Design competition: “JAKOB WESTHOLM GYMNASIUM
(JAKOB WESTHOLMI GÜMNAASIUMI)”
- COMPETITION RESULT: Acknowledgement, promotion prize
- YEAR: 2021
- CLIENT: Tallinn City Government in cooperation with the Tallinn Strategy Center and the Estonian Association of Architects
- ADRESS: Kevade 8, 10137 Tallinn, Estonia
SIA “Lauder Architects” (authors: Vilnis Tinuss, Santa Dombrovska, Viesturs Dille, Katrina Krumina, Betija Balode, Alar Tarto, Rita Laudere, Karlis Lauders, Rain Veidenberg)
Landscape Architecture – Ilze Ruksane, Maris Buss
Out of the 11 concepts that were submitted, our team’s concept “Two Buildings, One School” gained an acknowledgement and earned a promotion prize. The existing school building is located near the old city of Tallinn. The concept aimed to solve the connection between the two parts of the school and create a modern, inspiring environment for education. It was challenging to find a solution that is respectful of the surrounding old city and could become a part of the city’s silhouette.
Main aims of the concept:
- Providing an architectural solution that creates a dialogue with the surrounding environment and refines a smooth and delicate connection between the new and the old volumes;
- Use natural and sustainable materials for the new facade.
- Address the surrounding area according to student’s needs by giving them plenty of opportunities to spend time outside.
The public space would ensure a modern and sustainable environment with versatile usage. It includes an outdoor gym and fitness equipment, playground, outdoor classrooms and roof terraces for recreation. The space is easily accessible for all age groups and people with limited movement abilities, due to the pavement being one-dimensional all around the school. Extra solutions are provided for pedestrian and skater safety on the streets surrounding Jakob Westholm Gymnasium. Access was solved according to the Woofner principles, and ensuring a better connection to the nearby Falgi park.
School surroundings would be changed according to the concept to ensure sustainability. The idea is to create rain gardens and swales around the buildings to advance the rainwater collection and drainage into the soil. Such temporary wet areas also enhance biodiversity. Careful planning and selection of plants are based on principles of a biophilic city– it shall remind the younger generations of the importance of nature’s role in our lives. Because the environment, in which we grow up, influences our future attitude towards it.