Tartu Waldorf Centre
- by Tapia + Figueiras Arquitectos
The starting point of the design is the conservation and renovation of the existing former church-mess hall and the public character of the future complex. This project will consolidate and reinforce image of the northwest area of the city of Tartu.
One of the priorities is to keep the low density of the area due to the great quality of the landscape from the entrance of the city from the north.
Buildings that should compose the complex (kindergarten, school, social center and renovated church-mess hall) will be designed independently. Link between them will be the several outdoor areas that are asked for in the complex. It is recognized as the main building and façade of the whole, the former military building. So the other three buildings are set back behind the main one in the plot and neither their overall heights are greater than the church-mess hall one to leave priority to this building. So they will be placed in the best positions and orientation for each, as well as take into account the possibility of stepwise construction.
To perform the step of positioning the buildings and courtyards, it’s essential to define protected spaces from the winds of the north and opened up towards the sun, but also partly sheltered by the trees. Buildings will be located along the plot and between them there will be located these protected courtyards.
First, on the north of the plot, the building of the school (the largest of them) will be placed and which will also be the building connected to the renovated building church-mess hall. It will also become as a protecting border element between the outdoor areas of the complex and the great leisure park located towards the north.
The school joins to the existing building in a lateral point on the west side of the plot, so it will be possible to generate several courtyards between de existing and the new building. The link element will have an adequate size and it will be used like main entrance of the school and will compose de west façade of the Waldorf complex. Second, on the south of the plot, the kindergarten will be located. it is located next to the church-mess hall along the Peetri street. Its development will be the first stage of the stepwise construction. Due to its position on the plot and the school one, various courtyards will arise at different levels between them.
Finally, on the southeast of the plot, the social centre will be located. since this will be the last step in the construction, this building will be border of the complex in the opposite side of the link piece of the church-mess hall and school.
The buildings emerge from a clear and vigorous expression that, in some ways, will be even independent of the own characteristics of the ground. separate volumes are interconnected via a sunken courtyard; the forum, an open social green space (play ground of the kindergarten, walking path on different levels, small ponds, multi-ball field, etc…) which serves as the Waldorf complex heart.