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Spanish practice beats global stars to win major Estonian contest

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Madrid-based Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos has seen off a raft of stars, including UK practices Zaha Hadid and AZPML, to win the contest to design an archive for the work of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt

The firm bagged themselves a prize fund of €10,000 with its proposal which the judges described as ’conceptual and architecturally fresh’.

Michael Pärt, chairman of the jury and Arvo Pärt’s son, said: ’[Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos’ scheme] creates a harmonious and flexible environment for Arvo Pärt’s music. What deserves to be singled out in particular about this contest entry is its spatial arrangement and thoroughly considered thematic lighting’.

Organised in collaboration with the Union of Estonian Architects (UEA), the brief was to design a new building for the Arvo Pärt Centre in Laulasmaa, near Tallinn, Estonia.

The new 2,000m² building will include an archive, exhibition and workshop spaces, meeting rooms, multi-functional areas and a café. The archive will house the ‘entire creative legacy’ of the Estonian composer both in physical and digital form.

The Madrid-based practice saw off competition from 20 entries from a raft of European names to land the prized job.  

The jury, which included 2013 Serpentine Pavilion designed Sou Fujimoto, awarded two further prizes. Second prize and €8,000 went to USA practice Allied Works, while a third prize of €6,000 went to home team KAVAKAVA OÜ.

Special prizes of  €2,000 each also went to OFFICE Kersten Geers David van Severen of Belgium,  Austria’s COOP HIMMELB(L)AU, and Danish big-hitters Henning Larsen.

Peeter Pere, vice chairman of the Union of Estonian Architects and jury memeber, said: ’The awarded entries present the best combinations of simultaneously perceptible daring, purity, genuineness, simplicity, radicalness, asceticism, airiness, tenderness, conciseness, slow-motion speed and also the pearl rather than the mammoth, grandeur or intimacy, warmth, cosiness, rigour or forcefulness. In summary: the nature of the future Centre has been captured in the best possible way.’

An exhibition showcasing all the contest entries will be on display at the Museum of Estonian Architecture until 31 August 2014.

The new building is set to complete in 2018.  

Previous story (AJ 18.02.14)

Zaha and AZPML make shortlist for Estonian composer’s archive

Zaha Hadid, AZPML and Claudio Silvestrin Architects are the only UK-based practices shortlisted in the international contest to design an archive for the work of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt

The British firms will have to see off competition from a raft European names, including Danish big-hitters Henning Larsen Architects and Austria’s Coop Himmelblau, to land the prized job.

More than 70 practices entered the two-stage competition with 20 practices selected to go on to compete for the €30,000 prize fund.

The shortlist

  • Allied Works Architecture, USA
  • Alver Arhitektid OÜ, Estonia
  • Arhitektibüroo Emil Urbel, Estonia
  • AZPML, United Kingdom
  • Claudio Silvestrin Architects, United Kingdom
  • COOP HIMMELB(L)AU, Austria
  • Henning Larsen Architects, Denmark
  • Jensen & Skodvin Arkitekter AS, Norway
  • Johan Celsing Arkitektkontor AB, Sweden
  • Kavakava OÜ, Estonia
  • KOKO Arhitektid OÜ, Estonia
  • Kolm Pluss Üks OÜ, Estonia
  • Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos SLP, Spain
  • OFFICE Kersten Geers David van Severen, Belgium
  • OFIS arhitekti, Slovenia
  • Rick Joy Architects, USA
  • Salto AB OÜ, Estonia
  • Schneider+Schumacher Planungsgesellschaft, Germany
  • Stuudio Tallinn OÜ, Estonia
  • Zaha Hadid Architects, United Kingdom

Organised in collaboration with the Union of Estonian Architects (UEA), the brief was to design a new building for the Arvo Pärt Centre in Laulasmaa, near Tallinn, Estonia.

The new 2,000m² building will include an archive, exhibition and workshop spaces, meeting rooms, multi-functional areas and a café. The archive will house the ‘entire creative legacy’ of the Estonian composer both in physical and digital form.

The shortlisted practices will now be asked to complete design concepts and technical drawings for their scheme.

The chairman of the contests committee, Michael Pärt, said: ‘I was very moved by my fellow jury members, as their experience contributed greatly towards our inspiring and creative jury sittings. I am looking forward towards the next phase of our path towards realising the new “Kellasalu” grounds of the APK in Laulasmaa.’

UEA chairman Peeter Pere, added: ‘Paradoxically, a unique style of Estonian music and a unique composer are bringing to life a unique type of architecture. This is all taking place away from official centres of attraction, with the end result being that the pine forest chosen for the centre’s building has become extraordinarily attractive.’

The Arvo Pärt Centre was founded in 2010 by Arvo Pärt and his family with the aim of creating opportunities for preserving and researching the creative heritage of the composer in his native land, Estonia.

The winner will be announced in June 2014.

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