Zaha Hadid Architects wins Tallinn port contest

International architecture firm Zaha Hadid Architects won the contract for the masterplan design of Estonia’s Tallinn port. Featuring a new cruise ship and ferry terminal, the development will also include office and housing districts intended to spark regeneration around the waterfront of the capital.

The project also includes a hotel, cable car station and an elevated park, with the different zones connected via a ‘stream’ that also reaches the Baltic Sea and the old town just beyond.

“A network of dynamic and elegant gestures inspired by natural ‘streams’ flow from the city to link and unify the fragmented zones of the harbour to the city fabric, creating a distinctly new and highly connected urban topography,” said the architects in a statement. “The ‘stream’ directly links a series of locally identified nodes, public spaces and open vistas across the city and harbour.”

Buildings that range from one to seven storeys tall will be angled along the route, making way for the paths and also lending to the project’s name ‘Steam City’.

“The public realm operates as the connective tissue, the ‘glue’ that facilitates development and creates a clear sense of place and legible orientation within the proposal,” the architects said.

The regeneration plans are intended to be a catalyst for the area’s development and is described by the firm as a “kernal of new value which quickly grows as it acquires market force and accelerates development.”

The winning proposal was selected by a jury consisting of managers from the Port of Tallinn, including chairman Valdo Kalm and head of infrastructure development, Hele-Mai Metsal. Tallinn architect Endrik Mand and Peeter Pere, the vice chair of the Estonian Association f Architects also sat on the judging panel.

ZHA is now tasked with working up the final designs for the masterplan, aiming to complete the project by 2030.

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