Estonian Centre for Architecture x TAB tour: Põhjala Factory



Põhjala Factory

Experience the combination of different times, where the past is still felt, but the future has not yet fully arrived.

Founded nearly a hundred years ago, LLC Eesti Kummitööstus (‘Estonian Rubber Industry’) – which in the 1930s was named Põhjala – grew within half a century from a manufacturer of rubber heels to a large-scale industry with more than 700 employees: here, different decades have seen the production of shoes, sports equipment, toys, rubberized clothing and various construction parts.

Since 2018, the privately owned Põhjala Factory is quickly becoming the center of a revived cultural life, where large events are being held in former industrial hangars, where creatives are bustling in the work offices of the past, and where community gardeners are taking over the previously dingy backyards.

The tour of Põhjala, carried out by Estonian Centre for Architecture, also includes a visit to the areas of the Bekker settlement, where the Russian tsarist state, which was strengthening its fleet at the time, established a shipyard before the First World War, which, in addition to the impressive production complex, also includes the workers’ district. What could the still authentic Põhjala Factory and Bekker slum look like in five or fifteen years? The tour prepares the ground for a discussion! Ticket information here

Photo: Kalle Veesaar