KAVAKAVA ARCHITECTS – University of Tartu Narva College, 2012


KAVAKAVA ARCHITECTS : http://www.kavakava.ee/


Narva is a border city between Russia and Estonia. Its baroque old town was destroyed after World War II. The college is built to the area of Narva’s no longer existing Old Town, with the main fa ade opening towards Town Hall Square. In front of the building is a square, marking the site of the former stock exchange building and creating a main entrance to the college.


The main idea is to clearly mark the historical volume of the stock exchange building, which was situated right in the center of the town and that partially covered Town Hall’s main fa ade. The new solution records exactly the situation, but leaves the former building as a void and allows the Town Hall to dominate the Square. The architectural solution of the College records both the absence of the Old Town and its rebuilding.


The proposal reconstructs the stock building to its original place in detail, but as a formwork – an empty mould. The mould defines the building destroyed decades ago. The absent building has left its trace on the body of the new structure. The imprinted fa ade is cast of white concrete, while the other three sides are made out of brick. A vaulted cellar under the square in reconstructed as an exhibition space.

The interior of the building is compact: its purpose is to ceate and academic yet non-formal environment. The spacious foyer has large steps to create a suitable background for the students’ interaction between the lectures. The inner circulation has been arranged around the courtyard.


architects: Kavakava architects – Siiri Vallner, Indrek Peil, Katrin Koov

location: Raekoja plats 2, Narva, Estonia

surface: 4741 m2

year/status: 2012 (built)

structure: concrete

materials: concrete, brick

client/contractor: University of Tartu

project team: Heidi Urb, Maarja TA?A?r, Andro M nd, Sten Mark M ndmaa, Helina Lass (architects team) Hannes Praks (interior design)

partner/consultants: Hannes Praks (interior design)

photography: Kaido Haagen, Anu Vahtra


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