The new Estonian National Museum occupies an old runway of a former Soviet airbase located near the city of Tartu. The glass, box-shaped building, designed by Paris design firm Dorell Ghotmeh Tane (DGT), is scheduled to open next October and allow visitors a first glimpse of its gallery spaces, conference hall, public library, auditoriums, and educational spaces.
The monolithic building sits on a site which was part of the Raadi Manor area, owned by an aristocratic family of German descent. In 1940, a large part of the property was used to build a Soviet air base. Fifty years later, DGT’s design is expected to restore the area’s cultural significance while referencing its turbulent history.
The 350-meter-long (1148-feet) building acts as an extension of the airfield, creating a gentle slope that references the nation’s departure from its part to a better future. The facade, clad in triple glazing, offers views of the surrounding landscape and the adjacent Raadi Lake, and allow indirect natural light to reach some of the north-facing exhibition areas and public spaces.
Photos by Takuji Shimmura