Location: Skoone bastion, Tallinn, Estonia
Size: 440 m2
Team: Maarja Kask, Karli Luik, Ralf Lõoke, Pelle-Sten Viiburg
Prizes: World Architecture Festival: Highly Commended in Culture Category 2011,
Annual Architecture Award of the Architecture Endowment of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia 2012,
Nomination for the Mies van der Rohe Award 2013
NO99 Straw Theatre is an object standing on the verge of being a pure functional container on one hand, and an art installation on the other. The Straw Theatre was built on the occasion of Tallinn being the European Capital of Culture, to house a special summer season programme of theatre NO99. Thus it is a temporary building built for a specific purpose, programme and location.
The Straw Theatre is built in central Tallinn, on top of the former Skoone bastion, one of the best preserved baroque fortifications of Tallinn. At the beginning of the 20th century, the bastion worked as a public garden, and during the Soviet era it was more or less restricted recreational area for the Soviet navy with a wooden summer theatre and a park on top. For the last 20 years the bastion has remained a closed and neglected spot. Straw Theatre is an attempt to acknowledge and temporarily reactivate the location, test its potential and bring it back to use, doing all this with equally due respect to all historical layers of the site.
The dramatic appeal of the building stems from its contextual setting on the site and its black, uncompromisingly mute main volume contrasting with a descending „tail“ with an articulate angular roof. The Straw Theatre is a unique occasion where straw has been used for a large public building and adjusted to a refined architectural form.