В начало Карта Постройки Литература Ссылки Архив гостевой книги Eng

International competitions and the rise of professional contacts

The emergence of architects-enterpreneurs and development of a capitalist market for architecture caused a boom in architectural competitions all over Europe.

The largest architectural competition in Tallinn was organised in 1906 for the German Theatre. It attracted 61 entries Germany, Russia, Austria, Finland and Latvia.

The theatre was an important monument for Baltic-Germans as it aimed to strengthen their national identity. There winning entry by St Petersburg architects Nikolai Vasilyev and Alexei Bubyr proposed a building made of heavy square limestone, with an extremely monumental outlook. According to Julius Langbehn's theory in his book "Rembrandt als Erzieher"(1890) it was heavy natural stone that was to symbolise German nationalism.


German Theatre (Drama Theatre), 1906–1910, Alexei Bubyr and Nikolai Vasilyev (St Petersburg). Project version, 1908


German Theatre (Drama Theatre), 1906–1910, Alexei Bubyr and Nikolai Vasilyev (St Petersburg)

Nikolai Vasilyev and Alexei Bubyr were less influenced by German architecture than by Finnish National Romanticism. In addition, American architecture was admired in St Petersburg; imported by the journals and personally explored by some of Russian architects during trips to America (e.g. Alexander Dmitriyev in 1904). In 1912 Dmitriyev designed a monumental building for the Russian-Baltic shipyard in Tallinn, entirely covered with "Richardsonian" rustic limestone. However, evidently catering to the patrons' directions, Vasilyev and Bubyrs' German Theatre, completed in 1910, was to be not dissimilar to some new theatres in Germany, e.g. the Hebbel Theatre in Berlin (1908, Oskar Kaufmann).


Christian Luther's villa, 67a Pärnu Road. 1909–1910, Alexei Bubyr and Nikolai Vasilyev (St Petersburg)

In 1910 Christian Luther, a member of the Society of German Theatre, also commissioned his Tallinn villa from the St Petersburg architects Vasilyev and Bubyr. It was to be one of the best Jugendstil villas in Estonia.

It displays the new idea of bourgeois domesticity where palace-like quality is replaced with practical functionality. The appearance of the facade was derived from the plan; the displacement of the windows the function and the size of the rooms.

Karin Hallas-Murula

The text and photos are taken from the book: "Architecture 1900: Stockholm, Helsinki, Tallinn, Riga, St Petersburg" Exhibition catalogue. Tallinn, 2003

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