Estonian Landscape Architects Union / annual award 2021 nominee
Vanemuise 35, Tartu
Landscape architecture
Heiki Kalberg, Merle Karro-Kalberg (AB Artes Terrae)
Design of the preliminary project
Indrek Oden, Priidu Kooskora, Kristel Liblik (Roadplan)
Design of the main project
Arvo Vahtra, Indrek Lensment, Vello Sova (Tinter Projekt)
2017, 2019
Uku Peterson, Marje Eelma


Vanemuise Street is one of the most convenient connections between the city centre and the train station. The recent renovations highlight the preference given to non-motorised road users: in order to keep the pavement wide enough and create special lanes for cyclists, a part of the car traffic is now one-way only with fewer on-street parking spaces. This allowed to decrease the noise in the urban space and replace it with clarity and spaciousness. It took quite a while to find the best solution for the connections and crossings related with the theatre and school buildings. With its pavement, bollards, lighting, plants and seating areas, the urban square between Vanemuise theatre building and Reiniku School underscores the priority given to pedestrians. Similar handwriting is used to calm traffic also at the other end of the street, the parking lot will soon be turned into a park also near Vanemuise building around the Registry Office.
Anna-Liisa Unt, Tartu City Government, landscape architect

As a result of the project to redesign Vanemuise Street, cars were left with less space, two new bike lanes were established and the sidewalks renewed, the parking area in front of the theatre was removed and replaced by a single-level square based on the shared space principle. The aim of the landscape architectural project was to accentuate the given layout with materials and planting and thus provide it with further diversity.

The pedestrian area is entirely covered with concrete slabs. Pedestrians are separated from cyclists by granite cube stones and kerbstone. Also the concrete pavement pattern at the junctions was resolved. There are two squares along the street: one in front of Vanemuise theatre and the other at the end of the street near the corner of Küüni Street. These nodes have been solved differently from the rest of the street with a classic grid and dark granite and clinker pavement.

The geometric patterns stem from the geometry of the theatre with the dark street surface highlighting the architectural value of the light hued building. The hard rock surface of the theatre square is broken up by the planting and softened with light benches. The taller plants near the building lower gradually towards the street with the lit benches and grasses creating a particular ambience.

Merle Karro-Kalberg