JOINT MINISTRY

Location: Tallinn, Eesti
Client: 2 Torni OÜ
Open architecture competition: 2015, 3rd prize
Size: 26,000 m2

 

During a general efficiency drive, the state decided to combine four ministries in one building: finance, economic affairs, social affairs and internal affairs. The former location of the Ministry of Finance was chosen to house the four ministries. The imposing modernist high-rise built as a computing centre for the ESSR planning committee in 1977 was demolished and in its place two copies of the previous building were planned to house all four ministries.

The KOKO design aims to connect the two buildings, without trying to copy the proportions of the previous building but instead create one building with its own form that better suits its function and ideology. Thanks to the use of one instead of two separate towers, the front entrance opens onto a city park instead of a car park, which accentuates the grandness of the building. This gives breathing room to the building and also improves the quality of the meeting point of two of Tallinn’s largest roads – Pärnu maantee and Liivalaia tänav.

The city park situated between two schools is a preface to the building’s grand foyer, which spans two floors and directs the public to the different ministries on the upper floors, to lunch at the cafeteria or to a conference at any of the many auditoriums. A pleasant work environment is guaranteed by the best office environments, which have sufficient light, beautiful views and good ventilation. With all three factors in mind, a common glass facade, into which the sun burns and the air conditioner is on full blast, had to be avoided. The light aluminium facade of the new combined ministry is lined with windows of various sizes shaded by jalousies, reminiscent of barn swallows, whose size and location are according to the windows they are on and their aspect in relation to the sun. This solution actually has two functions – it keeps the energy consumption of the building in check by reducing the need for cooling and creates an image for the building, which changes depending on where the viewer is standing. Consequently, people passing by perceive it as a dynamic sculptural form instead of a static office building.