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I’m Alper Kokcu. Join my journey where I am exploring cultures and ideas via the connection of art, nature and architecture.

Lootsi Apartment Building

Lootsi Apartment Building

On my previous video, I showed you a housing project in Singapore by Daniel Libeskind, which was not well integrated with the city. Today I will bring you to Tallinn, the capital of Estonia and we will check Lootsi Apartment building, which is touching the city in a respectful way instead.

Lootsi Apartment is located very close to the port of Tallinn. The port of Tallinn was given to the private sector during the 90s and by this, the neighborhood around the port started to get developed.

Although the region around the port is very close to the historical old town, during the Soviet time this territory was far away from the active city life, since they mostly had warehouses around. The renovations in the mid of 90s brought bunch of new functions with new arrangements.

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During our Baltic trip in the winter of 2016, we visited this area too and Lootsi Apartment project took my attention. This is a building in Lootsi Street and designed by Hayashi Grossschmidt Architects. The partners of this design studio are Hanno Grossschmidt from Estonia and Tomomi Hayashi from Japan. This project was the winner of an invited competition.

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When you see the building from far, that green colored glass on long surface and rusted metal looking shorter sides are showing themselves first. When you come closer, you understand that the green colored glasses have textures on them and side facades are not rusted, they have panels with wood veneer instead.

But those materials are not the most interesting parts of the Lootsi Apartment building. When you walk around the building, you see that it is on a triangle shaped plot and on each edge of that plot, the building steps back and gives us, to pedestrians some more space.

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Yes, this is not something new, but I can’t stop loving it. You may tell that this extra rooms are not enough for any kind of function. Well for me it doesn’t matter. Even if you are just passing by, it is far better than walking next to a tall surface.

This welcoming approach is like the way the building greets you. For me it is like walking in your neighborhood and saying hi to the people on a cafe or a market. Beside, this alignment of the building creates an alternative to those block type apartment buildings we are seeing almost in every corner of a city. The commercial units on the ground floor supports this effort too, by given chance to us to use those public areas.

Interior photo from Agoda

Interior photo from Agoda

When we were there, we didn’t enter the building, but if you will type Lootsi Apartments in Google, you will see tons of interior photos on some rental websites. Only after checking those photos, I had a bit of disappointment.

I think that those usual tiny rooms don’t fit that respectful urban touch at all. But apart from that, I guess this building gives you what you are expecting from a modern apartment building.

If you are living in an apartment building, now you write me below how is yours comparing to this one.


Further reading:

Architectural Studio’s WebSite

http://hga.ee/tag/residential/

History of the Port of Tallinn

https://www.portoftallinn.com/history


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