Tales of Reval 31.08.2017

Zaha Hadid x Old City Harbour


More than 1000 years Tallinn has been one of the most fascinating harbour cities of the North. From Viking times to Hanseatic merchants and naval ports of Peter the Great, the coastline of Tallinn has seen it all. The past few decades the area has also witnessed abandonment and lack of vision – once so picturesque space with its endless canals, romantic bridges, trees and shrubs suddenly became a home for junkies, bleareyed Finns and dusty parking lots.

For many years we’ve been publicly calling attention to the sprucing of our harbours and coastal line. As for every port city, a harbour plays a major role as the city’s gateway, kind of a facade of the town. We’ve stood for abundant greenery, trees, cosy little pathways, yachts and promenades, truly great Nordic restaurants and bakeries that would also attract a local, not just one-time tourists. Even the canals could be open again, little bridges here and there would definitely compliment the idyllic atmosphere.

A few days ago we heard that finally there is a reason to gladden the spirit – one of the most visionary creators known as Zaha Hadid Architects will take over the project of Tallinn’s Old City Harbour. As the first sketches have been published, we may witness wellness gardens, parks and leisure pools, Gaudi-like forms, remarkable Venus Project-like architecture, and believe it or not – even some bridges…

This news made us truly happy and we keep our fingers crossed that finally one of the most magical areas in Tallinn will also make room for the people, that it will become a place where we’ll all find a reason to come together. From the aerial perspective it’s possible to draw anything, let’s hope that the trees and gardens will truly come to life and that each house they plan will truly be worthy of the name, Zaha Hadid.