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  • Straw Theatre in Tallinn

    ECC 2011, No99 Straw Theatre, Tallinn

    Text: Eszter Götz
    Architects: Salto Architects
    Photos: Martin Siplane, Paul Aguraiuja, Karli Luik


    The unique theatre of Europe built from straw only stood in the capital of Estonia for six months on the ruins of a former Soviet naval base. It was built in 2011 with the purpose to function as the venue for some unique programmes of the Tallinn European Cultural Centre that summer. It stood on the top of a former Baroque-style earthwork called Skoone bastion. In the early 20th century the bastion was used as an urban garden, whilst in the Soviet era it was a recreational facility for the officers of the Soviet navy next to a summer timber theatre, whilst there was a beautifully groomed landscaped park on top of the earthwork. Almost simultaneously with the Velvet Revolution, the timber theatre burned down almost to the ground, then the Soviet troops left the country. The fortification has stood as a functionless structure ever since, closed down and left to deterioration in the heart of the city. The construction of the Straw Theatre thus cured an aching spot of Tallinn’s past, showing its potentials by its temporary utilisation.