New Building News

Follow the construction of the EAA new building on webcam!

We can keep up with the construction progress via webcam on this link:

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Photo Gallery of the cornerstone event for the EAA new building

Photos by Tõnu Tunnel

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Construction of THE new building begins

On 3 January 2017, the Estonian Academy of Arts and OÜ Astlanda Ehitus signed a contract for performing renovation and construction work on the university’s future location in the Rauaniidi building, situated on the boundary of Kalamaja and the Old Town in Tallinn, at the address Kotzebue 1/Põhja pst 7. Astlanda Ehitus OÜ (registry code 11366804) won the procurement. Seven tenders were received by 10 November 2016, all of which met the procurement conditions. The winner was the lowest-cost tender, as this was the criterion for the procurement. A strength of Astlanda Ehitus will certainly be their experience in renovating buildings with historical and cultural value

The wings added to the protected Rauaniidi building in Soviet times will be demolished and new sections of the building will be built. The architects behind the project are the winners of the public architecture competition – Joel Kopli, Koit Ojaliiv, Juhan Rohtla and Eik Hermann, all of them alumni of EAA.

The future Estonian Academy of Arts building will have 12,302 square metres of enclosed net space. According to the current schedule, studies may start in the new building as early as autumn 2018.

The contractual value of the construction works including VAT is 16.2 million euros and the construction period will be up to 15 months. The construction of the new academic and research building for the Estonian Academy of Arts is funded by the European Regional Development Fund from the ASTRA measure.

The new Estonian Academy of Arts building in figures

Area under construction (m2) 3,748.6

Area of above-ground part (m2) 3,748.6

Number of aboveground storeys 6

Number of underground storeys 1

Absolute height (m) 40.3

Enclosed net area (m2) 12,302.2

Construction permit for expanding the building no. 1512229/03192

Why a new building?

As Estonia’s only public university for design, architecture and art, the Academy of Arts needs proper infrastructure in order to retain and grow its international competitiveness, and to support training, activity and entrepreneurship in the people who will shape the environment in future. The effectiveness of the Academy’s areas of activity and programmes in key spheres in society depends on having a modern, attractive study environment, and this is why the priority and most immediate goal for EAA is to have a new academic building. The previous Estonian Academy of Arts location had outdated technical systems and was otherwise obsolete. Students were studying in very cramped conditions and the physical environment was the poorest of any Estonian public university.

For more than 10 years, plans were made to relocate the Estonian Academy of Arts to different places in Tallinn (the former Patarei Sea Fortress, the former Paldiski mnt psychiatric and neurological hospital buildings, the Estonian Public Broadcasting building were among properties considered). On 31 March 2006, after long searches, the Council of the Estonian Academy of Arts decided in favour of the location on Tartu mnt 1 in the city centre in order to preserve historical continuity. Unfortunately, due to a neighbour’s opposition, the “Art Plaza” project selected at the international architecture competition could not be built, and the EAA Council thus weighed other alternatives. In September 2013, it chose a new location: the Rauaniidi factory building at Kotzebue 7/Põhja pst 1 in the Kalamaja district of Tallinn. For more, visit

Astlanda Ehitus OÜ is a construction company with long experience, responsible for building and renovating many prestigious and large-scale buildings across the country, including Hedon Spa, Creative Hub, the University of Tartu’s Institute of Physics building, the Tallinn Bus Station, Tallinn School of Service, Hiiu Ravikeskus, Mustamäe Keskus shopping centre and many others. For more, see

The Estonian Academy of Arts’ four faculties – architecture, design, art and culture, and fine arts – teach over thirty specialities. The Estonian Academy of Arts is the only institution in Estonia to provide higher education in a number of these specialities. The university engages in cooperation with top universities around the world and is a member of international educational and professional networks, giving students and employees superb opportunities to broaden their horizons and to pursue self-development. The Estonian Academy of Arts is one of the founders of the Estonian Design Centre and the Estonian Centre of Architecture and takes active part in developing national design, urban planning, education and art strategies. The Estonian Academy of Arts students and teaching staff talk and participate actively in developing society and the living environment. The members of the Estonian Academy of Arts including its alumni represent the Republic of Estonia in key international arenas. Finely-attuned, motivated and creative-minded people are welcomed to work and study at the Academy. Website:

More information

Solveig Jahnke

Head of Communications

Estonian Academy of Arts


Tel. 5626 4949

Paul Järvsoo

Project Manager

Astlanda Ehitus OÜ


Tel. 53 404 106

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The Council of the Estonian Academy of Arts has approved a new development plan for 2016-2020, which articulates the university’s mission, vision and the most important strategic objectives for the next five years. For the first time, the development plan also lists the Academy’s core values. The new development plan emphasizes the striving of the Estonian Academy of Arts to advance creativity in society and higher education.

For over a century, the Estonian Academy of Arts has helped to enrich the Estonian cultural environment, representing a diverse and living culture where the ability to think independently, creativity and openness are cherished.

“We perceive our role and responsibility in society and continue as a central force for the advancement of visual culture, a place to study for young people with a questing spirit and who want to think for themselves and are open to experimentation. In terms of factual knowledge, young Estonians are quite diligent, but that is not enough. We encourage students to think beyond facts alone; we like them to be analytical and open to new reality,” says rector and academician Mart Kalm.

For the next five years, the Estonian Academy of Arts has set three major strategic goals:

  • Operating in the new modern academic building in an interdisciplinary, international and networked manner.
  • Contributing to society’s development academically and creatively, and be a student-centred and sustainable teaching and research institution.
  • Serving as Estonia’s leading centre of excellence in its primary academic areas of responsibility, and as an internationally recognized centre.

The Academy of Arts is confident that once it moves into the new Rauaniidi building, it will be able to provide a more dynamic synergistic and cooperative ethos essential for students’ learning experience as well as for promoting communication and initiatives by teaching staff and employees.

Academy Rector, academician Mart Kalm, says the university must be able to respond even better to the needs of the developing society:

“We haven’t planned to discontinue the existing curricula, but we will open new and innovative English-language master’s degree programmes that are of a high international calibre. We will also make our research activity more effective and promote an interdisciplinary approach to research that proceeds from societal problems and challenges.”

Among the core values of the Estonian Academy of Arts, articulated for the first time, the Academy places value on the particularities of every member, as the basis for the inception of original, unique artistic work. Also important are professionalism and mastery in the respective specialities, which ensures quality in the intellectual and material environment, as well as analytical thinking and openness, which keep thoughts fresh.

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At a 15 December 2015 sitting of Parliament where Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas gave an overview of the situation facing R&D activity and the government’s policy in that field, Rõivas reaffirmed that the government had the political will to complete the Rauaniidi building project as the new home of the Estonian Academy of Arts.

Rõivas expressed that position in response to a question from a member of the Cultural Affairs Committee, Estonian Academy of Arts alumna Yoko Alender: “When will a solution be found to the Estonian Academy of Arts situation. When will the new building be built?”

Excerpt from the transcript:

Yoko Alender:

Thank you, honourable Prime Minister, for a substantive presentation as well as for the discussion in the Cultural Affairs Committee! I would like to touch on the topic of design – design as thinking. Design that creates higher productivity, higher, greater value added that we all, whether it’s fine-tuning or the next big step that we need, greater productivity. In Estonia, design is mainly taught at the Academy of Arts. It is of some concern to me as an alumna of the Estonian Academy of Arts: when will a solution be found to the Estonian Academy of Arts situation. When will the new building be built?

Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas:

Thank you! I was thinking where the question would lead to. I’ll certainly agree with the general thinking behind the question, because after all when you come down to it, the Industrial Revolution contributed to the ability to produce more per person. But if we want to get to the next level – again I’m simplifying quite a bit – we have to produce products with higher value-added, more desirable products, and design is indispensable in this regard. Now, as pertains to the new Estonian Academy of Arts building, as far as I know, it will be possible to fund it from a Ministry of Education and Research measure soon to be opened. I’m not completely sure whether I am at liberty to say so officially as Prime Minister. But actually, we have reached agreement in the Cabinet that it’s an important project for us. I don’t know whether there are any specialists who have to assess the eligibility for aid and I don’t want to unlawfully influence them somehow by expressing my support for it. But I hope that I am not doing so when I say that I firmly believe that the Academy of Arts building has to be built. It surely isn’t spilling a great secret when I say that when foreign visitors visit and I show them North Tallinn from the balcony of my office as an example of a very fast-developing area, I always point out the building standing forlorn on the corner and tell the guests that this will be our Academy of Arts, which will actually hopefully give the whole area an additional pleasant Bohemian-like sheen. I for one believe that the Academy of Arts has to be built there. It should be done through a European Union measure and I hope that the political will be accompanied by the whole procedural side and everything that a proper measure entails. All three parties represented in the cabinet share the political will.

The original proceedings in the Parliament can be streamed on demand. Alender asked her question at about 1:48:50. The transcript in full (in Estonian) can be found here.

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On 25 August 2014 at the Centre of Architecture’s Architecture Hub in Tallinn, in cooperation with the Estonian Academy of Arts, State Real Estate Ltd (Riigi Kinnisvara AS) announced the originators of the winning concept in the architecture competition held for the new Estonian Academy of Arts building. The Estonian Academy of Arts, which turns 100 this year, will mark its centennial while still operating out of leased premises this autumn, but according to the plan, students entering the Academy this year will start their last year at school in the new building.

All of the competition entries can be seen from 27 August to 19 September at the Estonian Academy of Arts G-Gallery (the lobby of the building at Estonia pst 7) from Monday to Friday from 9-18 or here.

Of the 10 entries received in the competition, the conceptual solution by Kuu OÜ titled “Linea” was deemed the best (authors: Joel Kopli, Koit Ojaliiv, Juhan Rohtla and Eik Hermann). The cash prize for first place was 15,000 euros.

The aspects praised most by the jury were the logical and efficient solution and its minimalist exterior architecture which is respectful toward the existing built environment. Also singled out for praise was the way the building’s interior courtyard side partially opens into an outdoor space and the fact that the architects had a clear vision of how the sustainable development needs should be factored in.

According to the winning architects, they focused on the needs of future students and ensuring that the building had internal synergy. “We are all Academy of Arts alumni and it’s very important for us that different specialities and disciplines ‘bump’ into each other within the school. We used architectural techniques to encourage such happy collisions as much as possible,” said Ojaliiv.

Estonian Academy of Arts rector Signe Kivi adds: “I’m glad that the winners were graduates of the Academy of Arts who were especially skilled at inserting into their project everything they themselves would have wanted as students – that the building would be open, allow changes, that it wouldn’t be a closed system.”

Second place went to DAGOpen OÜ and Amhold AS’s joint entry entitled “Aletheia” (authors: Jaan Kuusemets, Üllar Ambos, Pille Noole, Kaisa Lasner and Jiannis Lykouras), which the jury said was conceptually and aesthetically the clearest design concept. Some questions were prompted by whether the plans could be realized in that form, however. The cash prize for second place was 10,000 euros.

Salto AB OÜ’s entry, titled “Akadeemia”, took third place (authors: Maarja Kask, Ralf Lõoke, Margus Tamm, Helin Kukk and Martin McLean), which the jury hailed for having one of the stronger urban design solutions, a complex of lightweight-seeming buildings and transparency, while retaining necessary privacy. The main drawback of this entry, according to the jury, was the complicated logistical scheme for moving between the various buildings. The cash prize for first place was 7,000 euros.

In addition, an incentive prize was given to Kadarik Tüür Arhitektid OÜ for “Imaginarium” (authors: Ott Kadarik, Mihkel Tüür, Kadri Tamme, Harri Kaplan, Kristi Tuurmann, Tanel Trepp and Riho Joala); it was praised for the diversity of the common areas and the accentuated solution. An incentive prize also went to Stuudio Tallinn OÜ’s entry bearing the keyword “Edge” (author: Villem Tomiste), which was extolled for its form: the integration of the entire building complex into one integral city block with buildings lining the perimeter. The incentive prize was 4,000 euros.

The jury that convened to adjudicate the plans was made up of the Estonian Academy of Arts (EAA), the Estonian Association of Architects (EAL), the Tallinn Urban Planning Department (TLPA) and State Real Estate Ltd (RKAS) representatives: Timo Aarmaa (RKAS), Ivar Piirsalu (RKAS), Andres Tali (EAA), Toomas Johanson (EAA), Jaak-Adam Looveer (architect, TLPA), Jaak Huimerind (architect, EAL), Tiit Trummal (architect, EAL), Toomas Tammis (architect, EAL), Andres Ojari (architect, EAL), Lylian Meister (alternate member, EAA), Jan Skolimowski (alternate member, architect, EAL). To elicit opinions on various matters, the jury called on experts from the Heritage Board and the Tallinn Cultural Heritage Department.

After the winner of the architecture competition was announced, the second stage of the procurement procedure will be announced – development of the building complex design. To finance the project, it is planned to use the EU structural funds from the coming period and the Estonian Academy of Arts own resources. The greatest part of the Estonian Academy of Arts funding will come from the sale of immovable property in the centre and Old Town of Tallinn, on Gonsiori and Suur-Kloostri Street respectively. A total of three plots will be sold off.

The future Estonian Academy of Arts building will have close to 12,000 square metres of enclosed net space. According to the current schedule, studies can start in the new building in late 2016.



General description of the competition and conclusions of the jury


The objective of the competition was to establish for the Estonian Academy of Arts, in a historical factory building originally designed by E. Habermann, a modern environment for supporting the development of art and culture, synergy of teaching, and inspiring teachers and students – a place where all Academy members would be under one roof. The considerations of the jury encompassed the following:

(1) The functionality and flexibility of the architectural solution and conformity to the needs of the Estonian Academy of Arts. The human-friendliness of the movement trajectories and connections, considering how the different parts of the building are connected to each other and the building to the surrounding urban space.

(2) The prestige of the integral architectural solution and its suitability for a 21st century art academy, the impact of the symbolic value of the solution, its distinctiveness and innovativeness. A sensibility for the existing cultural values and the surrounding environment.

(3) Consideration of the goals of economically expedient construction (construction cost), energy efficiency, costs of future maintenance, number of parking spaces and other practical objectives such as usability of existing structures in design development and construction, taking into account also, among other things, minimization of risks in the procedural and construction process.


“Linea” (first prize)


Jury conclusion: “An entry with a congenially minimalist and milieu-preserving exterior architectural design where the greatest asset is nevertheless the logical and well-functioning floor plan. The strength of the floor plan is that the school’s entrances, common areas and central stairwell will be located in the place originally taken up by parts 1 and 3 of the factory building, and also that the four-storey facade on the Kotzebue Street side – considered valuable – has been preserved in its original state. An architecturally compelling concept is the partial opening of the interior courtyard side of building part 7 into an external area, which improves significantly what is currently perhaps too hermetic and cramped a spatial impression as well as the actual usability. The general approach suggests a clear understanding of the needs of sustainable development.

The entry’s planned intervention into existing buildings is architecturally clear and qualitative from both an urban design and architectural standpoint. The external architectural solution achieves good balance between the facade of the new entrance and the building under heritage protection, which is slated for preservation. The limited amount of design of the main entrance sends a clear signal as to the new content and purpose. The distinctiveness of the specific area in the middle of the existing building complex creates two articulated entrances from both of the streets adjoining the building. It creates good and comprehensible logistical connections between the different parts of the building, brings out the boundaries and principles of both the new and to-be-renovated parts of the buildings, and also makes reference to reasonable use of the interior courtyard on the western side. A questionable part of the work is the location of the public-use library on the upper levels, but this can be relocated to the 1st and 2nd storeys.

The quarter-like structure of the complex is maintained and the unbroken facade is emphasized architecturally. The entrances are all from the same level, but from two streets and the interior courtyard. The first-floor level smoothly joins the lower levels of the various parts of the buildings into a fluid space that offers different opportunities. In front of the main entrance, a covered plaza with southern light exposure is planned; this can sufficiently meet the needs for public space connected to the school. The more detailed solution of the plaza and the relationship between the sloping parts and the entrances raises some questions, but these can be corrected.”


“Aletheia” (second prize)


Jury conclusion: “The entry proposes an intervention into the existing buildings that is minimal and very clear, and this is supported as well by the very high quality visual expressiveness. The facade along Põhja pst with a very clear and striking solution showcases in the ideal manner the architectural city-creating potential that original architect Habermann started. The distinctive looking building shapes on northern side are articulated sensitively into a striking whole. This was certainly the clearest work conceptually and aesthetically. Unfortunately, besides the general praiseworthy principles of the floor plans, the ideological clarity is encumbered by sporadic awkwardness seen here and there. The current plan of the building’s facade solution also remains too much in lockstep with a single conceptual point of departure and raises doubts as to whether it can be realized in this form (structurally and aesthetically speaking) and used in reasonable fashion. Freeing rooms from utilities, and installing full glass walls is also unrealistic. At first glance, the building part 5 seems to be presented as it exists, but actually the proposed solution can only be executed as a new building as the external walls are currently load-bearing slab walls. It would also be wise to leave the existing facade for building part 6, as the necessary lightness and clear distinctness from the former stocking factory would come from the relatively glass-heavy solution of the intermediate part (part 5). For this reason, the building’s facade on the Kotzebue Street side seems more realistic. The interior courtyard’s glass wall solution improves significantly the interior courtyard’s current, massive nature. The integral structure of the complex – a distinct, solid city block – is maintained and the unbroken facade is emphasized architecturally. The entrances are all from one level – from two streets and the interior courtyard. The logistics between building units is not fully conceived, as there are very many horizontal connections, which creates pass-through rooms, which curtails use of the space and cannot be altered later. The locations and solutions of the entrances are good. The use of steps for connecting exterior and interior is nevertheless a bit questionable – the competition’s terms of reference specifically asked for sloping, gradual transitions to be used. Unlike most entries, this one proposed a suitable solution also for the city space across Põhja pst. The competition entry can be developed further if required. At the same time, as the project is fleshed out, there is the danger that the concept will fall by the wayside and the building will become just another building with ordinary architecture.


“Akadeemia” (third prize)


Jury conclusion: “The entry makes clear and comprehensible decisions regarding preservation and demolition of the existing buildings. The joining of the buildings on the eastern side of the plot into a single structure that follows the historical frontage line and the raised plaza in the middle all buildings (other than the guest studios) is a good, and interesting idea from the urban design perspective. The principal shortcoming of the entry is the logistical scheme with the long connecting paths between buildings – a result of the abovementioned segmentation – which is not remedied by the solution for the first storey, which connects the buildings. The plaza’s central building – the gallery – remains separate; it could otherwise be connected to the first-floor public space. A logistical muddle and the intersection between the public and private space are caused by the two separate entrances from the street and from the raised plaza. This is certainly one of the entries with the strongest urban design solution. The complex emanates lightweightness and transparency, yet the essential privacy is also retained. Envisioning the gallery as a separate low building in the place of building part 7 is a well-conceived idea. The demolition of building part 7 is a bold interpretation of the competition terms of reference – as the competition participants were left with the freedom to handle the eastern end of the unit as they wished and the key parts – shelter and building part along the property line – have been preserved, this must be considered in line with the terms of reference. The solution for the plaza located at the second-floor level along with the new public entrance on the school grounds also succeed. The compact design of the main building is quite thoughtful and rational but rather hard to realize, both structurally and from the standpoint of heritage conservation requirements. The proposed glass facade solutions seem too aggressive and excessively ornate. The guest studios were not called for in the programme but by its nature, the space is acceptable as a reserve area. The entry is enhanced by the integral urban structure – it is like a quarter unto itself, although it does break up the street frontage in parts, in particular on the Kotzebue Street side. The open city plaza is sufficiently closed on the Põhja pst side that it does not excessively harm the existing, imposing frontage along this thoroughfare. The entry restores the boundaries of the historical quarter, which is a good solution. It is one of the few entries that is able to add an urban accent to the new Estonian Academy of Arts building. The public space is functional, takes into account exposure to the arc of the sun and is multifaceted. Maybe there are disproportionally few lobby areas compared to the outside common areas. Both the exterior and interior are creative and uninhibited.”


“Imaginarium” (incentive prize)


Jury conclusion: “A solution with a prestigious looking interior courtyard on the Põhja pst side where the school’s main entrance along with open auditorium are found together – the interior courtyard is perhaps even too formal and unexpected. The positioning of the main vestibule under the open interior courtyard open on the second-floor level is congenial and ensures good connections between all parts of the building. The planning schemes on the second floor with relatively narrow central hallways are not as compelling – the spatial impact is oppressive and can be disorienting for navigation. The presentation of excessively active facade solutions given the spatial complexity is also problematic. Ultimately, they will start to dominate the former stocking factory’s modest architecture.

The entry’s major opening in the otherwise sealed perimeter of the frontage on the other sides creates a very clear visual of the entrance to the building and gives the second floor of the school an interior courtyard that is large, well-illuminated and protected against wind. Unfortunately, the school’s internal arrangement does not gibe with the spatial possibilities created and the use of the interior courtyard by the school’s common areas is unexpectedly thin. Another shortcoming is the positioning of the larger areas in common use (amphitheatre style auditorium and cafeteria) on “pedestals” separate from one another in the 1st floor lobby. The ceiling openings in the raised interior courtyard do not go together well with the common areas on the first floor. The abovementioned major break in the frontage line of the perimeter also makes for inconvenient logistics in getting from one part of the school to another.

The integral complex is for the most part preserved but the incision planned on the Põhja pst side is too dominant and spoils the frontage of the complex. A one-storey lobby structure has been designed for the perimeter of the interruption, which when one is passing down the street does preserve the impression of an unbroken line of buildings, but the low height comes from a different building typology, architecturally speaking. As a whole, the architectural solution does not value the existing buildings enough. The diverse and accentuated solution for the public space is the main trump card of this entry.”


“Edge” (incentive prize)


Jury conclusion: “An entry with an intriguing and distinctive architectural solution with a spacious second-floor interior courtyard on the Põhja pst side, framed by a walkway connecting the former stocking factory buildings. The connecting gallery is not the most compelling, however, in light of the building’s functional links. The facades with a consistent architectural idiom are acceptable but perhaps a little too monotonous and, with their total technicism, cancel out the historical architecture. The use of the interior courtyard and the plaza in front of the main entrance is disrupted by the complete opening of the lower level of the interior courtyard to the plaza – there is lack of the usable plaza space. The floor plan is generally functional and acceptable. There is a lack of an entrance from Kotzebue Street.

The integration of the entire complex planned in the entry into one integral quarter with unbroken line of buildings around the perimeter is clear and has high value in the sense of urban design. The interior courtyard raised on to the second floor of the complex and the major extent to which it is opened on the perimeter on the Põhja pst side creates an imposing entrance to the building and, potentially, a pleasant interior courtyard for the school. Unfortunately, a large part of the interior courtyard’s area is cut short to allow light to pass to the service lot on the lower floor. The abovementioned break, several storeys in height, in the frontage creates a logistically inconvenient situation in connecting the different parts of the building, which is not remedied by the floor plans on the first and fifth storeys.

Exciting architecture, but too dominant and powerful. The interior courtyard is functional but not very pedestrian-friendly or functionally flexible. A service lot is also part of this design, which is undoubtedly necessary for the school. The shape and architectural solution of the Kotzebue Street side building is unclear and haphazard.”

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The coalition agreement signed today, 20 March 2014, by the Reform Party and the Social Democratic Party contains a pledge to continue the preparations for constructing the new Estonian Academy of Arts building.

The Estonian Academy of Arts and State Real Estate Ltd entered into a cooperation agreement on 18 September 2013 with regard to performing the necessary preliminary activities for establishing the new building. The historical factory building on Kotzebue Street will be renovated into a modern school of architecture, design and art. It is planned to launch academic activity in the new building in 2016.

The full text versions of the new coalition agreement, which pledges the preparations for establishing the new building, can be found here:

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The Estonian Academy of Arts and State Real Estate Ltd signed a cooperation agreement today, 18 September 2013 setting forth the responsibilities of the parties for acquiring an historical factory building at Kotzebue 1/Põhja pst 7 with the goal of establishing a modern school of architecture, design and art there. Studies can begin in the new location in 2016.

According to Estonian Academy of Arts Rector Signe Kivi, the most important factors for the Council in making the decision were the fastest possible completion time, lack of legal obstacles and the location.

“Kalamaja is becoming an active creative environment. Neighbours include the Tallinn Creative Hub, the Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia, the Estonian Centre of Architecture and the Estonian Design House, along with several museums. The Old Town and city centre are in the immediate vicinity and there are excellent public transport connections,” said Kivi.

State Real Estate Ltd (RKAS) was commissioned by the Estonian Academy of Arts to perform a comparative analysis of possible locations, where alternatives for establishing the Estonian Academy of Arts compared to current conditions were studied. In addition to the Tartu mnt 1 plot, the Telliskivi Creative City, the former Suva stocking factory on Kotzebue Street and the plot at Küti 17 were considered.

RKAS management board chairman Jaak Saarniit said the Suva plot was the most suitable considering the school’s needs, legal and economic aspects also because the building could be constructed for the optimum cost and the Academy’s rental and overhead costs would drop 30% compared to the present expenditures.

Saarniit said that adapting the old factory building to fit the university’s needs for rooms and facilities would also be very feasible. “The building designed in 1926 by architect Eugen Habermann and completed in 1932 has light-filled, spacious and high-ceilinged rooms and robust load-bearing structures that will make a suitable academic environment for the Academy,” he said.

According to the financial model developed, in the first stage, RKAS would acquire the Kotzebue 1/Põhja pst 7 lot for 6.9 million euros, which would later be transferred to the Estonian Academy of Arts. To finance the project, it is planned to use the Estonian Academy of Arts and RKAS funds as well as the EU’s structural funds.

The future Estonian Academy of Arts building will have close to 11,500 square metres of enclosed net space. According to the current schedule, studies can start in the new building in late 2016.

The Estonian Academy of Arts shapes the Estonian art, visual culture and environment and advances discourse in these areas. Operating continuously since 1914, it is the only public university in Estonia to provide higher education in the field of art, design, architecture and art culture. The Estonian Academy of Arts strives to be a leading innovative international centre of excellence in its fields. Besides teaching and research, the Estonian Academy of Arts is also engaged in artistic activity and offers lifelong learning through the Open Academy. The Estonian Academy of Arts student body is currently over 1,300 strong. A number of students are studying abroad in foreign universities. The Estonian Academy of Arts engages in cooperation with close to 100 foreign universities and is a member of several international networks. More information:

State Real Estate Ltd (RKAS) is a real estate development and property management company founded in 2001 for more effective management of the state’s immovable property holdings. Its share capital – 166.7 million euros – is completely owned by the Republic of Estonia. The shares are managed by the Ministry of Finance. More information:

More information:

Ivar Piirsalu

Project Manager

State Real Estate Ltd

Tel: 606 3462


Toomas Johanson

Head of Administrative and Financial Affairs

Estonian Academy of Arts

Tel: 626 7390

Mob: 5342 9976


Release prepared by

Solveig Jahnke

Head of Communications

Estonian Academy of Arts

Tel: 5626 4949

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