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Tallinn launches design competition for wooden modular houses for kindergartens

The Tallinn City Property Department has launched a design competition for the Päikene and Pääsupesa kindergartens in the Põhja-Tallinn district to find environmentally sustainable solutions that would allow for the flexible adaptation of factory-made wooden modules to the kindergarten's needs. The deadline for submission of tenders is 11 October at 10 am.

In 2018, Tallinn launched a wide-ranging renovation programme for kindergartens, setting an objective to renovate all the city's kindergartens by 2030.
"The 369 Pattern Building pilot project used for this procurement can be a solution to build new kindergartens faster, as this technology is flexible and efficient. At the same time, we will not lose out on functionality or architectural quality, as the model house system is flexible enough to leave the architect room for creativity and leeway," said Vadim Belobrovtsev, Tallinn Deputy Mayor for Education. "We also want to contribute to the promotion of a circular economy in construction, which favours renewable resources and keeps materials in use for longer. This is why, for the first time, we are using a model house system for public building design, where the modules are mostly made of wood."

One of the reasons for building new kindergartens as a pilot project in the 369 Pattern Building system is that the space programme for kindergartens is clear and distinctive. The modules preproduced in the factory are expected to make the construction and assembly of the building quicker and more efficient, and as the modules can be easily combined in different ways, the kindergartens designed from them can be built in a wide range of environments and on different types of property.

The new kindergartens will be designed in the 369 Pattern Buildings system, developed by the Estonian Academy of Arts' Faculty of Architecture, with the aim of contributing to the green transition in the building sector. The use of naturally grown materials in the building structures and the reuse of building components will significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the new kindergartens. Environmental sustainability is further enhanced by the fact that the whole life cycle of the modules is considered, including subsequent disposal. The pattern building pilot project will also help to meet the objectives of the city's development strategies "Tallinn 2035" and "Climate Neutral Tallinn".

Tallinn has a total of 125 kindergartens, many of which still need renovation, new heating, ventilation and other technical systems, and more spacious facilities, including sports and music halls. Kindergarten Päikene, located at Sõle 39, Tallinn, was originally opened in 1968 as Tallinn's 126th day nursery, and kindergarten Pääsupesa, at Puhangu 57, Tallinn, was opened in the same year as Tallinn's 42nd day nursery. The old buildings are now obsolete and are being demolished. The design of the new Päikene and Pääsupesa kindergartens is scheduled to be completed between March 2023 and June 2024.
Construction of the Päikene kindergarten is scheduled to start in September 2024 and end in November 2025, and could be ready for opening at the end of 2025. The construction of the Pääsupesa kindergarten is planned from autumn 2025 to autumn 2026, so that the kindergarten is expected to be ready for opening at the end of 2026.

The main organiser of the design competition is Tallinn City Property Department in cooperation with Tallinn Strategic Management Office. The 369 Pattern Buildings system has been adapted for the competition by Creatomus Solutions and Nomad Architects. The manufacturer of the modules will be sought in a tender procedure after the design competition. 

The materials of the design competition can be found in the public procurement register: Põhja-Tallinna lasteaedade (Sõle 39 ja Puhangu 57) ideekonkurss (reference number 252550).

Illustration: one of the possibilities of the pattern buildings system, author Nomad Architects