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Museum of Estonian Architecture
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Main collection

The main collection of the architecture museum contains maps of towns and other settlements, architectural drawings and projects, textual materials connected with them, models, papers on architecture and town building, reflecting the formation and development of Estonian professional architecture through the 20th century to the present day. The number of items in the collection amounts to 6,000. The oldest pieces the collection are the facade and interior design drawings of the House of Chivalry in Tallinn's Toompea area of 1848 by the St. Petersburg architect Georg Winterhalter. The highlights of the collection are Tallinn's German Theatre competition entries and drawings by the St. Petersburg architects Alexey Bubyr and Nikolai Vasilyev, as well as interior and furniture designs for the Estonia Theatre (1911-12) by the Finnish architects Armas Lindgren and Wivi Lönn. The so-called greater Tallinn plan by the prominent Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen of 1913 is kept in the museum as a deposit. Materials from the 1920s and 30s make up the core and simultaneously the most numerous part of the collection. These contain town maps, plans, drawings of nearly 700 residential houses, as well as of theatres, community centres, schools, administrative buildings and banks. There is a lot of graphic material about the Parliament building (1922) designed by Eugen Habermann and Herbert Johanson from the first Estonian generation of architects. Also post-war architecture of the 1940s and 50s is relatively well represented. The materials include master plans of cities, plans of new main squares, designs of grand Victory monuments, entries of competitions for standard designs of residential houses, schools, kindergartens and other buildings, but also the Estonia Theatre restoration drawings, the Tallinn Song Festival Grandstand winning competition entry and many other items. The Museum also collects recent architectural drawings, including recent competition projects, such as winning entries for the Estonian Art Museum competition, the biggest international competition in Estonia (1994). Architects' personal collections, which number twenty at present, constitute a significant part of the main collection. Besides projects and drawings, these collections, which are mostly donated to the museum by inheritors, contain also student work, sketches, photographs, manuscripts, correspondence, memoirs as well as personal effects. The architects represented in the museum by personal funds include Edgar Johan Kuusik, Elmar Lohk, Edgar Velbri, Anton Soans, Robert Natus, Nikolai Kusmin, one of the first Estonian woman architects Erika Nőva and others.

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