New university built into destroyed old town area records both the absence of the Old Town and it’s rebuilding.
Narva is a border city between Russia and Estonia. Prosperity of the city was in 17th century, when under the Swedish reign new baroque-style city center was developed. The Old Town was destroyed during WWII and after when it was demolished and replaced with modernist city.
After the war local people were not allowed to return to the city, new habitants were brought in from Soviet Union. The college is built on the area of Narva’s no longer existent Old Town with the main façade opening towards the Town Hall Square. In front of the building is a square, marking the site of the former stock exchange building and creating main entrance to the college.
The old Stock Exchange Building was situated straight in the centre of the town and covered partly even Town Hall’s main facade. New solution records exactly the situation but replaces former mass by conceptual void and allows the Town Hall to dominate on the Square.
New building refers directly to the Stock Exchange Building that stood there before. The previous building’s Baroque front elevation is marked by “in reverse” form on the College’s new festive main facade, which is cast in white concrete. Its projecting beak-shaped roof follows the gable line and roof of the Stock Exchange Building in reverse.
As a result, new square is formed in front of the College i.e. on the site of the Stock Exchange Building. New main façade with the “reversed” roof draw out the contours of the Stock Exchange Building that used to stand here. The rest of three sides of the building have discreet appearance.
Inner circulation has been arranged around the courtyard. Old basement of the Stock Exchange under the square is restored and partly rebuilt. Central room is vaulted similarly to the original one. The rooms will be used for exhibitions and events.
Location: Narva, Estonia