Can a building capture the spirit of Estonia’s greatest composer?

6 March 2019
Image: Roland Halbe

Tucked away deep in the Estonian forest, the Arvo Pärt Centre has no central entrance and no main exit.

Named in honour of Estonia’s most famous modern composer, the cultural hub is a building that seeks to embody a piece of classical music.

Curving walls suggest the rise and fall of intertwined melodies, while circular columns reflect the tree trunks of the surrounding forest landscape.

Elsewhere on the site lies a slender tower, rising above the canopy, as well as a minimalistic chapel paying tribute to Pärt’s religious inspiration.

“The building does not have a beginning or an end, it does not have a main or secondary facade: it is perceived in continuity,” say Enrique Sobejano and Fuensanta Nieto, who lead the studio — Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos — behind the centre. They describe the building, which will provide a home to projects supporting art and music, as “a metaphor for the profound connections that link sound, time, and place.”

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