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Tartu presented the Downtown Cultural Centre as a nationally important cultural object

Tartu City Government Press Release

31 August / The Tartu City Government submitted a proposal to the Cultural Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu to support the construction of a Downtown Cultural Centre Tartu as a nationally important cultural object. The Downtown Cultural Centre will create modern conditions for the Tartu Art Museum, Tartu City Library, and other cultural organizers in Tartu and Southern Estonia.

According to Tartu Mayor Urmas Klaas, the origins behind the idea for the Downtown Cultural Centre arise from the need for modern premises for the Art Museum and City Library; however, in cooperation with local cultural organizers, it has grown into an idea that will develop the entire region. ‘We want to create an environment where culture, the arts and different communities can work together, with synergies arising between fields and creators. The Downtown Cultural Centre must become a hospitable and well-thought-out public space, where everyone is welcome – whether it be to take part in culture, create it, or communicate with one another,’ Klaas added.

Modern conditions for the Tartu Art Museum have been planned within the Downtown Cultural Centre, which will enable world-class guest exhibitions to be brought to Southern Estonia, and for masterpieces of Estonian art – currently hidden away in collections – to be exhibited, for which there are no opportunities available today. The Tartu Art Museum’s exceptionally valuable collection currently consists of more than 20,000 unique works of art.

The Tartu City Library will also be afforded modern opportunities. The library of the 21st century – especially in Tartu, which carries the title of UNESCO City of Literature – is increasingly a meeting place for generations and the intertwining of arts, education and business. Opportunities for hobby education, lifelong learning and social activities will be created as an entirely new value.

In addition, the Cultural Centre will have a complex of event rooms, with a central role being played by a 500 seat multifunctional hall, for all kinds of musical events, performing arts and conferences, being of central importance. Previous analysis has shown that there is a need for such a hall in Tartu.

In order to strengthen interdisciplinary cooperation, everything that happens in the building will be curated jointly. Together with the building’s own architectural value, virtually all fields of art will be covered: literature, cultural heritage, visual arts, performing arts, architecture, design, music, cinema and creative entrepreneurship in general.

The Cultural Centre, which is connected to the City Centre Park, will become an integrated public space together with the surrounding green area and the nearby Emajõgi River. The use of smart building solutions and green materials are conditions that have been set for organizing the planned architectural competition.

Proposal by the City of Tartu to the Cultural Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (in Estonian)
Video introducing the Downtown Cultural Centre (in Estonian)

Additional information: Tartu Mayor Urmas Klaas, Tel: 736-1221, 513-5145; city architect Tõnis Arjus, Tel: 5304-6148.

Last changed 03.09.2020