Kultuurikatel (Culture Cauldron) is the name of a former power plant, located in Tallinn, Estonia. The renovation project focuses on simple principles of spatial organization to meet the needs of the new creative users. The key concept of the project is to provide openness.

Project details

Reference object
Kultuurikatel, Tallinn, Estonia
Architect
Siiri Vallner, Indrek Peil, Kavakava
Client
Kultuurikatel
Facing bricks used
Terca Aseri red, smooth

Kultuurikatel, Tallinn, Estonia

Kultuurikatel, Tallinn, Estonia © Tõnu Tunnel

Kultuurikatel, Tallinn, Estonia

Kultuurikatel, Tallinn, Estonia © Tõnu Tunnel

Kultuurikatel, Tallinn, Estonia

Kultuurikatel, Tallinn, Estonia © Tõnu Tunnel

Kultuurikatel, Tallinn, Estonia

Kultuurikatel, Tallinn, Estonia © Tõnu Tunnel

Kultuurikatel, Tallinn, Estonia

Kultuurikatel, Tallinn, Estonia © Tõnu Tunnel

Kultuurikatel, Tallinn, Estonia

Kultuurikatel, Tallinn, Estonia © Tõnu Tunnel

The original complex was built in the 19th century with various additions in the 20th century. All buildings are listed as heritage monuments, owned by the city of Tallinn and located between the old town and the sea. After extensive renovation, the complex now offers various halls for performing and rehearsal, club spaces, studios and offices, integrated with a continuous common space enabling all kinds of possibilities for new usage. This makes the area perfect for all kinds of events and offers a lot of room for creativity on a total floor area of 11.200 m2.

Strategy and design concept

The project focused on simple principles of spatial organization to meet the needs of creative users. The tight budget was a challenge – any intervention had to be precise and to the point. The key concept of the project was to provide openness – to enable later additions and unplanned developments. To integrate external impulses, workshops and users’ input were used. Communication with various parties was an essential part of the project. The design concept was developed alongside the concept of the new "Culture Cauldron" itself. The project was built in stages; many spaces were equipped with the barest minimum, so that they could be completed by the new user in the future.

Preserving old structures

For the renovation project, materials were selected in accordance with the initial architecture. Replacements and new additions were executed in a sensitive way, and surfaces were left unpolished as was the case in the original state. You will find exposed concrete, steel and brick from the old factory, and even the interior has often been left untouched and integrated into the design. This creates a unique atmosphere.
Despite or perhaps because of its unusual industrial look, building has been selected as a main venue for this year, when Estonia will hold the Presidency of the Council of the EU.
 
We added only a very limited amount of new things. The chimney and the smoke stacks, where we used brick, were already such unusual and impressive spaces that we decided to follow the existing features. - Siiri Vallner, Kavakava

 
 

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