The new Estonian National Museum in Tartu, designed by Ghotmeh-Tane-Dorell Architects, is an extension of a former Soviet airstrip. Its new structure, shaped as a long, open hall which can be organised and partitioned off in various ways, can act as a stage for different museum activities. The slightly tilted roof forms a roof plaza overlooking the untouched surrounding landscape that preserves the region’s characteristic features, defining a continuous public milieu.
The one-storey building traverses the site in a northeast to southwest direction, forming a bridge across the stream that divides the city and the county of Tartu. Here the ascent of the roof plaza sets the stage for a dramatic interpretation of the environment, while simultaneously making an allusion to the past – a “palimpsestic approach to the object’s history.” M.P.