Estonian Association of Interior Architects / annual award 2021 nominee
Cultural Endowment of Estonia in architecture / annual award 2021 nominee
Location
Museum of Estonian Architecture, Ahtri 2, Tallinn
Curators
Grete Veskiväli, Kadi Karmann
Exhibition design
Ahti Grünberg, Ardo Hiiuväin, Tõnu Kalpus
Team
Maarja Varkki, Merje Karu, Sille Pihlak, Irene Randrüüt, Mari Luukas
Archive of Aulo Padar
Mari Luukas, Grete Veskiväli, Maarja Varkki, Mari Põld, Kadi Karmann
Exhibition photographer
Päär-Joonap Keedus
Film director
Maris Kerge
Graphic design
Robi Jõeleht (Polaar)
Catalogue
Sille Pihlak, Karen Jagodin
Exhibition in the Estonian Museum of Architecture
20.11.2020-9.05.2021
Photos
Tõnu Tunnel, Reio Avaste

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The exhibition represented the desire of former students to put together an archive for Aulo Padar, the long-time interior architect and teacher, and thereby pay tribute to local interior architecture. As the typical means used to reproduce interior design – drawings and photographs – seemed to pale in comparison to the presentation of his personality and works – the bevy of material was conveyed to the public in three media: an exhibition, book and film. A book, which includes projects, some of which were built and others that were not, interviews with colleague and students, is like an extension of the exhibition in time – available to everyone at any time.

The exhibition has three parts: an overview of Aulo’s ten largest architecture objects can be seen mounted on the walls. In the middle of the gallery hangs an installation. Unifying the whole exhibition is a portrait film that profiles Aulo as an individual and professional. As the cherry on top, some original items are displayed with each project, helping exhibition visitors better form associations between the drawings, photographs and finished interiors. These details characterize the scale on which Aulo worked: from ashtray to urban space.

The materiality of the exhibition stems from a tool of the trade used back then – tracing paper, the transparency of which goes beyond the plotting boards to the installation itself: acrylic sheets hung in layers in two-metre frames give hand-drawn sketches a spatial dimension. The work is the exhibition designers’ interpretation of the drawings found in Padar’s desk and attic.

 

The goal of organizing Aulo’s archive and creating this exhibition was to illuminate buildings, many of which are in danger of demolition, and their interior architecture. The exhibition tries to raise awareness of Soviet-era architecture that deserves recognition and preservation, because layers of historical legacy enrich the urban space and architectural culture in general.

The feature that pervades Padar’s designs is the ability to find solutions in the midst of the era’s limited conditions. For example, the marble used in the Sakala Centre interior was obtained in Siberia in exchange for Visu skis made in Estonia. Another important aspect is the humanity that emanates from his interiors and the fact that Aulo never designed a space without natural light. These are the additional layers that the exhibition tried to highlight.