Energy Discovery Centre
Põhja pst 29 and partly Põhja pst 31, Tallinn, Estonia
Tallinn Technology and Science Centre Foundation
Open Design Contest
2010, 1st prize
Interior, Architecture, Exposition
studio ARGUS│LUMIA│Doomino Arhitektid
Margit Argus, Sander Aas, Margit Aule, Pelle-Sten Viiburg
Completed in 2014
2015 Annual Award of the Estonian Association of Interior Architects for the “Best historical interior”
2015 Annual Award of the Estonian Museums
The company won the design competition for the Energy Discovery Centre in March 2010, and in April the design activities were already at full stretch. Besides being the main design contractor, we also designed the architecture, the interior architecture and the exhibition.
The Discovery Centre was in the same building before its renovation but the conditions used to be Spartan; in winter it was even possible to see blocks of ice on the lowest floor. The entire building had to be renovated thoroughly, which involved changes in the room structure, not to speak of the new technological and exhibition solutions. A planetarium and new atriums were added to the lowest two floors; new stairs were placed between the sturdy columns that support the generators. We exhibited the old installation — the boilers, generators and structures supporting them — in a dignified manner. A new entrance to the building was needed and we decided to place it one floor lower, to the level accommodating the tickets desk, cloakroom, cafeteria and toilets. Thereby we could preserve the gem of the building, i.e. the historical turbine hall, in its entirety.
The chic black-and-white turbine hall on Floor 2 got back its beautiful interior. In the middle of the room there is the black platform that we designed for the exhibits: as a result, the new exhibition seems like one big black machine. The space on Floor 1 is vivified by a green floor, which connects renewable energy and other topics into a whole like a landscape. On Floor −1, the yellow, white and black room serves as a frame of reference for the audio and optical exhibits. That floor also offers the best visibility of the nice concrete columns, exposed to view during the renovation, which support the old generators.