Estonian Association of Interior Architects / annual award 2021 nominee
Cultural Endowment of Estonia in architecture / annual award 2021 nominee
Pärsti village, Viljandi vald
Interior architecture
Kaari Metslang (Ruumimeister)
Pattern design
Kristiina Ribelus (Tartu Restauraator)
Eva Tammpere (Hekse)
Commissioned by
Viljandi vallavalitsus
Saloni Büroomööbli
Nursery School communications
Kuressaare Kommunaalprojekt
Total area
Märt Lillesiim


Historical space and children meet at the renovated Pärsti manor nursery school. The interior architect wanted the renovation of the Historicist building to retain an air of distinguished bygone days and also aimed to consider its present-day function, and above all the kindergarteners who would be using it. The goal was to make the space cosy and playful and to keep it from seeming alien or distant for the children.

Part of the old board flooring survived from the manor era. Most of the century-old doors still existed as well, with relatively well-preserved graining under layers of finishing – the graining is showcased on one door, while on other doors, due to their high user load, it is protected by linseed oil. Interesting historical finds turned up, dovetailing well with the nursery school function – for example, a secret door, the same height as the wainscoting, which was restored in its original location, and an interior window with coloured panes that connects the naptime area with the playroom. These form the part of the interior that is exclusively in the use of the children.

A manor-era atmosphere is evoked by the picture frames, too. Back in the day, family portraits were mounted here, but now, the kids’ artwork is displayed. The colour spectrum in the interior was chosen based on material uncovered during probes, but it has been modified to support a certain psychological effect.

A thorough approach was taken to the smallest element of the space – detail. Since no manor-era ornamentation was found during the investigations, inspiration was drawn from the manor park – to bring in leaf and insect motifs to add a sophisticated look. Insect motifs can also be seen in the stencilled patterns on the painted wall and the knobs of the cupboards. Sensitivity to detail is also shown by the fact that not even the door hinges visible on an open door have not been overlooked – for safety reasons both of the hinge’s leaf plates are attached to the door jamb.

The interior architect is pleased to be working during a time when kindergartens are being valued as much as school interiors for older children, and after a period in which state upper secondary schools were built, nursery schools are now also being updated.