Linnahall building. Photo courtesy of the Estonian Museum of Architecture

Continuing the Flock of Ideas series of creative competitions, organised by the platform Tandeems in collaboration with the residency programme Vares.Space, this week, from February 19 to 26, an ideas competition is taking place about the future of the monumental but currently unused Linnahall building. The idea competition is open to architects, designers, urban planners, and other creative professionals and students. The three best ideas will each receive a prize of 1000 euros. 

Stories Editorial February 19, 2024

Linnahall, also known as Tallinn City Hall, was built in 1980 on the Tallinn seafront as a concert and sports venue with a 4300-seat amphitheater, a 3000-seat ice rink, and several smaller functions. Looking both ancient and futuristic, it is undoubtedly one of the most impressive architectural landmarks in Estonia, yet the building has proven to be a difficult piece of heritage for the pragmatic mindset of later periods. Linnahall closed its doors to the public in 2010 due to bad construction quality and a lack of care. Its vast roofscapes have remained open for strolls, however. Linnahal continues to stir public debate at regular intervals, remaining perhaps the most discussed and culturally charged piece of architecture in Estonia.

The competition explores the possible futures of Linnahall. What is and what could be the purpose of Linnahall? Are there some minimal interventions that could save the building from decay? What are the potential uses, ownership schemes, and ways of financing? Does the building have to earn a profit to justify taking up such a large amount of space in the city? Could «profit» be understood in some other way that is more favourable to the building as it now stands? Would the disappearance of Linnahall impoverish Tallinn as a cultural centre? The organisers of the competition seek to collect visions, dreams, grounded solutions, delicate interventions, and constructive utopias that imagine new uses for this extraordinary building, hoping to expand the imagination of both the citizens and the decision-makers regarding the Linnahall.


The competition is part of the Flock of Ideas idea competition series and is organised by Vares.Space Architecture Residency in Estonia, Latvian idea competition platform Tandeems, and the Tallinn Strategic Management Office. The competition is open to practicing and emerging creatives, and there is also an ideas competition for youth. Contestants have until February 26 to submit 1–3 illustrations and an accompanying text in English or Estonian outlining their idea for the use of Linnahall. The best three entries, which will be determined by the sum of the votes of the jury, the public, and the youth, will each receive 1000 euros.


The competition materials will be available on the Tandeems website.