Old Town Apartments in Tallinn by Kosmos



Estonian architects Kosmos have completed a five-storey apartment block with a ground-floor shopping area in Tallinn, Estonia.


Conceived as a series of interconnected units, the building is broken into facets and punctured by shard-like windows.


The structure is made of steel frames and reinforced concrete.


It has a stone-tiled facade and each apartment has a wooden terrace.


Photographs are by Ott Kadarik and Paco Ulman.

Here's some text from the architects:


The 5-story apartment building is situated on the edge of the medieval old town of Tallinn.


It is not dominant from the street level, nor does it seem too high in the surrounding context.


The dynamic mass of the building is situated in the northern and western side of the plot.


In connection with some old historically valuable buildings, it creates an environment of small interconnected units, characteristic to the architectural whole of the old town.


Every apartment has a large terrace, bringing private house typology into the very center of the city.


The ground level opens to the street as an active shopping space.


The construction of the building is a combination of reinforced concrete and steel frames.


The non-supporting walls are finished with natural stone tiles, making the building visually smaller, while alluding to the surrounding stone houses of the old town.


The timber-clad terraces and the horizontal surfaces of the overhangs link the apartment block to the neighboring wooden house, while decomposing the building´s volume into a variety of spaces.


It is an inner-city landscape house of different qualities.



Ott Kadarik, Villem Tomiste, Mihkel Tüür








Posted on Friday August 14th 2009 at 12:03 am by Zaynab D. Ziari. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • duongbong

    I wonder if the architecture would affect the way people walk because it not only limits where and how you can go but also how you see things. Maybe change the way they react to others in realm of their surroundings. I’m sure they would but I guess it would be more interesting to see (especially with architecture like this) than to conceptualize in the head.

  • rodger

    this project has some dramatic and fun outdoor spaces but is otherwise an unliveable disaster. the tyranny of angular forms trumps all in the worst possible way. the interiors leave me speechless. please give up architecture now.

  • Sick project….can I see a section though?

  • Indi

    Exposed pipework! Nice!

  • dha


  • mahrous

    too sharb but i like it

  • Kong

    I want to have this kind of projects in Berlin. I think its great that a lot of eastern countries are not afraid to give projects like this one a chance.

  • Kong

    And it is also remarkable that this is not a museum , memorial center or other cultural facility but seems to be private investment. I would like to know more about the client and the project develpement process. Good job Kosmos.

  • I Can Has Cheeseburger

    i luv it when architects wax lyrical about their work. how is this not dominant to the street level. how is this connecting to the historical level? i suppose they are dying to be modernise!

  • I found the glass shard motif rather overwhelming, giving me a constant sense of danger rather than of peace…

  • Gollumpus

    When I first looked at the photos of this project I thought, “The 70’s have returned.” Aspects of it remind me of buildings being constructed when I was much younger.

    I get an oppressive vibe from these photos. The structure looks “heavy”, even though there is a lot of open (ie. glass) wall space. I suppose it’s the dark color which is to blame. I suspect it will feel better once some people take residence.


  • LOW

    I’d kill to have William Shatner narrate the description of this project

  • Donn

    Someone was trying to emulate Libeskind. Looks like it could be the next Brit Sci Fi set.

  • ststst

    i wanna do work like this…. really nice:)
    I only like to see some more interiourshots

  • justin

    Not sure where to start? Clumsy (structure and windows frames), poorly detailed (see balustrades), unusable space (see the corners in the bedrooms). Whilst its great to see people exploring all avenues of design, surely this is just a badly resolved pastiche of angular architecture. If we take it back to first principles this building fails on some many levels, as it is a poor place to live. I’m not really sure what it’s doing on this website, which is usually quite critical about which projects it choses to publish.

  • @duongbong: funny that your comment is the first because I was thinking not about how the architecture in this case affects how people "walk" but rather how people respond on a psychological level. This is indeed heavy and dark and the detailing/harmony of materials could be a bit refined in my taste. It's easy to lend criticism but I really would like to see interiors of the units themselves or at least enlarged plans to get a sense of the quality of the spaces.