The competition was organized by SA Uue Kunsti Muuseum in cooperation with the Union of Estonian Architects and Pärnu City Government.
The contest aimed to find the best spatial solution for establishing an art park in the heart of Pärnu for countries bordering the Baltic Sea. The art park will be located on the left shore of Pärnu River, close to the only road bridge, the historical Suursild (Great Bridge). On the floating pavilions of the Baltic Sea Art Park, the art, architecture, film, and folk culture of countries bordering the Baltic Sea shall be exhibited.
The competitors had to find a spatial solution for both the park on the left shore of Pärnu River, in the direction of the headwaters from the Suursild, and the area of garages and the historic granite pier, as well as to present the architectural sketch solution for the main building located on dry land and to propose the sketch for one sample pavilion located in the water.
According to the international jury, the winning entry is characterized by an outstanding design and a strong urban concept. This was also one of the few entries, the authors of which had thought about the usability in a complete and practical way. The entry looked further from the river shore and also provided solutions for the rest of the beach area. According to the jury, such a vision brings a new landmark to Pärnu that could become a great platform for presenting the works of artists from the Baltic Sea countries.
The winning entry was considered to be the best artistic solution to connect the past and the future in the historic Hanseatic city.
The Baltic Sea Art Park international architectural competition lasted a bit longer than three months, and 78 entries from 21 countries all over the world were submitted. Our prodject was awarded with the first mention.
The jury considered the following aspects of the design solutions important with respect to the traditions of urban planning and architecture in Estonia:
- Visibility – making a statement in the cityscape
- Practicability – usable exhibition halls, different administration functions
- Urban situation – traffic flow, connections with the river, bridge and neighboring areas
- Pavilions – possibility for the Baltic Sea countries to run architectural competitions for design of their national pavilions.
Our solution involved a noninvasive attitude towards the park, in which both vegetation and existing pedestrian networks were preserved and integrated into the new ones.
The visibility and the landmark character were followed by rising the proposed main building above the tree line and shaping it into a boldness form.
The urban space was imagined as a populated active space in which the main building is converted into a projections wall for different activities – visuals, movies, concerts or theater.
The 10 mobile pavilions and the main building were designed as a complementary ART KIT-SET, both in form and functionality.
The main building houses the exhibition spaces and other secondary functions. The restaurant -cafe at the top level is a great view point over the urban-river landscape crossing the bridge, with the pavilions and the park.