Nominee for the annual award of the Estonian Association of Landscape Architects 2023
Location
Raekoja plats, Tallinn
Landscape architecture
Hannes Aava (Tallinna Strateegiakeskuse Ruumiloome osakond)
Architecture
Ann Kristiin Entson (Tallinna Strateegiakeskuse Ruumiloome osakond)
Commissioned by
Tallinna Keskkonna- ja Kommunaalamet
Contributors
Tallinna Strateegiakeskuse Ruumiloome osakond, Tallinna Keskkonna- ja Kommunaalamet (Anete Tammeveski), Tallinna Kesklinna Valitsus, Tallinna Linnakantselei (Maanus Vahersalu, Tauno Metsaviir), Rahvusraamatukogu ja Hoiuraamatukogu, Tallinn Euroopa Roheline Pealinn
Procurement Manager
Mikk Laur, Mari Maidla (Coron)
Construction
Meeg
Time of occurrence
1.06.-15.10.2023
Photos
Tõnu Tunnel

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Bringing more green areas in the urban space is nothing new in the contemporary urban design practice, however, Tallinn still managed to surprise both locals and tourists by creating a new park right in the heart of the Old Town. In the midst of the buzzing crowded streets, there was a place marked by peace, a place where you can listen to birdsong and watch the bees fly and teach your children about herbs. It is a meeting place, a resting and picnic area, a lobby for waiting for your flight and an office for the morning – there is a suitable nook for everyone. Most importantly, it is a place in the urban space that belongs to people. You can be alone but also by a part of the community. Even Estonians, who often have the need for a safe personal space, seem quite happy to sit next to strangers on the hexagonal benches. Perhaps we need more such places where we could get closer to nature also as a society.
Kelli Marie Jaama, junior expert at Stockholm Environment Institute

The idea for the park was borne out of the spirit of tactical urbanism: to carry out an unexpected spatial intervention to activate and democratise the space and, in addition to improving spatial experience, to serve also as a provocation to raise debate. The layout of the park formed a perimeter circle that was easily accessible to passers-by while also creating a partially enclosed private space. The park is sustainable and reusable: all elements are modular thus allowing it to be dismantled and reassembled in a new location in new combinations. For the seating area, we used seat modules and backrest planters that are further articulated with larger planters. The modules were formed into various nooks that invite people to spend time either alone or with a group.

The vegetation in the planters features different heights and species, including, for instance, historical species grown in the Old Town monasteries. All plants will be replanted in the city centre green areas in autumn. The plants include informative labels in Estonian and Latin inviting people either to touch, smell or taste them.

There was a bookshelf in the shelter curated by the National Library and supplied from the Repository Library, with new books stocked weekly. The users of the space could select a book of their choice and stay in the park to read. There is a seating element also in the pavilion and the covered area provides shelter from rain and sunshine. The infographic on the wall explains the objectives of the spatial intervention and the activities of the project Rohejälg. The shelter is paired with a swing module for taking a swaying rest.

Hannes Aava, Ann Kristiin Entson