The Patarei fortress in Tallin, Estonia, built in the 19th century by the Russian Emperor Nicholas I, later became a prison for those who opposed the ruling regimes at different times. It imprisoned freedom fighters, communists, Nazis, independents and of course common criminals. It was an overwelming experience to visit the place where history actually comes to you. Every brick preserves a story or a perspective on life whether today, yesterday, in prison or not.
Gagarin in collaboration with H2E and Tvíhorf competed for an exhibition concept in this 5000 sqm building that was to carry Estonian history from the last 100 years to the present and discuss ways into the future for this young state.
We are extremely proud to have been awarded the second place for the exhibition concept after Shuhei Endo in Japan. The entire design process with the team was a fantastic journey we will treasure. Thank you!
The jury had the following comments about the project:
"The author has made sense of the building in such a way that both old and new would function side by side. This applies within the building, where the authors see completely unrenovated rooms above which visitors seem to float on purpose-built passageways, alongside rooms designed in a contemporary fashion. The same sort of approach is used outdoors as well, where an annex that is bold in regard to cultural heritage preservation is added to the existing building volume, which will likely cause considerable passionate responses. The jury particularly likes the design of the so-called inner courtyard entrance. The choice of material for the annex ranges from pale to red glass, which may be excessive for conservative tastes. Corten steel is offered as a compromise for conservative taste, and this fits in well with the existing context. This is an entrance as a monument. The ideas for the exposition are very well thought out and their implementation is innovative. As a bonus, it offers a design using so-called censored visual identity right through to the writing style (crossed out lines of text, crossed out logos)."