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Important decisions regarding planning of the Downtown Cultural Centre reached the City Council

Tartu City Government Press Release

Kesklinn Photo: Maanus Kullamaa

25 November / This week, the Tartu City Government sent drafts to the City Council, requesting permission to enter into a contract with the Cultural Endowment of Estonia in order to obtain support for the construction of the Downtown Cultural Centre, and to commence the preparation of a detailed plan for the Vanemuise 1 plot and a strategic environmental assessment. An international architectural competition will also be held as part of the preparation of the detailed plan, the planned announcement of which is set for the beginning of next year.

According to Tartu Mayor Urmas Klaas, the construction of the Downtown Cultural Centre has reached an important stage. ‘Thorough preliminary work has been carried out, including numerous studies, to ensure that the construction of the Cultural Centre has been considered from every side. We are now seeking the support of the Council for the financing conditions negotiated with the Cultural Endowment of Estonia and the initiation of the detailed plan. We will then be able to announce the architectural competition at the beginning of the New Year,’ the mayor explained.

As a result of the negotiations held with the Cultural Endowment of Estonia, an agreement was reached that the Cultural Endowment of Estonia will finance 67% of the cost the construction of the Downtown Cultural Centre, with the City of Tartu contributing 33%. The estimated cost of the Cultural Centre is EUR 73.7 million excluding VAT (EUR 88.4 million including VAT). The estimated cost will be adjusted according to the construction price index before the conclusion of the contract for the construction of the Cultural Centre in the second half of 2026.

As a second decision, the City Government is seeking the support of the Council in initiating the preparation of a detailed plan for the plot at Vanemuise Street 1 and the surrounding area. The aim of the detailed plan is to update the planning area, transforming it into a high-quality and civilised public space, to build a cultural centre on the site, to reconstruct Vabaduse Avenue, Uueturu, Poe and Küüni streets, and to find a comprehensive solution including the green area along the Emajõgi River.

Together with the detailed plan, the City Government also wants to initiate a strategic environmental assessment in order to identify the possible impacts of the planned activity on the environment, and to develop measures to mitigate the environmental impact and leave as small a footprint as possible.

When determining the landscaping principles, it must be taken into consideration that at least half of the park must be preserved as a green area. Consideration must be given to preserving the valuable trees growing in the area, finding solutions for replacement planting and ensuring coherence between the elements of the green network (Toomemägi Hill, Emajõgi River, riverbanks).

The Downtown Cultural Centre is an important cultural institution for the City of Tartu and the entire region of Southern Estonia, where rooms for the Tartu City Library and the Tartu Art Museum will be located, along with an event centre, an art house cinema, the Tartu studio of the Estonian Public Broadcasting, restaurants and, on a small scale, other rooms appropriate to the function of the building will be planned there, which will help to maintain the building.

The Downtown Cultural Centre will become a place to spend your working and leisure time in such a way that payment will not be required to stay in the building. The Centre will offer a variety of opportunities: you can simply spend time there and meet with your friends, work alone or in a group, enjoy art or food, visit the cinema, attend a performance or a concert.

In order to find a comprehensive solution for the urban space that is environmentally friendly and suitable for the milieu, and to ensure the highest architectural quality, an international architectural competition will be held, which will be announced at the beginning of 2023.

A closer look at the Downtown Cultural Centre www.tartu.ee/sudalinna-kultuurikeskus

Lilian Lukka

avalike suhete osakond

Tel: 736 1212
Mob: 516 4592

Last changed 25.11.2022