestone facades of the storage buildings from the 1870s were preserved. The new extensions support the architecture of the existing buildings by amplifying and expanding it with new roof rhythms. The new buildings simplify the flow of pedestrians through the market and increase the safety of the whole area. The interior market is located on two floors within the reconstructed existing buildings. The open market on the northern and eastern part is partly covered and can be closed for the night. In the evening and night, people can walk along the illuminated terrace on the south and west side with its outdoor restaurants, cafes and children’s playground.

The whole area should be mainly used by pedestrians and cyclists, so the parking is located underground. During the daytime there are parking lots for the customers, during the evening and night local residents can use the garage. A rental and charging station for electric cars is also located in the parking area.

The reconstructed market was opened for the public in May 2017.