Raine Karp / Riina Altmäe: Linnahall, 1976C–1980

  • Tallinn, Estonia, Show on map
  • #SPO #Eastern Europe
  • Linnahall is a soviet megastructure which was built as Palace of Culture and Sports for the Olympic Games in Moscow in 1980. It is a symmetrical, almost windowless building showing a distinctive material combination of concrete and limestone. It was intended to be a connection between the seaside and the town, which is why it had to be a low building to not obstruct the view of the historic town from the sea. With its many square meters of walkable rooftops and terraces and ample stairs it is reminiscent of South American native architecture though the architect Karp liked to compare it to Japanese metabolism during that time. (Text based on The Heritage. The Linnahall Concert Hall and the Post-Socialist Tallinn by Andres Kurg, 2018)

  • It was used as concert hall and sports centre. Inside it held i.a. an ice rink and an amphitheatre shaped auditorium. Already in the 1990s it was in need of renovation and since the 2000s the town of Tallinn tried to sell it. But because it was listed as a monument in 1997 it could not be demolished and thus was unattractive for investors. In 2009 it was finally closed for performances. It has been decaying ever since. There are plans to turn the building into a congress center. The city is awaiting decisions concerning EU subsidies.