Jul 10 2014

A Dream Project: Tabula

The award-winning Arvo Pärt Centre project in Estonia, designed by the Nieto Sobejano architecture firm, takes its inspiration from the great harmony between nature and music.

Itır Yıldız

We feel the highest sense of gratitude for architect’s who can establish harmony between manmade structures and nature, and for customers who demand that projects “should not involve cutting a single tree”.

The Arvo Pärt Centre, founded by the Estonian composer in 2010, is located in the woodlands of Laulasmaa, west of Tallinn, the country’s capital. When the centre wanted to build a new area to reflect the composer’s music and ideas in architectural forms, a design contest was announced on November 25, 2013. The winner was declared just a few weeks ago as Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos, who came first from a shortlist of 20 architects, including names such as Zaha Hadid Architects and COOP HIMMELB(L)AU.

Envisioned for the Laulasmaa’s woodlands, the building is conceived according to a plan that excludes the felling of any existing pine trees. The project called ‘Tabula’ exhibits a floor plan, encased in curtain glass walls, which carefully navigates around mature trees. During the outline of a pentagonal grid of spaces and courtyards, the architects also took inspiration from Pärt’s powerful poetical emotions generated through the simple permutations of a limited number of sounds. The centre, which is imagined as a non-hierarchical space, will host concerts, film screenings, performances, and exhibitions, as well as archive rooms and a library.

Could the unity of silence, nature, and music be designed any better than this? We think not.

*An exhibition showcasing all the contest entries will be on display at the Museum of Estonian Architecture until August 31, 2014.