The winner of the architectural competition for the development of the Tallinn Port Area is a leading agency from London

The winner of the international architectural competition for the development of the Tallinn Port Area is a London based architectural bureau Chapman Taylor, led by the architect Tom Klinghoz, whose design “1959” will serve as the basis for building the Porto Franco shopping and office centre, featuring a unique glass top pedestrian street and a seaside promenade.

According to Aldo Dapon, a member of the management board of Porto Franco OÜ, it was a high-level competition, and the concept of the winning entry and its well-designed solutions make it possible to move forward with the project rather soon. The award panel also recognised the entry entitled “Tectonic”, and the developer will start negotiating with the authors of this entry from the architectural bureau Kadarik, Tüür. Arhitektid of Estonia, in order to involve them in creating the final design.

‘To mark Estonia’s Centennial, we intend to build the largest shopping and office campus in the city on the site that is currently a wasteland. Porto Franco will become a true heart of the city, which – along with other leisure and residential developments in the neighbourhood – will finally open Tallinn to the sea,’ said Dapon. ‘Construction of the Northern route, which will start in coming years, and cleaning up the areas around the City Hall will shift the centre of gravity of the city into this direction, and Porto Franco, on their part, will make their best efforts to provide people a modern and high-quality environment for work and leisure.’ The total value of the project is ca 160 million euros.

Besides expanding the leisure and shopping options for city residents, the developments in the region will also boost Tallinn’s attractiveness, above all, for foreign visitors who arrive in Estonia through the passenger and cruise port. ‘While today the nearly 10 million tourists who enter Estonia via the sea port are greeted by an abandoned wasteland, in just a couple of years this area will be adorned by a snazzy promenade and a modern city centre with many cafés and restaurants, all designed by acclaimed architects,’ said Dapon. ‘Let it be our symbolic gift to Estonia for her Centennial and the Presidency of the European Union,’ he added.

A total of 22 entries were submitted to the Porto Franco architectural competition, of which seven architectural offices made it to the finals. According to Endrik Mänd, Chief Architect of Tallinn and a member of the competition’s award panel, the winning entry provided a strong and functional layout solution for both the shopping centre and the office areas, and therefore was the most consistent with the assignment given. ‘However, there is still a lot of work to be done in order to reach an equivalent spatial and architectural quality in such important and challenging urban environment,’ said Mänd, emphasising the need to design public shopping streets in essential directions of pedestrian traffic, which could partly run through the building.

The author of the winning entry is the London-based international architectural bureau Chapman Taylor, which is one of the world’s most acclaimed and multi-award-winning developers and designers of and commercial property solutions.

The shareholders of Porto Franco are successful Estonian capital-based companies which, in addition to their core business, have started investing in long-term projects creating added value to Estonia’s economic environment.

Porto Franco Architectural vision by Chapman Taylor’s

Architectural example of Porto Franco by Chapman Taylor

Architectural example of Porto Franco by Chapman Taylor

Aldo Dapon, Chairman of the Board of Porto Franco, congratulates Chapman Taylor London architect Tom Klingholz, winner of the architectural competition