Nominee for the award of the Estonian Association of Architects for a Residential Building 2023
Location
Riia 20, 20A, 20B, 22, 22A, 22B, Era 3, Tartu
Architecture
Maarja Kask, Ralf Lõoke, Margus Tamm, Ragnar Põllukivi (Salto AB)
Landscape Architecture
AB Artes Terrae
Ruumikujundusbüroo Polka
Salto AB
Structural design
Roolaht ja Partnerid
Commissioned by
Colordia
Design
2016–2022
Completed
2023
Photos
Märten Peterson, Ralf Lõoke

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Already in the very initial stages of the project, we agreed with all parties on the basic principles: a comprehensive high-quality living environment, sustainability and reasonableness. These principles, in turn, resulted in more general conditions for the design, such as high-quality architecture and outdoor areas as well as many practical guidelines, such as durability in time, the solutions and quality of technical systems, energy efficiency etc. Another important principle was that it must be possible to repair or replace with reasonable effort the elements and systems that can wear out or break. In other words, we tried to figure out what would make Riia Quarter a place where people want to come and where they feel good. One key factor in its success is the fact that the entire process from the beginning to the end has been done by the same team – from the principles of the detail plan up to its final completion. In retrospect, we may state that also the unusually long implementation period eventually benefited the project, allowing us to consider various and very different solutions in order to find the right one.
Laur Laaneleht, manager of Colordia

The terrace buildings in Riia Quarter are the first wood-façade buildings with the height of 7-8 floors in Estonia. The solution has been specially developed and certified for this project in cooperation with fire safety specialists without the use of fire protection chemicals.

The architectural solution of Riia Quarter is based on its unique location on Riia Hill allowing amazing views of the city and the River Emajõgi. The planning is a further development of a perimetric quarter in the city centre forming a hill of terraces in the middle of the plot which, in turn, smoothly descends towards the smaller buildings in the neighbouring plots thus creating a delicate transition from the roof gardens to the surrounding garden city ambience. The distinctive shape created by the terraces gives Riia Quarter its recognisable identity and resort-like character. At the same time, the outer perimeter forms a building front that clearly defines the street lines with its height varying according to the neighbouring buildings.

The streamlined walls facing the midpoint form a courtyard resembling a river delta flowing into the plot with green and recreational areas for all ages. The curved corners allow to bring more sunlight into the centre of the plot, with the environment further enhanced by wooden and brick façades. There are altogether five taller and two smaller buildings.

The apartment solutions aim at providing several variations in terms of views from the windows as well as the size, layout and number of rooms. All apartments are unique with also the staircases and underground parking areas stemming from the individuality of the overall solution.