Most of today’s high-rise buildings in Tallinn have been concentrated in Maakri Quarter. The combination of modern skyscrapers and historic houses creates a slightly chaotic yet dense and unique city centre. For the 26-storey Skyon building, we aimed to create a distinct visual image against the surrounding high-rise buildings, offering a truly iridescent spectacle with orthogonal forms as a contrast to the surrounding bluish grey glass surfaces. The glazing of the facade is modular – divided into similar-looking rectangles, which are divided into triangles. There are up to 10 different elements. In combination, these achieve a dynamic pattern where repetitions are difficult to see. To achieve energy efficiency, 50% of the glass facade is insulated – these areas are marked with colourful glass. All this is effectively tied together by the flickering light that covers the entire building and comes to life at night, bringing out the pattern covering the facade. What results is a distinctive high-rise that is visually dynamic and striking from both near and far. With smart solutions, Skyon offers the best working conditions in the area and is truly sustainable and energy efficient, using cool night air for pre-cooling, for example. The modular system of the seemingly complex facade allows for more flexibility and combinations of elements. The tower part of the building clearly steps back from the street, softening the effect of the building’s volume on a street lined with historic buildings. The restaurant behind the glass facade on the ground floor brings a southern atmosphere and cosiness to the street. The most important element of the part facing onto the street is the metropolitan-looking entrance. The lobby extending through three stories offers stunning views of the neighbouring towers over the roofs of the historic buildings across Maakri Street.
The Rotermann Quarter plays an important role in the history of Tallinn. The former industrial quarter has gradually brought new contemporary architecture to Tallinn’s city centre. As a new commercial building, Rotermann 6 serves as an outstanding entrance to the inner area of the Rotermann Quarter, creating an urban accent. Therefore, we considered it important that Rotermann Bakery convey the rhythms of the quarter and be an integral part of the larger whole, while having a clearly distinguishable identity. During the reconstruction of the protected volume of the building, we placed great emphasis on valuing the preserved elements. The architectural solution of the building has been inspired by the volumetric divisions and rhythms of industrial architecture, and the new parts of the building add similar articulations. The distribution of building volumes follows the scales characteristic of the quarter, at the same time supporting the public space of the narrow intermediate streets reminiscent of the Old Town. A cantilever volume was installed above the entrance to the building, which hangs above the street, creating the impression of lightness or weightlessness. The glass facade of the new part and the limestone textures of the old industrial buildings work together as contrasts of volume and materials. The glass facade of the new parts of the building is articulated with metal partitions in a honeycomb structure, thus creating a repetitive rhythm characteristic of the building. The lighting solution for the building is hidden in the covering elements of the facade, which, glowing at night, marks the passage of time at a calm pace, creating an accent on the building, yet without becoming dominant. By preserving and restoring the limestone exterior walls and load-bearing interior walls as much as possible, the building has also received a technically excellent and uniform final solution.
KOKO architects is a Tallinn based architecture firm founded in 2000, working in fields of urbanism, architecture, interior architecture, landscape architecture, graphic design, research and development, product design. We are focused on unique city situations, revitalisations of houses and quarters – changing the drive and function and sense of flow.
We look for the innovative approach, environmentally conscious and intelligent solutions for the designs of our surrounding cityscape. Over the past 20 years we have created more than 100 buildings, among them many residential houses, offices, hotels, spas and museums, old and new revitalisations with annual design volume about 150 000 m2. Our biggest and recent works include Estonian Pavilion at EXPO2020 Dubai, Skyon, Rotermann Bakery, Vesilennuki commercial apartment buildings and Volta residences. We have also won numerous prices, including Mies van der Rohe Award and Europa Nostra Awards 2013, both with Seaplane Harbour.
We have been involved in projects in Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Kazakhstan, Italy, Germany, France, Norway, Georgia, and United Arab Emirates.