Highly regarded architecture bureau Wingårdhs won Viru Keskus’ interior architecture competition

08.10.2019

The winner of the international competition on renovating the interior design of Viru Keskus organised in the first half of this year was the highly regarded architecture bureau Wingårdhs whose portfolio includes the largest shopping centres in Nordic countries Mall of Scandinavia and Emporia.

Viru Keskus as the location with the highest visitor numbers in Estonia, this year celebrating its 15th year of operation, organised in the beginning of this summer an international interior architecture concept design competition in order to raise the preferred shopping and meeting place to a new level both for visitors and traders. “We are planning a high quality, complete and extensive catering area for Viru Keskus, focusing more than ever on user convenience and user friendliness,” remarked Gertti Kogermann, Member of the Management Board of Viru Keskus, commenting on the upcoming changes, adding that the addition of new attractive brands to the brand mix in Viru Keskus is also a significant aim of the renovations.

Both Estonian and foreign architectural bureaus took part in the competition. The jury decided that the most appropriate vision was presented by the architectural studio Wingårdhsthat operates in Sweden.“The winner of the competition was distinguished by its expert knowledge of this sector, taking into account the needs of the final consumer and its environmentally aware and sustainable approach. Wingårdhs is highly competent to shape the above together aesthetically,” Kogermann added.

The winner of the interior architecture competition Wingårdhs is an architecture bureau established in Sweden in 1977 by Gert Wingårdh and it has specialised on architecture, urban planning, interior design and landscape architecture. The creative portfolio and list of completed works of Wingårdhsis varied and highly awarded. Completed works include science centreUniverseum in Göteborg, Swedish embassies in Washington and Berlin, Swedish National Museum in Stockholm, hotel  Blique by Nobis, the largest shopping centre in Nordic countries Mall of Scandinavia, shopping centres Emporia and Saluhall (marketplace) in Malmö etc. Wingårdhs enshrines architecture as an art, challenges to create something that seems impossible at first and aims to create attractive and functional environments for people and businesses. “We choose very carefully the competitions that we take part in and we are happy that our vision coincided with the jury’s. It is an honour to help develop a shopping centre that has up to now been most effective and has phenomenal visitor numbers,“ noted Gert Wingårdh, adding that more than 15 million annual visits makes Viru Keskus not only the most frequently visited shopping centre in Estonia, but also a location. “This number is more than 11 times higher than the population of Estonia,“ he added.

Both Wingårdhsand Viru Keskus will develop the winning concept plan into the final plans that should culminate and open fully to visitors after the construction works are completed at the latest in the autumn of 2021.

Both Estonian and international architecture bureaus took part in the international interior architecture competition. The jury included Hannes Praks (Professor and Head of Interior Architecture Department of Estonian Academy of Arts), Maarja Kask (architecture bureau Salto), Robert Bishop (architectural and interior architectural consultation bureau StudioN), Timo Kokkila (Member of the Management Board of Pontos Group), Ville Jokela (Head of Real Estate Department of Pontos Group), Taavi Ojala (Member of the Management Board of AS Kapitel), Taivi Koitla (AS Viru Keskus) and Gertti Kogermann (AS Viru Keskus).

Viru Keskus is a shopping and entertainment centre with the greatest visitor numbers in Estonia. The fashion centre located in the centre of Tallinn is a highly valued meeting place and provider of high quality cultural and entertainment experiences. Viru Keskus contains over a hundred shops and services, the largest bookstore in Estonia that has been included among the four best bookshops in the world, the largest area of beauty products in the Baltic countries, cafés and restaurants, a sports club and a parking house with the best rates in the city centre. Viru Keskus has been awarded the only LEED O&M Silver Certificate for a sustainably operated and administered building in Estonia and its marketing and communication activities have won nearly 40 awards. Additional information:  www.virukeskus.com