SCIENCE CENTRE AHHAA BY KÜNNAPU & PADRIK ARCHITECTS



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AHHAA was established as a special project of the Department of Research and Institutional Development of the University of Tartu (founded in 1632). AHHAA started its activities with a laser show in front of Tartu

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Observatory on September 1, 1997, and has had a strong and stable development ever since. The purpose of AHHAA is to introduce science to everyone. Using interactive and entertaining methods and the scientific excellence of 380-year old Tartu University, we try to overcome fear and prejudice towards learning.

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With the support of Tartu’s educational traditions and latest developments of information society, we hope to provide every visitor with the joy of gaining new knowledge and pleasant pastime activities.

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Since 1997, more than 1,7 million visitors have visited the AHHAA events. Today we have three different work-places: our main building in Tartu, exhibition hall in Tallinn and a 4D adventure cinema in Tartu Lõunakeskus.

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“The Science Centre forms a joint whole with the earlier Tigutorn (Snail Tower). The idea of Tigutorn’s design was a cosmic spiral, whereas the Science Centre rests on the shape of Vesica Piscis, known in sacred geometry, which has been hidden in the design’s main image.

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The Centre constitutes the roots of the spiral tower. The cupola, half-cupola, globe and box together produce a constructivist composition, where the connecting elements are vertical communication shafts and horizontal spans, which can be observed both inside and outside.

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The building contains universal rooms with exhibition halls. There are two auditoriums, offices, a shop, restaurant and cafe. Inside the globe is the planetarium. The materials are metal, concrete and glass.

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The cupolas are covered with anodised aluminium and the globe with titanium zinc tin. The cupola ribs are glue-laminated wooden arches, the globe’s ribs are a metal lattice girder.” Künnapu & Padrik Architects.

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Location: Tartu, Estonia

Interior: Laika, Belka & Strelka OÜ

Roof Engineering:AS Nordekom

Structural Engineering:  DMT Insenerid  [Daimar Taalfeld, Marek Siim]

Area: 10130 sqm

Year: 2011

Photography: Arne Maasik

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