Location: Peterburi Road 2, Tallinn, Estonia
Architects: Sille Pihlak and Siim Tuksam (PART)
Landscape architects: Karin Bachmann, Mirko Traks, Kristjan Talistu, Uku Mark Pärtel, Juhan Teppart (KINO Maastikuarhitektid); Sten Mander (Botanical Gardens of Tartu University)
Local engineering partner: Egon Kivi Inseneribüroo
Client: T1 Mall of Tallinn
Photos: Tõnu Tunnel
PART architects are cooperating with KINO landscape architects to design a spatial installation in the form of a vertical park in the new gigantic shopping centre T1 in Ülemiste district. The aim of the structure is to create a common identity for the various levels of the 30-metre atrium and to provide an enjoyable environment for spending time.
The motif of a cliff proposed by the landscape architects was developed further by the architects with the aim of finding a solution that would not imitate nature but instead form a clear contrast to the plants flourishing on the “cliff wall”. The basis for the structure (that is, the algorithmic cell) is established by a polyhedron that – albeit strictly geometrical in form – allows to generate in repeated modules a free form volume filling the space. The room dividers based on the organic growth algorithm form surfaces for climbing and hanging out on various levels.
The pre-manufactured elements forming the structure are made of steel and they can be easily rearranged and replaced. The geometrical structure resembles a cliff ledge covered with climbing plants with the light and shadows from the cavities alternating with views of the expanses above. The work creates a contrast between the organic and technological material that will find its balance over time in cooperation between the gardener and nature.
Karin Bachmann, KINO Landscape Architects:
“T1 atrium reached our desk at the end of last year. The general description in the brief was “an awesome indoor park” that came to acquire a more specific concept in the course of our work. In the given context, the park is considered as a set of impressions, visuals, experiences and activities that collectively come across as an active public space. An indoor space with firs and birches is climatically impossible, furthermore, it is pointless to attempt to imitate nature by confining plants indoors – this we agreed on with the client from the very beginning. Instead, we should attempt to convey states of mind. In this sense, there is no great difference between indoor and outdoor spaces – it is a place for people to feel good, safe and excited.
From the four different concepts we moved on to the solid vertical form in the middle of the atrium creating and closing various views and spaces with different spatial experiences provided on each level: the form may be entered and walked through on the ground floor, while it progresses and tapers upwards on other floors through the atrium. There will be various indoor plants growing on the form (working title “The Cliff”).
Once it had crystallised that we wanted to use an airy structure that would not only hold the plants but also provide visual aesthetic pleasure, we needed to include PART. They are one of the very few in Estonia who have taken their research to real constructions. Their enthusiastic commitment to the relatively complicated task has led to an exciting cooperation with its outcome hopefully displayed before all eyes this year in late autumn.”