Ülemiste City’s new green building takes talent from the Nordic region to the tropical island of Bali
Construction of the most expensive office building in Ülemiste City begins, where the goal is to invest in innovative, eye-catching, and emotional solutions in creating a work environment that inspires talent.
At the beginning of December, a shovel will break ground in the area adjacent to Ülemiste City Airport, to begin construction of the Alma Tomingas office building. In the vision of the developer of Mainor Ülemiste, the office building – which will open its doors at the end of 2022 – will carry far greater values than just one modern building among many of its kind. The investment, amounting to more than EUR 30 million, marks the largest office building project in the city.
‘In addition to practicality, everyone wants to get emotional enjoyment from daily work. This way they are happier, more productive, and healthier, they can handle things and smile more. When designing this tailor-made building from the inside out, we occasionally relied on decisions that are not justified on an ordinary Excel spreadsheet. The curiosity to create a working environment to which one would also be itching to return from the home office was just so great’, said Margus Nõlvak, Chairman of the Management Board of Mainor Ülemiste, jokingly.
‘I dare say that no building in Estonia has been approached in this way. We took a significant risk by proposing an architectural idea that focuses on human health. I am pleased to say that the faith and courage of Mainor Ülemiste were in line with our vision’, said Indrek Allmann, partner of the architectural firm PLUSS, which was the winner of the international architectural competition.
Alma Tomingas was a pharmacist and the first female professor in Estonia, who laid the foundation for the cultivation of medicinal herbs here. The author and chief designer of the idea for an office building of more than 20,000 square metres inspired by her work is the architectural firm PLUSS, the builders NOBE and the Nordecon consortium.
‘We enjoy building architecturally outstanding and special buildings! The Alma Tomingas office building is not just a place to work – it is an environment where people want to be and meet. I greatly appreciate Mainor Ülemiste’s innovative and creative approach to the development of commercial spaces. As is typical of NOBE, we promise that the building will be completed quickly by the planned deadline’, said Mait Rõõmusaar, Chairman of the Management Board of NOBE.
An office of the future that protects health and the environment
Allmann noted that special attention has been paid to spatial solutions that increase the creativity of employees. ‘Be it a large indoor atrium with balconies, a four-metre waterfall or an interactive forest, which shifts the border between indoor and outdoor space, where it is nice to meet colleagues and fight polar nights in a tropical microclimate.’
The winning project was made special by the way in which the protection of the environment and the health of employees was approached and resolved. ‘We are all aware of the health concerns that often occur in modern office buildings. They are mainly due to a lack of outdoor lighting and air that is too dry’, explained Allmann.
The planning of the floors is based on functionality, which allows the areas to be easily re-adjusted according to the tenant’s wishes. At the same time, abandoning one of the planned floors was an emotional decision – because of it, the 11 floors of the building would be higher, more spacious, and full of light and air.
In a tropical garden built through two floors, the humidity level reaches 80 per cent and the temperature reaches 28 degrees. ‘The so-called nests placed within the tropical garden provide a great opportunity to socialize and hold flash meetings for teams. On your own you can take enjoy a brief respite from the crispness of the Nordic countries and take a relaxing trip to the tropical island of Bali. In our vision, one office of the future could be just that’, said Nõlvak.
Deputy Mayor: a concept worthy of a green capital
‘Ülemiste is the gateway to Tallinn of the future. Since 2006, Tallinn has been moving towards becoming a green capital, which means sustainability and environmental-friendliness in every field. The city’s environment must be green, both inside and out, which is why the concept of the Alma Tomingas building is worthy of the green capital’, said Andrei Novikov, Deputy Mayor of Tallinn.
The building has been awarded with energy and environmental efficiency LEED® golden certificate, it will have solar panels and the first district heating and cooling system in the campus.
‘Ülemiste City stands out with its extraordinary thoroughness and ambition in developing the business and living environment of the campus. The courage and will to build a city of the future makes each object in the campus unique and personal, because at the heart of every project are the users of the building, their needs and expectations. The Alma Tomingas office building is complex in its structural engineering and I am glad that we can present two strong contenders from the Nordecon Group during its construction’, added Gerd Müller, Chairman of the Management Board of Nordecon AS.