Built almost a century ago to house military personnel in Tondi, the barracks will be ready to host a range of businesses from 2024. Behind the historic facade are offices with a minimalist design, and one of the first tenants, Olari Tõnison (Outl1ne), reveals what attracted them. Margit Argus (Studio Argus), the building’s interior architect, talks about the art of combining old and new.
The house where soldiers slept.
Tondi military fortress was built for the naval garrison service personnel in 1912. The barracks buildings of the complex have two high floors and an attic. There was a long corridor running along one axis in the middle of the buildings and military accommodation on the sides. Architect Argus noted that, as all the rooms were heated by stoves, there were many chimneys visible from a distance.
While historically the buildings were used more horizontally – the main logistics went through a long corridor – now an old barracks, converted into offices, has used a vertical logic. “We took advantage of the long corridors and created office spaces running through three floors,” Argus described. Each office has a separate entrance on the park side with a small front fence.
The interior will be dominated by an imposing steel staircase, which will be either blue, red or black. If the tenant books the room in advance, they will be able to choose the shade of their choice. “Otherwise, we keep the spaces as simple as possible and mainly follow a minimalist principle,” said Argus. But the main aim is to showcase the red brick wall, which is a defining feature of the building’s design.
According to Argus, the space solutions are mainly aimed at smaller or medium-sized businesses, design studios and creative agencies. The office is around three hundred square metres.
Outline OÜ, a company that sells both digital products and software solutions, is one of the companies moving into the unique office building. According to the company’s representative, Olari Tõnison, Park Tondi was chosen for its special atmosphere and historical value.
“We were looking for an office that had character and would suit our software boutique. It was important to have a working environment that would support creativity and also have all the amenities. When you look at the city centre, most buildings don’t have a distinctive character, Park Tond didn’t have that concern,” described Tõnison. In addition, he pointed to the good connections to the city centre and the airport, which make the commute very convenient.
“High ceilings, an industrial environment, but a spacious and bright interior creates an inspiring atmosphere and is different from other similar office spaces in the Tallinn rental market,” Argus said, listing the plus points of the new office.
The modern office building, which will be completed in 2024 in the old barracks, will be part of the Park Tondi residential and commercial complex, which will be built between Tammsaare Road and Tondi Street. The barracks, which are more than 100 years old, will be converted into office buildings and 3 new buildings will be built next to them. In total, 48 apartments with unique architecture and 25 000 m2 of modern office space will be built.
If the whole quarter is completed within two years, the first copper office building (Tammsaare tee 56) will be ready to move into in February. The 7-storey, low-energy office building will stand out for its well thought-out spatial solutions, smart building automation and energy-efficient technical systems.