Riia Quarter

Location

Riia Hill, Tartu

Client

AS Colordia

Competition

2006; 1st Prize

Competition team

Maarja Kask, Ralf Lõoke, Karli Luik

Design

2014-2021

Design team

Maarja Kask, Ralf Lõoke, Margus Tamm, Ragnar Põllukivi, Marja Viltrop, Martin Mclean

Completion

2023

Size

30 000m²

The architectural solution of the Riia Quarter stems from the quarter’s unique location in the Riia mägi area with stunning views to the city and towards river Emajõgi. The layout of the building complex takes after the perimetrical quarter characteristic to the city centre, developing it further – in the middle we see terraces forming a hill, gradually descending towards the smaller buildings of neighbouring lots, creating a sensitive transition between the rooftop gardens and the surrounding garden city. The original form the terraces take gives the Riia Quarter a clearly recognisable identity and a particular resort atmosphere. At the outer perimeter of the quarter buildings form a front clearly defining the street with heights varying according to neighbouring buildings.

The curved inward-facing sides of the perimetrically situated buildings create an inner courtyard, resembling a river delta flowing into the centre from in-between the buildings, with greenery and recreational areas to all age groups. The curved angles allow more sunlight to enter the centre of the quarter – the welcoming environment is amplified by wood and brick facades.

Parking is directed underground and the courtyard is designed as a high-quality pedestrian area and park. The quarter is visually a recognisable whole, while its volume adapts to the scale and logic of each adjacent street.

The flats set out to offer numerous variations in terms of views from windows and terraces as well as in size, number of rooms and placement within the building. Each flat is unique and the building’s staircases and underground parking also prioritise the overall originality.

“In a location as significant as Riia mägi, the architectural design must above all amplify the qualities already present in the area and create a seamless environment with the existing city space – the terraced houses of the Riia Quarter make up an ascending dome at top of which views all across Tartu are revealed.”