New university built into destroyed old town area records both the absence of the Old Town and it’s rebuilding.
Narva is a border city between Russia and Estonia. Its baroque old town was destroyed after II WW. The college is built to the area of Narva’s no longer existent Old Town with the main façade opening towards the Town Hall Square. In front of the building is a square, marking the site of the former stock exchange building and creating main entrance to the college.
Main idea is to clearly mark the historical volume of the stock exchange building. New building consists of two conceptual parts – first part is stock building reconstructed as a void and second part is the real building. Therefore, the architectural solution of the College records both the absence of the Old Town and it’s rebuilding.
Our proposal reconstructs stock building on its original place in detail, but as a formwork – an empty mould. The mould defines the building destroyed decades ago. Absent building has left its trace on the body of new structure. The imprinted façade is cast of white concrete, while the other three sides are made out of brick. Vaulted cellar under the square is reconstructed as an exhibition space.
The interior of the building is compact – its purpose is to create an academic yet non-formal environment. Spacious foyer has solved as large steps to create a suitable background for the students’ interaction outside the lectures. Inner circulation has been arranged around the courtyard.
Location: Raekoja plats 2, Narva, Estonia
Client: University of Tartu
Design: 2005 – 2009
Architects: Siiri Vallner, Indrek Peil, Katrin Koov (team Heidi Urb, Maarja Tüür, Andro Mänd, Sten Mark Mändmaa, Helina Lass)
Interior design: Hannes Praks OÜ (Hannes Praks, Kadri Tamme, Kristjan Holm, Liisi Murula, Toomas Pääsuke, Ahti Grünberg, Daniel Marius Reisser, Helen Sarapuu)
Structural engineer: Maari Idnurm, Siim Randmäe EEB OÜ
Total floor area: 4741m2