Estonia to build a heritage centre for composer Arvo Pärt

A new, Spanish-designed centre, introducing composer Arvo Pärt’s creative heritage to both domestic and international visitors, is planning to open its doors in autumn 2018.

The Estonian government has allocated funds for the construction of the new building for the Arvo Pärt Centre. Designed by Fuensanta Nieto and Enrique Sobejano from the Spanish architecture firm, NietoSobejano Arquitectos, S.L.P, whose work “Tabula” was declared winner of the 2014 international architectural competition, the centre is aimed at introducing Pärt’s creative heritage through a comprehensive programme to Estonian audiences as well as foreign visitors.

“The new building will enable us to conduct various activities related to Arvo Pärt’s work, as a comprehensive personal archive and a research and study environment, mainly focusing on creation and creativity,” Anu Kivilo, the managing director of the centre, said in a statement.

“It will be possible to organise educational programmes and workshops, high-level concerts, and to help people learn to listen to music. We are hoping the centre will become a place for holding creative meetings and obtaining new knowledge, open for everyone with an interest in music.”

Design inspired by Pärt’s music

The new centre will house the archives, a library, a 140-seat auditorium, an exhibition area, a video room, classrooms and rooms for the employees. Utilising glass, timber and concrete, the building will have modern renewable energy systems and according to the construction firm responsible, would “fit the architects’ work into the local pine forest in the best way possible”.

The centre will be built for €6.69 million in Laulasmaa, a tranquil area just half-an-hour drive from Tallinn, the Estonian capital. According to the architects, the building was inspired by Pärt’s music, aiming to find a balance between modern architecture and its surrounding natural environment.

In January, Pärt was given the title of the “world’s most performed living composer” for the sixth year in a row, by the classical music event database, Bachtrack.

Watch Nora Pärt, Arvo Pärt’s wife, looking back and talking to Estonian Television about his husband’s soul-searching and creative process (the interview is in Estonian, with English subtitles.)

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Cover: The Arvo Pärt heritage centre aims to find a balance between modern architecture and its surrounding natural environment. Images courtesy of NietoSobejano Arquitectos, S.L.P, and Arvo Pärt Centre. Please consider making a donation for the continuous improvement of our publication.

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About the author: Silver Tambur

Silver Tambur is the cofounder and Editor-in-Chief of Estonian World. He has previously studied journalism at the University of Tartu, and Politics & Society at the Birkbeck College, University of London. Silver has been the editor at the Estonian Public Broadcasting’s news service in English, as well as contributing for the Business Sense magazine in the UK, Deutsche Welle and Radio New Zealand. You can also follow him on Twitter. You can write to Silver at silver@estonianworld.com.