Tallinn, Estonia

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photos by:
November 9, 2009
Originally published in Back to Basics

Since the fall of the USSR, Tallinn has managed to look unblinkingly to the future while still retaining vital elements of its past. A hotbed of northern art and design encircling a UNESCO World Heritage site, this Baltic City is fast becoming an architect’s paradise.

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  The changing shape of Tallinn’s skyline is hotly debated, though coherent urban planning that incorporates renewable energy, energy efficiency, and natural lighting is on the rise.
    The changing shape of Tallinn’s skyline is hotly debated, though coherent urban planning that incorporates renewable energy, energy efficiency, and natural lighting is on the rise.
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  Stereo — Harju 6,
    Stereo — Harju 6,
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  Elevant
 — Vene 5, Avatud E-P 12-23
    Elevant — Vene 5, Avatud E-P 12-23
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  Kumu Art Museum — Weizenbergi 34
    Kumu Art Museum — Weizenbergi 34
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  Snelli Park, one of a necklace of lawns beside the old battlements, offers year-round recreation, whether ice-skating on the moat or picnicking on the grass.
    Snelli Park, one of a necklace of lawns beside the old battlements, offers year-round recreation, whether ice-skating on the moat or picnicking on the grass.
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  As a symbol of Tallinn’s architectural rebirth, the Fahle House by local firm KOKO is deliberately conspicuous, thanks to the glass apartment box perched like a parasite atop the old limestone structure.
    As a symbol of Tallinn’s architectural rebirth, the Fahle House by local firm KOKO is deliberately conspicuous, thanks to the glass apartment box perched like a parasite atop the old limestone structure.
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  The Kumu Art Museum, designed by Finnish architect Pekka Vapaavuori, showcases primarily Estonian art in a building defined by clean lines, limestone, and glass.
    The Kumu Art Museum, designed by Finnish architect Pekka Vapaavuori, showcases primarily Estonian art in a building defined by clean lines, limestone, and glass.
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  Kultuurikatel — Pohja Road 27 A & B
    Kultuurikatel — Pohja Road 27 A & B
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  Sushi House — Rataskaevu 16,
    Sushi House — Rataskaevu 16,
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  Tallinn Synagogue — 16 Karu
    Tallinn Synagogue — 16 Karu
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  An expansive plaza leads to the entryway of the harborside Linnahall, a bulky, symmetrical concrete-and-stone concert hall.
    An expansive plaza leads to the entryway of the harborside Linnahall, a bulky, symmetrical concrete-and-stone concert hall.
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  Kunstihoone— Vabaduse väljak 6
    Kunstihoone— Vabaduse väljak 6
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  Snelli Park — Toompuistee, bastion belt greenery west of the Old Town.
    Snelli Park — Toompuistee, bastion belt greenery west of the Old Town.
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  Harjumägi — Komendandi, adjacent to St. Nicholas Church.
    Harjumägi — Komendandi, adjacent to St. Nicholas Church.
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  Reet Aus — Müürivahe 19
    Reet Aus — Müürivahe 19
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  Kunstihoone Art Hall is a center for avant-garde art, which it displays in a flowing gallery space replete with an illuminated glass ceiling.
    Kunstihoone Art Hall is a center for avant-garde art, which it displays in a flowing gallery space replete with an illuminated glass ceiling.
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  Puppet Theater (Eesti Nukuteater) — Lai 1/3
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  The students at the Estonian Academy of Arts, an influential design force, readily interact with the public, who can view their works in the lobby.
    The students at the Estonian Academy of Arts, an influential design force, readily interact with the public, who can view their works in the lobby.
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  Rotermann Quarter — at the cross streets of Mere and Narva Ahtri.
    Rotermann Quarter — at the cross streets of Mere and Narva Ahtri.
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  Ringed by cafes and restaurants, vibrant Town Hall Square has been the center of public events, from executions to festivals, for centuries.
    Ringed by cafes and restaurants, vibrant Town Hall Square has been the center of public events, from executions to festivals, for centuries.
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