The 2019 Architecture Awards were announced in Tartu

On 6 December, at the awards ceremony at Tartu Comb Factory this year's architecture awards were announced and the brightest stars and trailblazers, and best works and creative ideas were recognised.

At the awards ceremony concluding the year in architecture, the Architecture Endowment of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia and creative associations Estonian Association of Architects, Estonian Association of Interior Architects and Estonian Landscape Architects' Union announced the laureates of their annual awards.  

Annual Architecture Awards of Estonian Cultural Endowment 2019

Jury: interior architect Pille Lausmäe-Lõoke, architects Emil Urbel and Peeter Pere, landscape architect Anna-Liisa Unt, product designer and docent at Estonian Academy of Arts Merike Rehepapp, art historian Andres Kurg, urbanist Teele Pehk.

  • Annual Award of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia in architecture – Arvo Pärt Centre

Fuensanta Nieto, Enrique Sobejano (Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos)

The award will be presented to the winners at the awards gala of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia on 31 January.

Jury's comment: "The building blends into the surrounding environment, yet simultaneously creates a completely new kind of space, seemingly breathing in the same rhythm as its surroundings. The new construction in the middle of a pine forest and blueberry fields is like a temple of silence and carefully arranged sounds. A complex spatial programme has been masterfully arranged into a flowing whole, while maintaining the various characteristics of different spaces and linking them to their surroundings in a multifaceted way with each detail thoroughly analysed and in harmony with the whole."

GALLERY: Photos: Roland Halbe, Kaupo Kikkas, Paco Ulman, Tõnu Tunnel


Joel Kopli, Koit Ojaliiv, Juhan Rohtla, Eik Hermann, Kalle Komissarov, Rene Sauemägi (KUU Architects)

Jury's comment: "The new building of the Estonian Academy of Arts has created a new environment between Põhja puiestee and Kotzebue streets, bustling with bicycles and a hunger for knowledge and ideas. The new space that the building creates makes even those happy and proud who are not directly connected to the academy. A well-functioning learning and artistic environment, the smooth transformation between buildings constructed in different periods into a magnificent whole, an inspiring structured space. The architects have managed to bring the spirit of the old building of the academy on Tartu maantee into the new one."

GALLERY: Photos: Tõnu Tunnel


  • Reconstruction projects – KAOS Architects

Recognition for three reconstruction projects: Museum of Haapsalu Castle, Park Hotel Viljandi, the Estonian Embassy in Moscow.

Jury's comment: "The jury recognises the whole bureau for consistent reconstruction work: the visitor centre-museum of the Haapsalu Castle, Park Hotel Viljandi and the Estonian Embassy in Moscow. A sensitive approach to detail, respectful attitude towards historic buildings, professionally conducted combination of new and old architectural expressions. KAOS' projects give equal attention to layers from very different periods. In addition to being respectful they always add something clever and contrastingly novel, maintaining a tension and provoking reconsideration of the familiar."

GALLERY: Photos: Terje Ugandi (Estonian Embassy in Moscow, Park Hotell Viljandi), Tõnu Tunnel and Vendo Jugapuu (the visitor centre-museum of the Haapsalu Castle)


Kalle Vellevoog (JVR Arhitektid), Jaan Tiidemann (Ninja Stuudio), Tiiu Truus (Stuudio Truus). Plants: Lidia Zarudnaya. Sculptor: Kirke Kangro.

Jury's comment: "The solution adds to the existing complex in a manner that is simultaneously delicate and powerful: it does not directly intervene with what is already there, still, the new episode, sharply driven into the ground is clearly presented as a continuation of the memory field. The memorial's contribution both to our history and cultural history and the high quality public space it creates are definitely worth high recognition. This is a monument that can bring society together."

GALLERY: Photos: Tõnu Tunnel, Arne Maasik, Martin Siplane


Ingrid Ruudi

Jury's comment: "An extensively researched exhibition that raises significant questions about the gender bias in architecture and its institutions. After an exhibition like that it is difficult to claim that focus on feminism and gender is nothing but a niche issue in architecture. Hopefully, this exhibition paved the way for other researchers looking into the social role of architecture."

GALLERY: Photos: Reio Avaste

Eik Hermann, Mihkel Tüür, Rene Valner

Jury's comment: "Global climate change forces us to radically redefine architecture. The exhibition approached the issue from a broad perspective: from private houses to global warming. Based on their analysis the curators offered clearly stated solutions to private consumers as well as the state as a whole. The exhibition had a clear manner of presentation and an attractive design. Another forte of the exhibition was its web archive. Hopefully, this was a trailblazing endeavour that will lead the way for all the following exhibits on this pressing subject matter."

GALLERY: Photos: Tõnu Tunnel