Salto AB designs a river port in Tartu

Emajõe Barge Society is preserving the traditional river barge building culture that started in the Middle Ages with Hanseatic League economy. Salto Architects’ Lodjakoda (Barge Chamber) design for the new river port with boat construction workshops, storages, offices, seminar spaces, café, sauna, and lifeguard for public beach stems from the natural situation of Emajõgi shore in Tartu. The main idea of the building complex is to be as closely tied to the water as possible. On the other hand, it is equally important to create transparent spacial perception between the chain of volumes. Therefore, the triangular and rhomb shaped volumes stretch along the shore and open the public area of the port to the sunny South side. In addition to the indoor and ship construction activities, the new complex creates a specific open courtyard that allows various outdoor events, i.e. concerts, parties or performances, etc.

The focus of the river port complex is the spacious ship construction workshop through two floors with wide sliding doors made of glass that open to the South, where the boats enter and exit from. The workshops area is connected with the main entrance and café by a lobby that can also function as a seminar auditorium. Besides the public events, the spaces in lobby and courtyard can also house various exhibitions. Thus, the new river port of the Barge Society will be a multifunctional for ship workers and public venue with diverse urban potentials providing a contemporary architectural solution for education, leisure and various other activities.