National Library of Estonia
June 13–16

Thursday June 14 2018

  • 12.45–14.30
    BUS TOUR: Soviet Mass Housing Estates – Mustamäe and Väike-Õismäe

    Mustamäe (planned 1958–1959, built 1962–1970s) was the first modernist mass housing estate built in Estonia during the Soviet period. It was intended for 60,000 inhabitants and built on an empty sand-covered plot, following the principles of free plan and functional zoning. The entire area consists of nine smaller micro-districts (mikrorayon) with a separate road network, schools, kindergartens and local centres. Mustamäe consists mostly of five- or nine-storey prefabricated panel dwellings that were designed following all-Soviet housing regulations and examples. Väike-Õismäe (planned 1968, built 1973–1984) for 45,000 residents is rather compact, as there are no mikrorayons. The underlying idea behind the planning was that of a circular town based around a central round pond. As an embodiment of urban utopia – the city as a perfect diagram – Väike-Õismäe today literally looks like “a future city from the past”.