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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Posted by Solveig Jahnke