History


 

The Metro Plaza building is located in the heart of Tallinn, just a few steps from the historical origin of the major routes linking Tallinn with the rest of the world. It is between the mediaeval Old Town and the rapidly developing modern city centre. The fact that the building lies on the boundary between different eras is reflected in the appearance of the building. The first storeys of the Metro Plaza rest on the century-old walls of the Rotermann Department Store. The upper stories of the building are set back an increment from the old walls and present a presentable, calm exterior. Because the old walls were preserved, the side of the building facing Viru väljak and Mere puiestee is transformed into an arcade street for pedestrians with an Old Town-like ambience, especially at night when illuminated.

The upper storeys have plenty of light and air, with a high-quality interior climate. The Mere puiestee side affords views of the Old Town and Toompea, and looking down Mere puiestee, the new buildings in the port area and the Rotermann Quarter are visible. In the direction of the Viru roundabout, one can see the Tammsaare park and Pärnu maantee all the way to the Drama Theatre. In the evenings, the building's storeys glow with light, helping create a big-city atmosphere in the plaza. Metro Plaza was designed by KOKO architects.

  

History

Once a department store and residence, the building commissioned by Tallinn merchant and industrialist Christian Rotermann plays a major role in the development of Tallinn's central point. After the building was completed, the building's front served as one of the city's most important squares. Initially known as Vene turg, it later became the origin of the highways leading to Tartu, Pärnu and Narva, and the point of departure for intercity bus lines in the 1920s and 1930s.

Originally devoted to stores and apartments, the building has for most of its history been used by educational institutions: the Russian Alexander School, an upper secondary school for girls, a technical school and the Tallinn Pedagogical University. With Metro Plaza, the building will regain some of its initial functions.

The Viru Väljak 2 building began to be built by merchant Christian Rotermann in 1849. The building, which housed a shop, was built on one of the finest construction plots outside the Old Town. The southern side of the building was situated along Narva maantee, which began at the Viru gate. The shape and façade of the building was shaped in the Historicist era based on Neoclassical architecture.

In about 1871, the building was sold to the city of Tallinn and converted into a school, and a year later the Alexander Nevsky upper secondary school for boys was launched here. The shops and the apartments in the building were converted and the staircases demolished. In 1900, a new main stair was built for the schoolhouse and the building was expended in the direction of the courtyard. The upper secondary school for boys operated until 1917.

The plan for Greater Tallinn compiled by Eliel Saarinen envisioned Tallinn as a metropolis. An office building was built along Mere puiestee of the red brick used for the Rotermann factory buildings. It was expected that the school building would be demolished and the street frontage was thus already being changed. This intention was foiled by World War I. In the 1930s it was reconsidered, but it again came to naught due to the next war. After the Viru Hotel was built, thoughts of demolition again were entertained, but never seriously. In 1995, the building was placed under national protection as a historical monument.

During the first era of Estonian independence, the building was home to the Upper Secondary School No. 1 for girls; after World War II, School No. 49 for Special Industry; and later, the Tallinn Pedagogical University. The building underwent few alterations in these years. In the 1950s, the traditional stoves were replaced with metal ones and the entrances from Mere puiestee were closed.

 Source: Andres Sildre

Technical information

Floors 7 (-2)
Neto space of the building (m2)10 509,6
- Neto space above ground (m2) 7 881,7
Office facilities (m2) 5 547,6
Retail facilities (m2) 1 579,4
Parking lots (underground) 78
Elevators 13 pers/1000 kg 1,6 m/s 2
  
Beginning of the constructionSeptember 2007
End of the constructionBeginning of 2009
Construction companyFacio Ehituse AS 
ArchitectsRaivo Kotov, Kaur Stöör (KOKO bureau)