Location: Sõmeru, Lääne-Viru county, Estonia
Client: Sõmeru parish
Size: 2400 m2
Competition: 2004 (1st prize)
Competition team: SALTO architects Maarja Kask, Ralf Lõoke
Design team: SALTO architects Maarja Kask, Karli Luik, Ralf Lõoke, Kristiina Arusoo, Margit Argus
Annual Award of the Cultural Endowment of Estonia 2010.
Estonian National Culture Award 2010
Wooden Building of the Year in Estonia: Best facade 2010
Sõmeru Community Centre is located just outside the North-Estonian town of Rakvere, on an open field near the highway in Sõmeru parish. Instead of erecting different buildings for their many needs, the parish decided to combine multiple functions in one single building. The multipurpose community centre houses the parish administration, a library, and a club with an auditorium.
The building was designed to stand apart from the existing built environment, more relating to the field surrounding it. This has been achieved by using colourful straw-like wooden beams attached to the black-and-white concrete facade. The same aesthetics continues in the interior, only this time the slats are hanging freely from the ceiling, creating a lively accent above the black walls.
The single-storied building's many functions are arranged compactly, with enough room for common space and three open courtyards with different characters: the representative front yard with a fountain is meant for formal events and used mainly by the administration, the club has one with a fireplace, and an intimate grass-covered garden is for the use of the library.