Gallery: see how the former Tondi barracks will become a modern office building


Built in 1912 for the naval garrison service personnel, the historic Tondi Barracks will take on a whole new meaning and significance. Park Tondi’s sales manager Sandra Metsa and Studio ARGUSE interior architect Margit Argus talked about how one of Tallinn’s most distinctive office buildings was born. 

Drifting light and space

The building has an attic, which was historically an unheated space, and two high floors. During the renovation, the roof will be insulated and the third floor will be used as an anthracite corridor. Whereas the building was originally used more horizontally – i.e. the main logistics went along a long corridor – the use of space is now vertical, i.e. through three floors. 

In front of each office entrance are large wooden terraces, which the tenant can decorate as he wishes.

“All the terraces face south, which is a great advantage in our climate,” says Argus. 

The spaces are spacious and transparent, and thanks to the office space’s floor-to-ceiling layout, there is plenty of daylight throughout. Large windows, high ceilings and glass surfaces create a modern and contemporary working environment in a historically industrial building. In the central core, the ceilings are a little lower because this is a transit area – there are suspended ceilings that conceal the technical systems.

“We want the aesthetics of the space to be rather clean and minimalist,” says Argus.

Modern work environment in historic premises

In the modern terraced offices of Tondi 57, a great deal of attention is paid to good ventilation, indoor climate and also lighting. When designing the ventilation, the ventilation engineer takes into account the current building regulations, regardless of whether the building is new or being renovated. Good air circulation is important – then people will feel comfortable and work well in the room.

“If the CO2 level in a room gets too high, people get tired and drowsy,” explains Argus. 

The new office space will be dominated by an imposing steel staircase, which will be the accent feature of any office – whether blue, red or black. Each tenant can choose the shade of colour that makes the office special and personal.

“Other than that, we keep the space as simple as possible,” says Argus. The plan is to exhibit a red brick wall, which is a structural part of the building. 

When it comes to blending the modern with the historic, the biggest interloper is the steel-constructed interior staircase. “It creates a nice contrast between the new and the old and is in dialogue with the historic,” Argus pointed out. “And, of course, the new technical systems, but they are skilfully hidden in chimney flues and shafts that blend into the architecture of the building like a camouflage.”

“We have currently proposed three shades – electric blue, burgundy and black – but the developer is allowing flexibility in the choice of colours,” said Argus.

Who would these offices be suitable for?

The nearly 100-square-metre offices planned for the Tondi barracks will provide inspiring working environments for smaller design studios and creative agencies.

“The high ceilings, industrial environment, yet spacious and light-filled interiors are unlike any other similar office space on the Tallinn rental market,” said Argus. The spaces are designed in such a way that each prospective tenant can furnish the space as they wish. 

“Judging by the profiles of current prospective tenants and tenants, architects, marketing companies, media agencies and event marketing companies, for example, who want something different and with character, tend to prefer this type of space,” said Sandra Metsa, sales manager at Park Tondi. “In addition, smaller IT companies have also shown interest, wanting to offer their employees a unique working environment.”

An area with everything

The charm of Tondi lies in the interweaving of different types of buildings – historic barracks, single-family houses, new developments and commercial buildings from different eras. According to Metsa, the area’s location, well-developed infrastructure, natural beauty and nearby services are major advantages. The advantage of location is created by the road network and public transport connections. 

The location of Park Tondi is unique, as the building is located in the twin lane of a main road, which provides excellent visibility and accessibility for businesses. Also, it does not take excessive time to reach the port, bus station or airport. The Tondi area is a green living environment, mainly low-rise buildings and a sufficient amount of tall vegetation. 

Park Tondi’s sales manager, Sandra Metsa, said that the project will be completed in several phases and the office buildings in the barracks will be ready in 2024.

Find out more about Park Tondi and the new office buildings.