Tartu is known for its cultural and educational privileges and counts as Estonia’s capital for education. That is why we at Kalbod Design Studio decided to design a cultural center in the most historical district in Tartu by the river Emajõgi, where the reuse and repurposing of the town is ongoing.
The design process started with understanding the need to preserve the balance between the site's historical significance and integrating modern design elements that promote sustainability. We were inspired by the apparent 5,10,5 proportion of the neighboring buildings and the 3x3 axis network that has been developed throughout the ages on the city’s plan; we were able to meet the historical and modern requirements of the project by using fill and void mixture of blocks and openings.
Adding the local wood as an indoor, outdoor, and structural material for most parts of the project, we were able to noticeably decrease the required time and energy for the construction and lower the cultural center's carbon footprint. To meet the much-required social sustainability for this area, our design is shaped to provide easy and exciting access from different points and mediums.
The Central Pathway also plays a significant role in the project as it provides places for everyone to hang out, study, work, or gather around while preserving the historical local market that has been active for ages. This pathway reaches different building areas, such as the town’s Library, Modern Museum, and Art Workshops. Still, following the main pathway will lead you from the riverside over the park and the different events taking place on it while it ends with an amazing outdoor cinema.


Max Height: 20 Meters
Min Height: 4.5 Meters
Site Area: 45000 sqm
Built Area: 25000 sqm
Materials: Ash Wood for Construction, Facade Panels, and interior finishings, Switchable Glass

Principal Architect: Mohamad Rahimizadeh
Lead Architect: Shaghayegh Nemati
Architects: Hosein Roasai, Ziba Baghban, Pardis Ahmadi, Zahra Tavassoli, Farnaz Ejlali, Mahdi Jam


Kalbod Design Studio