The detailed plan for the construction of a new building in the heart of Tallinn, on the corner at 1 Tartu Road and 11 Laikmaa Street, was approved yesterday. For years, the former site of the Estonian Academy of Arts opposite Viru shopping centre has been used for parking.
Now the 4600-square-metre plot is finally about to be crowned with a worthy building. Today’s plans envision that the 28-storey City Plaza 2 will open there in 2026. As the so-called ‘first-line’ high-rise will be situated on the edge of the Old Town heritage conservation area, it will give fine views of the sea and the Old Town and fit in the existing ensemble of city centre towers.
The 28-storey City Plaza 2 will supplement the business premises in the area with additional 21,000 square metres of new high-end office and commercial spaces. Angel Andla, a member of the board at the developer company Estconde Invest OÜ, says the construction is to begin as soon as the building permit has been issued, which is expected to take place in the upcoming spring or summer. The name, City Plaza 2, was chosen after the well-known neighbouring business centre City Plaza belonging to the same developer, and the architectural solution of the building has been produced by the architecture and design agency Alver Architects.
Monika Haukanõmm, head of Tallinn Central District administration, calls it a positive development that such an important plot of land in the city centre will be given a modern makeover. “The new high-rise will be a welcome addition of high-quality architecture to the urban space while the design provides sufficient greenery and room for pedestrians. High-rise buildings are a feature of any modern city, but we do and will make sure they never overshadow Tallinn’s Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site,” she notes.
The design of the new building prioritizes sustainable construction principles, the development of a contemporary living and working environment as well as adding greenery and liveliness to the urban space. “City Plaza 2 is going to have energy efficiency rating A with the use of energy-efficient solutions and state-of-the-art heating and ventilation systems, including 2000 square metres of solar panels,” Angel Andla explains.
The perfect location ensures City Plaza 2 can be conveniently reached by public transport, on foot or by bike. “To promote greener car-free lifestyle, the business centre will have a covered underground bicycle parking lot for 218 bikes, which, in addition to becoming the largest in Estonia, will be equipped with user-friendly showering facilities and locker rooms. Drivers will be able to use the underground parking garage for 160 parking spots,” Andla elaborates.
He adds that the new building will contribute to the overall flow of the whole city district. The three sides of the building opening to the city will ‘converse’ with Gonsiori Street, Laikmaa Street and Tartu Road. Eleven entrance doors will be leading to a corner café and various other commercial spaces and businesses. The top floors of the building with a view of the sea and the Old Town are meant for offices.
The new construction will bring more greenery to the city centre. A line of trees will be planted along Gonsiori Street while the building will be gradually ‘stepping back’ from the edge of Laikmaa Street, making way for a small green square, a perfect place to enjoy the summer sunshine in the street café.
The central feature of the square is a massive maple tree with the wall behind it becoming a vertical garden with live plants. A heated two-storey-high winter garden with a glass roof covered with plants will be constructed indoors. The spacious green atrium will be a perfect venue for meetings, presentations, and exhibitions, working or enjoying a break in the cosy café over a cup of coffee.
The new office building will be within a walking distance from the Old Town, Tallinn’s best hotels, cafés and restaurants, a shopping centre, cinemas, theatres, fitness clubs and anything else you can find in an urban environment.