The most important factor for the design of the building is its location within the old town of Tartu. Magistri St, along which the building site stretches, is in immediate connection to the Town Hall Square of Tartu but doesn’t currently offer any space of interest for pedestrians. Because of that, the main goal of the project is to activate the street and make it part of the network of public spaces of the old town.
The second factor was the potential of the function and the typology. Parking might usually be seen as a hinderance for public space, but on the other hand the typology of a parking building allows for an interesting dialogue between interior and exterior and public and private spaces.
Thanks to the wedged shape of the site, the main parking function is moved away from the narrow Magistri St and the building is divided into three volumes: parking, ramp and an additional volume for commercial uses. The commercial volume is working as a buffer between the parking and the street and gives a full height active facade to the public space.
The main tool for articulating the building into its separate parts is a big public stair which connects the streetscape to all the different levels of the building and ends up on the roof, which in turn becomes an additional public space for the city, overlooking the Emajõgi river. The roofscape becomes a shared space where parking, public and commercial coexist and blend into each other.
The facades are pigmented concrete, which is simultaneously the main structure of the building. The different parts of the building have different pigments, borrowing their tones from the pastel facades of the surrounding historical buildings.