© Bjarke Ingels Group
© Bjarke Ingels Group
© Bjarke Ingels Group

Tallinn Town Hall

We teamed up with architects Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) to beat 81 design teams in this idea contest for Tallinn’s new town hall in Estonia. The town hall will be a new administrative building for the city government situated on a 35,000 m² plot near the Linnahall building. BIG’s concept is an ‘elastic’ building capable of adapting to unexpected demands.

The town hall will not only be surrounded by public space but will literally be invaded by the citizens in the form of the public service market place beneath the canopy of the public offices, where the citizens of Tallinn can meet their public servants.

Tallinn City Council, at the heart of the democratic process, will be located in a tower. The roof of this will be tilted to form a slender spire and clad in a reflective material. Inside the building will be a greeting hall accessed via a grand stair and elevators directly from the market place below; a balcony for press and visitors will flank the space on the level above. Historically the town hall would have had a vaulted ceiling decorated with a sky or frescos of the land and territories under the ruler’s government. The new town hall will have mirrored undersides and ceilings – a real reflected overview of the city both old and new. From a distance the silhouette of the town hall tower will join the family of Tallinn’s historical spires.

The structural concept reflects the simplicity of the architectural intent: a grouping of easily assembled individual Vierendeel frames. These free the connection of the city at ground level whilst simultaneously acting as a group to resist lateral loads. The result is an economic, fast-build adaptable solution.

Competition-winning design for a new Town Hall in central Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn, Estonia
City of Tallinn
Bjarke Ingels Group
28,000 m²
  • 2010 MIPIM AR Future Projects Award - commended