• Author
    Timo Titma I Veiko Vahtrik I Illimar Truverk - Arhitekt 11 I Edgar Kaare I Elina Õunasaar - TajuRuum I Kersti Lootus I Hanna Veske - Lootus Projekt I Karl Kruusimägi - VNDL Visuals I Kristo Laarmann - Töökoda
  • Location
    Elva, Elva municipality, Tartu county
  • Area
  • Year


RESULT: People's Choice Favorite

In our work, we have approached the competition area analytically as an inseparable part of Elva city fabric. We have based it on the spirit of the entire beach area and the potential of freeing it in the cultural space of Elva.

Through the eyes of both Elva residents and visitors, Verevi Beach is a gateway for relaxation and taking time off. A place that offers inspiration and courage for creative self-expression with its diverse nature.

The project area is located in the Verevi neighborhood of Elva, on the shore of Verevi Lake, and is part of the Elva-Peedu forest park. The contact zone includes the Elva hospital, kindergarten, Verevi motel, and is surrounded by detached houses with varying histories. The surroundings of Elva are rich with lakes. The renovated surroundings of Lake Arbi function as the main square of the city. The opposite shore of Lake Verevi is marshy and untouched.

Elva's development as a resort took place in the second half of the 19th century when the Tartu – Riga – St. Petersburg railway was built, and the first summer houses were built for the summer residents. In the early 20th century, summer houses were built in Elva for Russian professors, while the proportion of Estonian vacationers steadily increased. In the 1930s, the most beloved promenade was to accompany those boarding the train at the railway station and to watch those arriving. People dressed up nicely for this walk. The platform of Elva railway station was called Nevski Prospekt, as there were many vacationers from St. Petersburg in Elva.

Elva received city rights in 1938, by which time it was already a significant resort town. The history of Estonian resorts begins in Kadriorg in the early 19th century. Over the century, Haapsalu, Pärnu, Kuressaare, Narva-Jõesuu, and in 1890, Elva, which was the first freshwater resort alongside other seaside resorts, were added to this.

The goal is to design the Verevi Lake as a timeless beach area worthy of a resort town. To create opportunities for active social beach holidays for both Elva residents and visitors. To create a design that is inviting from afar in the landscape and attracts people to stop. To see what is happening. This is supported by eye-catching landmarks on the main approach directions, which are visible both day and night.

A site-specific, multifunctional, and environment-conscious solution is offered for the Verevi Lake beach house and the surrounding landscape. The principles of sustainable planning have been followed, and the idea is to achieve a sensitive, yet bold, human-scale, and user-friendly result with minimal spatial and structural intervention.

Verevi Lake is surrounded by beautiful and diverse nature. The existing environment is treated gently and sensitively, with the principle of "as little as possible and as much as necessary," resulting in a nature-conscious and minimally invasive work inspired by the natural environment around Verevi Lake and the history of Elva as a resort town. The proposal supports the harmony of the mind and body of those present. The outdoor space with its functions complements sporting (running track, adventure trail, sports courts, etc.) and relaxing activities (rest pockets, sun terrace, water features), playful discovery (environmental education, diverse play areas), and the holding of festive events. The connection with the surrounding urban space is improved through the opening of views, safe and pleasant access points, and multifunctionally attractive recreational areas.

The heart of the beach is centered around a new beach house with a restaurant, ice cream café, and sauna. The mini-square in front of the main entrance allows for outdoor exhibitions. The heart of the beach is framed by boardwalks that create added value and provide more space for walking and sitting, preserving as much of the sandy area as possible for sunbathers. From the terrace of the beach house, there is a good view of the temporary outdoor cinema installed on the lake. For children, there is a play area bordered by a boardwalk on three sides, featuring climbing poles in the sand and a water-spraying tunnel fun to run through. Visitors of all ages can enjoy the terraces and the hot landscape close to the valuable pine. Two wide slides and play poles encouraging climbing in the water are added to the existing lower water swimming pool. The more experienced swimmer can challenge themselves on the other side of the swimming pool, where there are also 50m lanes and a newly designed two-level diving tower. Running across the airy terrace bridge connecting the old and new terraces, one can run directly up the stairs through the Verevi Lake door, which, of course, ends in the water. For sports enthusiasts, additional refreshment elements have been added to the existing volleyball courts to promote active leisure time.

The building is located in the middle of the project area at the intersection of two significant streets, Tartu and Supleranna, hidden by the relief from the street sides but maximally open to the lake side. Urbanistically, the new building is located in the northern part of the construction area, allowing the values of the existing outdoor space to be utilized from the south. The building is placed with the principle that areas allowing more light are located on the south side, where you can go out on the terrace or balcony to enjoy the sun in good weather. The main entrances to the AEGAVEEL beach pavilion building are on both the east and west sides, opening themselves to the street space and the lake. The larger facade is visible from the Verevi Lake side, creating a more representative visual. The work maximally utilizes the existing natural forms, putting them spatially in harmony with the architecture with playful ease.