Lasnamäe’s panelhaousing architectural and constructional refurbishment | Anastassija Malkova

Lasnamäe is the most crucial region for Tallinn to develop because it has become least desirable housing area for most Estonians. The existing living region is described as grey living environment without future positive developments. Most development plans are focusing on architectural development in Lasnamäe’s empty areas surrounded by existing buildings or in areas that were not finished according to original general plan. The future of the Lasnamäe’s existing districts is questionable due to the misinformation of residents and authorities that is leading to opinion that existing districts should be demolished. Demolition is not an option for Lasnamäe because the region is too big to build it up differently and Lasnamäe does not have signs of socio-economic downgrading that could trigger districts’ degradation.

Architect: Anastassija Malkova

Country: Estonia

Lasnamäe's panelhaousing architectural and constructional refurbishment (1)
Lasnamäe’s panelhaousing architectural and constructional refurbishment (1)

Lasnamäe’s original general plan was promising, but building it up was crucial point for forming the district. Unfinished execution, the use of standard project for all buildings and Soviet Union’s housing policy are the original reasons for todays’ problems. The modernization plan of Lasnamäe should deal with architectural and structural problems at the same time because solving one side of the problem will not lead Lasnamäe to successful path. The micro-districts should be divided by smaller territories that include one courtyard’s buildings. On the other hand, the building associations should be connected in one courtyards’ area to provide every small cluster of buildings their own identity. Multifunctional empty courtyards should be divided by specific functions and solve the problem with parking spaces and form private, semi-public and public spaces. Additional buildings with different typology should diversify Lasnamäe’s general two-room apartment buildings’ surrounding.

Lasnamäe's panelhaousing architectural and constructional refurbishment (3)
Lasnamäe’s panelhaousing architectural and constructional refurbishment (3)

It is problematic to accomplish entire refurbishment because all apartments are owned but not rented. Therefore, building association can change only structural parameters that are concerning entire building. The main aspect that should be concerned about is indoor climate that is miserable generally in every Lasnamäe’s building built around 1970s and 1980s. To change indoor climate, there should be refurbished whole building’s envelope, replaced ventilation and heating systems. Managing that in one time is big economical burden for housing association, so it is problematic to achieve good indoor climate, even if there is possible to apply for support up to 40% of the whole refurbishment cost. There should be done great work on changing residents’ and architects’ knowledge about the district’s future and importance of refurbishment. The project could be used as a starting point for architects, constructing architects and engineers to understand more about Lasnamäe historical background, its relevance to nowadays situation and possible package of solutions.

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