Installation Competition

For This Situation

10 submissions to enter the 2nd stage of the competition

ET LABORA (Oliver Hartley, Ben Rowe, Samuel Young; UK, London)
THE AGORA TALLINN (Alysher Sadikov; Latvia, Riga)
NO TIME TO WASTE (Matthieu Brasebin, Elisabeth Terrisse de Botton; Belgium, Brussels)
TECHNO VERNACULAR (Antonio De Paola, Antonio Seghini, Flavio Mancuso; Germany, Berlin)
STACKS OF BLABLA (Zixuan Luo, Bella Wu; USA, Chicago)
THE CLOUD (Liene Jākobsone, Manten Devriendt, Marija Katarina Dambe, Florian Betat; Latvia, Riga)
SILICATE DREAMS (Jurģis Prikulis; Italy, Treviso)
SOFTSITE (Amelyn Ng, Helen Runting, Rutger Sjögrim; Sweden, Stockholm)
THE LINK (Calin Crudu, Mirjana Jovic; Romania, Bucharest and Germany, Berlin)
BUNDLE SACK STACK (Erik E. Martinez; Mexico, Mexico City

In total the competition received 81 submissions.

Open Call to 2-stage Installation Competition for TAB 2024

While on the one hand we must make do with this situation, on the other we must acknowledge that it requires a reconstruction of the objectives and the methods of the whole of the social movement under today’s conditions.


It seems to me essential to organise new micropolitical and microsocial practices, new solidarities, a new gentleness, together with new aesthetic and new analytic practices regarding the formation of the unconscious. It appears to me that this is the only possible way to get social and political practices back on their feet, working for humanity and not simply for a permanent reequilibration of the capitalist semiotic Universe.

– Félix Guattari in The Three Ecologies, 1989

Competition Curators Statement

Here we are

We live in unprecedented times, arguably, and yet we carry on with our everydays. Between romanticised pasts and utopian futures, this Open Call explores the agile qualities of architecture – collaborative authorships, regenerative design, non-linear construction processes, direct action – that take inspiration from the everyday. ‘For this situation’ derives directly from the latin ad hoc, referring to the alternative practices of planning, preparing, building, maintaining, and dismantling an architectural project that respond to their immediate context. For today’s needs, with today’s means.

To build, not to build, how to build?

Resources are scarce – or are they? With the increasing attention to lowering construction industry’s carbon footprint, big business seems to be shifting its focus – circular construction, adaptive reuse and biogenic materials seize to be a niche. This is a positive tendency,  until they become a technocratic solution, numbed with numbers, inflexible in Excel sheets and flattening resourceful creativity, only to further extract materials, skills and labour.

In light of this critical note, we want to offer room for inventions that stem from togetherness and enchantment of being humanly agile, open to trial and error, on-site decision-making, as we go. With this competition, we want to celebrate creative endeavours that are not (yet) formalised – informal methods, naive creativity and quests that don’t rely on future promises, but on available resources today.

Make Do with capital letters

This situation requires agile solutions. What opportunities lie in alternative practices that shape resilient architecture? For this competition, we seek critical, clever and creative proposals that put regenerative architecture in the forefront. How to plan a design process with materials yet to be harvested from demolition sites, leftovers or overlooked resources? With whom to engage with if making things is a collective effort? What does architecture look like if it is not shaped as a finite object but as a performative act of maintenance, care and repair? How can we plan extensions or dismantling for future use, and how does this manifest in details, joints and materiality? If these or similar questions are at the heart of your practice then we would like to hear about your ideas!

Laura Linsi, Roland Reemaa

Open Call


Tallinn Architecture Biennale has been bringing contemporary ideas to the architectural discourse since its inception in 2011. With this year’s 2-stage Installation Competition, we wish to continue this path, by firstly formulating an ambitious thesis in the form of a conceptual proposal, and secondly, constructing a real scale design fragment of it. After the biennale, the project will be considered for a full scale public design project by Tallinn city government.

For the final design proposal the brief asks for an urban break space in Tallinn that offers shelter from weather and a waiting area for buses, trains, trams. It should be robust to withstand the seasons and public use, while offering spatial qualities to the area. How these qualities manifest in conjunction with the larger vision of regenerative design is up to the participants to imagine and propose.

  • The first stage looks for a vision. How to design public architecture regeneratively? What could be the methods, materials, aesthetics for it?
  • The second stage invites 10 shortlisted teams to develop their vision further as a design project for a public shelter in Tallinn Baltic Station.
  • For TAB 2024, a 1:1 mock up of a fragment of the winning design will be built on the site.
  • This real scale design fragment will form a base for a participatory process, design improvement and further detailing with the aim of a full construction in 2026.



  • The competition is directed towards emerging architectural talent and is open to all graduated architects or teams composed of at least one architect. The competition is not open to students.
  • The participants don’t have to be licensed.
  • Competition is international and in English.
  • After a successful winning proposal and during the production phase, a construction engineer is required to assess the technical feasibility for a public use. The TAB production team will assist finding ideally a local expert.


To experiment with regenerative modes of architecture by creating real physical work, which allows prototyping with alternative resources, materials, and construction techniques. We encourage to question and experiment with the architectural processes such as:

  • How are the construction materials sourced?
  • How to engage a wider public or authorship into the process?
  • What is the afterlife of the structure?
  • What new knowledge is it creating for your practice and wider architectural discourse?
  • Does a refreshed architectural approach come with new aesthetics?


We expect a high level of visionary concepts on material sourcing and engagement processes in order to open the discourse on regenerative design to a wider public as part of the TAB 2024 events. As an open call we don’t limit materials palettes or parties involved, and expect proposals that could also guide the production process according to the successful winning proposal. Nevertheless we would like to see clarity in narrative and ideas that have ‘feet in the ground’.

The production team has preliminary agreements with local timber manufacturers (Thermory), second-hand material handlers (SRIK), and potential collaborators from quarries, forestry, waste management departments to ecological building material competences. These collaborators are subject to the proposal and cannot be predefined in the first stage of competition.


The competition site is on the new square of Balti Jaam or Tallinn Baltic Station. It is the main railway station in Tallinn, Estonia and also a public transportation hub for inner city buses, trams and trolley buses, as well as a destination for regional buses. Balti Jaam is located on the edge of the still largely intact Tallinn Bastion Belt, which encircles the UNESCO protected medieval Tallinn Old Town. It is a busy area that on a daily basis brings together a wide array of Tallinn’s residents who commute between the centre and further residential areas, who live in the nearby residential neighbourhoods of Kalamaja and Telliskivi, students of the Estonian Art Academy, visitors to the Balti Jaam market and many others.

The particular site in front of Balti Jaam Station sits on a recently completed public realm project of Vana-Kalamaja Street, designed by renown Tallinn-based Kavakava architects. This street project fundamentally restructured the user hierarchy of this area, foregrounding pedestrian comfort and accessibility. It is built out of granite and concrete pavers, unbound gravel paths and includes seating and trees framed with corten-steel pavement grilles to allow rainwater infiltration into the ground. The chosen site for the competition is steps away from the waiting shelters for the local buses that connect Tallinn city to its outer suburbs and region making it a busy junction for pedestrians. The competition area for the pavilion borders the pedestrian area and the asphalt covered bus manoeuvring area. Originally a long canopy along the given competition area was planned to frame the square physically and conceptually – while this is not yet built, it is now one of the starting points of the competition.

As the area was rebuilt very recently, latest satellite or Google Street views do not provide accurate depiction of the area, please refer to CAD drawing and photos within the Annex section.

Submission Requirements

Vision proposal

A3 landscape PDF document, less than 20MB, max 5 pages, min 300ppi/vector quality. The first stage is anonymous. Do not indicate any authorship on boards, except the project title.

Name file: A3_(project title)_TAB2024 and include:

  • 1 page – project title, textual manifesto, 1000 words
  • 1 page – key concept visual
  • 1 page – speculative material sourcing / construction process diagram
  • 1 page – case studies / precedent projects / research references
  • 1 page – conceptual section & 1 other spatial visual according to your proposal

Please send a separate document about authors, one A4 PDF.

Name file: A4_(project title)_TAB2024 and include:

  • project title
  • names of authors/name of practice and location(s)
  • short bio of the team or individual members
  • contact information (address, e-mail, telephone nr)

Deadline for 1. stage submission: 15.05.2024, 12:00 (GMT +2)

PDFs to e-mail:

Vision Criteria

The emphasis of the first phase of the competition is on the conceptual approach to material and engagement vision, with taking into account the following recommendations:

  • Conceptual textual manifesto and suitable speculative material sourcing / construction process.
  • Spatial concept that bridges material and function for an urban break out space, allowing shelter from rain and snow.
  • Take into account the latest built public realm including the initial idea of a long canopy along the square, current views, traffic, urban furniture and material palette, including the cultural and historical layers of time and heritage of the area.
  • Maximum dimensions as indicated on site plan, max height 5m, allow disabled access.

Design proposal

The jury will select 10 runner-ups and provide feedback to situate the concept more carefully into the site as an architectural project for a public use pavilion in the heart of Tallinn. Further details about design criteria and the site are issued. The second stage is not anonymous. Each team receives €500 after uploading the following documents and proof of model shipment.

One A1 landscape PDF document, less than 100MB, max 6-7 pages, min 300ppi/vector quality.

Name file: A1_(project title)_TAB2024 and include:

  • 1 page – project title, textual manifesto, 1000 words (updated if required)
  • 1 page – key concept visual (updated if required)
  • 1 page – speculative material sourcing / construction process diagram (updated if required)
  • 1 page – case studies / precedent projects / research references (updated if required)
  • 1 page – fragment detail/axo 1:20 to describe key materials, components and tectonics that could be potentially built as a mock-up fragment
  • rest of pages: plan, section(s), elevation(s) in scale 1:50

One physical model of the whole pavilion, in scale 1:50, within bounding box 300×300×300mm, shipped to address:

Estonian Centre for Architecture
Kursi 3
10415 Tallinn, Estonia

Deadline for 2. stage submission including the physical model: 10.07.2024, 12:00 (GMT +2)

PDFs to e-mail:

All visuals and models will be subjects of the Installation Programme exhibition at the 2024 Tallinn Architecture Biennale.


  • Competition announced 08.04.2024
  • Q&A available to until 30.04.2024
  • Stage 1 deadline for submissions: 15.05.2024, 12:00 (GMT +2)
  • Stage 1 results announced end of May
  • Stage 2 deadline for submissions incl. physical model: 10.07.2024, 12:00 (GMT +2)
  • Final results announced end of July
  • Mock-up design and construction period August-September
  • TAB 2024 exhibition installation September
  • TAB 2024 officially open 09.10. – 01.12.2024

Budget, Prize & Exhibition

  • Each runner-up team receives €500 after submitting 2 stage deliverables
  • Winning proposal receives €3000 prize for an author’s fee.
  • The budget for installation is currently €12,000. A successful entry must fit into the prescribed budget. It includes materials, construction, dismantling, transportation costs, engineer consultations and travels of winning proposal authors.
  • All successful entries will be presented as a separate Installation Programme exhibition along the TAB curatorial exhibition at the Museum of Estonian Architecture in Tallinn.

Jury & Advisors

Jury with votes

  • Indrek Peil (EE) – architect, Kavakava architects
  • Austris Mailītis (LV) – architect & educator
  • Anhelina L. Starkova (UA) – architect & curator of TAB 2024
  • Ann Kristiin Entson (EE) – architect & urban planner, Tallinn Strategic Management Office
  • Simo Ilomets (EE) – engineer, lecturer TalTech (jury member in Stage 2)

Advisors without votes

  • Roland Reemaa, Laura Linsi (EE) – architects & competition curators
  • Mariann Drell, Andrea Tamm (EE) – Estonian Centre for Architecture, TAB producers

Rules & Regulations

ECA will assist the winning proposal authors with finding a local project manager and with any necessary consultations and permits that might be needed in order to build the 1:1 fragment in Balti Jaam. The exact location of the fragment will be decided together with the winning proposal authors, Tallinn City Government and ECA.

Annex & Downloads

Competition brief documents are available here: LINK

  • Competition brief
  • Photos of the area by Tõnu Tunnel
  • Site DWG plan

Q&A can be found here: LINK

Competition Producers

The Estonian Centre for Architecture (ECA) was established within the framework of the Year of Architecture in 2008 by the Estonian Academy of Arts and the Union of Estonian Architects. ECA’s activities focus on developing architectural culture in Estonia and promoting contemporary Estonian architecture abroad. ECA is a non-profit institution.

Estonian Centre for Architecture
General phone: +372 611 7436
Address: Põhja puiestee 27a, 10415 Tallinn, Estonia

Competition Curators

Laura Linsi and Roland Reemaa established their practice LLRRLLRR in 2018 and are currently based in Tallinn and London. Their design, research and academic work focuses on material-led methods, transformation of the existing and situated construction techniques. Their work always starts with establishing core values and briefs, local skills and available resources. In 2019 the practice received the Estonian Young Architects Prize for raising critical discourses and alternative ways of practising architecture, and in 2023 the Estonian Academy of Arts Creative Prize. They are involved in various academic research, syllabus preparations and studio tutors’ roles in UAL Central Saint Martins, Estonian Academy of Arts, TU Delft, Riga LMAA, and actively participate in workshops and reviews across Europe.