uurimusi arhitektuurist ja teooriast
investigations on architecture and theory

Kalle Komissarov. Hard-Boiled Architecture

prepare an identity?
Some idea of social and cultural singularity and the soft values around them will definitely be needed with a sprinkling of historical and national belonging. It is a matter of taste, of course. How, though, can hard-boiled architecture intervene in this indistinct world? Or architecture magazine?

I claim that this will not succeed in any way other than through space and spatial identity. People, however, live mostly in cities and as a recent UN report warned, this trend continues to grow. (The urban population will surpass the rural population in 2007. The population of the world increases practically only due to the growth of cities, whereas the population of rural areas will remain the same over a perspective of 30 years.) Thus I dare to define the space that will create identity for mankind in the future as urban space. Let us focus in and make use of four concepts that will help us divide spatial experience into more manageable pieces. The concepts are the territorialization of cities, terrain vague, megaforms and landscape urbanism. On the basis of these concepts, I propose a hypothesis, according to which megaforms can be used to change the identity of cities, but since cities are territorializing, large landscape forms are best suited for this.

In conclusion, I will present two location-specific examples that explain the hypothesis and are prototypes. These places are the limestone quarry of Lasnamäe and the Pääsküla garbage dump. They are in contradiction by identity but complete in their context. Pocket worlds and microcosms.

The Territorialization of Cities
At the beginning of the 20th century, a total of 60 cities in the world had a population of a million or more. By the end of the century, that number was approaching 500. What will the metropolis be after 50 years? It is an enormous territory. The city has long since ceased to be the specific entity of the age of enlightenment. It has become a territory that combines contradictory environments within it. Urbanised areas are endless and without limits, filled with denser and sparser places.

The end of the 20th century marks a displacement in the discourse of architecture and urbanism towards larger scale, into territory: urban sprawl, fragmented cities and large urban areas (Randstadt in Holland, the Ruhr area in Germany, the Flemish Diamond in Belgium, the Pearl River Delta in China and many others).

Thinking about all manner of constructed, used and developed territories enriches the discourse of architecture and urbanism. Terra, which people mark by using it, becomes territory due to the intervention of people.

What is this territory like? The concept of “urbanism as the potential of a territory and architecture as its consumer” formulated by Koolhaas ten years ago[1] and Estonia’s own book Üle majade (Over Buildings and Beyond) that is based on that concept[2] considers primarily aboveground structures. I would add Stan Allen’s surface and field conditions, which refer to the horizontal surface of the land,[3] and Raoul Buncshoten’s proto-urban conditions, which even go right into the ground,[4] to these themes. There layers that actually influence urban development – tectonic forces of the urban environment – often remain completely hidden from the eye. The useful life of buildings is continually becoming shorter. In some places things have gone so far that demolition drawings and the indication of the place where the waste from the demolition is to be stored are required together with the design project of buildings. The continual expansion of networks and the increase in mobility are behind the changes that take place at an ever-increasing tempo.

Instead of gaining inspiration from the situation that has come about and intervening in the discussion with a new kind of spatial vocabulary, architecture has remained in the role of a bystander. Instead of intervention, “analysis” and “points of view” are preferred, contenting itself with the “mapping out” and “observation” of dynamic changes. I nevertheless believe that the territorializing city creates sufficient irritations that could develop into architectural concepts. Architects could thus quite certainly intervene in the building of urban space. This conditional manner of speech is used because the major decisions in Tallinn and elsewhere in cities of post-socialist countries are made without the inclusion of architects and planners. Of course, this is the case in the event that a politician who is also an architect does not happen to be on hand.

There is nothing new in territorialization. “Look at the USA and you will see Europe in ten years time,” Edward Soja has said in his lecture – and everyone swallows in fear.

Terrain vague – a concept derived from French denoting vacant land. Vacant land, which is not always even physically vacant, is an unused resource within the city. The concept of terrain vague contains within itself both the lack of something as well as possibilities, openness to something new. In order to completely comprehend the potential of vacant land, the other side must also be understood – its aspiration for independence.[5]
“These places exist beyond the effective circulation and productive structures of the city. From an economic point of view, industrial areas, the vicinity of railroads, ports, unsafe residential districts and otherwise unsuitable places are not active parts of the city. Marginal islands of emptiness attract no attention – this is an uninhabited, unsafe and unproductive area.”[6]

The social-economic change from local agricultural and industrial to global service-centred has left a significant mark on the structure of cities. Vacant lots bear witness to this; they are like inevitable by-products, despised illegitimate children. The last great change in the world economy from manufacturing production to service-centred has brought vacant industrial areas with it into the cities and in many cases vacant residential areas as well. Roads cover ever more land. For example, in East Germany there were about two million vacated apartments in former city centres in 2003. While centres are contracting, an additional lane is being built throughout the entire network of A4 highways, doubling its capacity to handle traffic to the level of the former West Germany. The structure of Estonian settlement has not experienced as extensive changes, yet we should turn our attention to our terrain vague as well in order to increase our awareness of the cultural influence of changed spatial conditions on cities, and on identity.

Vacant land, on the other hand, is land of unlimited possibilities, like land in fallow. We would be very fortunate if this phenomenon were to be somehow possible to localise. Vacant land, however, continually expands and this is a sad fact. This continues in an accelerating tempo because the forces that carve up urban space do not dissipate at all, rather they continually need new additional land. The moving of industry out of the city centres and the increase in people’s mobility, which in Estonia means overall acquisition of automobiles, are some of the primary initiators of this trend. The entirely differing scale of vacant areas and the highway network from the surroundings removes the sense of belonging and of having something in common. The city is retreating from experience intended for residents and pedestrians. The interruption of space is expressed by the fact that people do not identify with its environment. This does not meet their ideal mental picture.

There is nothing directly wrong with these vacant lots. Let them lie in fallow and one day there will come a time when something will be built on them. Something will be built anyway. The question is, will their character change in this respect. Or are we retroactive, that is we turn our weaknesses into strengths? Perhaps this is the origin of an entirely different kind of urban experience, the next step in development after the post-industrial city? The aspiration of space to become independent, its insubordination to control? Incidentally, attempts are made in Central Europe to even protect old quarries from being covered with buildings.
Terrain vague grows along with cities. This happens as soon as public space is ignored. Vacant land itself becomes the city. It ultimately infects the public space of the entire city. The boundary separating the centre from the periphery becomes indistinct. It is said that Milan and Thessaloniki are already completely one large terrain vague. I wonder if there is the same feeling as in Jõhvi?

Megaform
Megaform is a certain horizontal urban pattern with potential to shape form that can influence changes in surface forms in the landscape of large cities.[7]
Megaforms are artificial objects yet they can also be artificial surface forms. The concept should be considered separately from the concept of the megastructure (for example the Pompidou Centre) coined in the 1960’s. And the megaform does not have to be a large object that has fallen down from the sky. It could, for example, be a contextual object that creates identity (like the terminal of Yokohama Port, Tallinn’s Linnahall or Kenzo Tange’s project of 1960 for Tokyo Bay). The growing interest of European academic circles in this concept is also associated with the concept of New Monumentalism (not to be confused with neo-traditionalist New Urbanism).

Very large programmes (like the amusement park a Danish group planned to build near the Skåne Bastion) can be considered megaforms, elements that are capable of modelling the landscape through their size, content and tendency, and of giving it orientation and identity. In the case of the amusement park, for example, the tunnel under Põhja puiestee, the Bastion as one large building, the new shape of the Kalasadam (Fishing Port), and so on.

The megaforms of today cloud the distinguishing of ordinary landscape and architecture. Canals, railroad crossings, highways, dams and other artificial landscape objects become landmarks. Infrastructure gives form to the incessantly moving and flowing nature of the city.[8 ]

Landscape Urbanism
Cities become territories due to their explosive growth – they lose their shape. Similarly, their complexity also grows. An integrated discipline that would include the entire spatial whole should deal with the building of cities.

The concept can be explained through the example of Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, where public space was put in order only in the core of the city during the 1980’s – 1990’s. In present day Barcelona, the airport, logistical centres, the harbour area, the vicinity of the river and water purification facilities are being reinterpreted, whereas the focus is more on large-scale infrastructure than isolated buildings or squares.[9]

Along with the incessant rapid change in the economic, cultural and social environment, the idea that professionals who work strictly in their own field should expand their skills horizontally as well has begun spreading. The subsequent hybrid word “landscape urbanism” contains these tendencies, where the cityscape has central meaning. This collision was denoted by a symposium and exhibition of the same name in Chicago in 1997, to which publications from the Actar and AA publishing houses have been added. There is also a landscape urbanism course at the London Architectural Association (AA) School. Its basis is the application of the traditional techniques and models of landscape architecture in urban planning – “artificial ecology on different scales”.[10]

Analysis of Examples
At the beginning of this article, I presented the hypothesis that the identity of cities can be changed by using megaforms yet since the city is territorializing, large landscape forms are best suited for this. I connect the hypothesis with location – how would this work in Estonia?

Consider the limestone quarry of Lasnamäe and the Pääsküla garbage dump, which are located on opposite sides of the city of Tallinn, one a negative/ digging and the other a positive/heaping surface form. One has come about through the hauling away of material and the other through the heaping of material. Both have lost their original functions by now but they are sufficiently large and impressive to have an identity.

How can we apply the concepts selected here? The limestone quarry is not necessarily a place with a negative undertone. The limestone quarry has its own ecological system with a lake, vegetation and avifauna, which makes it a natural location. The quarry is open to all. It functions as a public space for the residential districts of the area, where there is space for everything from washing one’s car to mountain climbing. The use of the limestone quarry changes from season to season and it is never absolutely deserted. In addition, it is near the city centre and large residential districts, it has good access, with public transportation stops at its edges – thus it has great potential from an urban construction point of view.

The pit has gradually become smaller because it was filled with material from the blast excavation carried out for the construction of the Laagna Road channel. The Laagna Road channel is of course not the least bit less a megaform than the limestone quarry. It is likely the largest single object built in Tallinn. The original plans even provided for two channels: the roads chiselled into the limestone bank were to flank the northern and southern sides of Lasnamäe. [11] The limestone quarry is terrain vague per se, the moonscape of the expeditions of my childhood. It is a democratic, even collective space that does not in the least resemble the bourgeois public space of Kadriorg on the other side of the channel. Possible development activity was alluded to in the late 1990’s. It was to become a place for spending one’s leisure time and was to be provided with sports facilities. Actually, admission tickets could simply be put on sale, everything else is already there.

The Pääsküla garbage dump, on the other hand, is environmental pollution and will be covered with a surface layer of soil. The meaning of this mountain that is no longer in use is also starting to change and suggestions are made for how it could be used: most likely yet another place provided with sports facilities for spending one’s leisure time. The sea gulls at any rate have already left the place behind. The physical presence of the garbage dump in a residential area of small detached dwellings creates an impression: it is visible rising up behind the forest like a threatening gigantic wave. A true megaform between inexpressive private dwellings. At the same time, residents likely do everything they can to erase the mountain from their consciousness.

Summary
By the token we may assert that landscape form as the fundamental material of fragmentary urbanism is of greater consequence than the freestanding aestheticized object.[12]

Both megaforms are artificial and at the same time also part of the landscape. They stand apart from the remainder of the city, infecting the vicinity with its indeterminacy. Nobody dreams of vacant land remaining there unchanged forever, but they also do have potential. Vacant land does not bear the idea of petty bourgeois public space. On the contrary, it is collective space without an owner. In the case of the limestone quarry and the garbage dump, the clarity of their architectural image and form is important; megaforms must have a memorable shape. The search for clear images from the city is naturally a very conceptual activity and can remain a mere composition. All European architecture students who visit Tallinn first draw an axis from the Linnahall to the Viru Hotel and that is as far as they go for the most part. Additional places that support the hypothesis can easily be found in Tallinn, whether it be the Toompea plateau or the Admiralty Reservoir. The question, rather, is whether landscape forms have very local, site-specific influence or they are capable of bearing broader, for example city-wide or cultural values.
The democratic urban space of Europe is most unique and to this day it differs radically from that of China, for instance. What role, however, does local uniqueness have in the global multi-world? Cultural philosopher Eric Corijn, organiser of Brussels as the cultural capital of Europe in 2000, has claimed that Occidentalism can be created only through urbanity. Tallinn also wishes to be a candidate for the cultural capital of Europe for 2012. What will we offer our visitors? Watered down soup or spatial experiences?

[[8]] Ibid.[[8]]

   (↵ returns to text)

  1. See for example Koolhaas, Rem, S, M, L, XL. New York: The Monacelli Press, 1995.
  2. Alver, Andres, Kaasik, Veljo, Trummal, Tiit, Üle majade. Over the Buildings and Beyond. Tallinn: Alver Trummal Architects, 1999.
  3. See Stan Allen, Points + Lines. Diagrams & Projects for the City. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1999.
  4. See Paoul Bunschoten, Urban Flotsam. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2001.
  5. Jean-Francois Cheverier, Terrain Vague or territorial intimacy. Video lecture at the Berlage Institute, 1999.
  6. Ignasi de Sola-Morales Rubio, Terrain Vague. – Cynthia Davidson (ed). Anyplace. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press,1997.
  7. Kenneth Frampton, Megaform as Urban Landscape. Raoul Wallenberg lecture; 1999
  8. prepare an identity?
    Some idea of social and cultural singularity and the soft values around them will definitely be needed with a sprinkling of historical and national belonging. It is a matter of taste, of course. How, though, can hard-boiled architecture intervene in this indistinct world? Or architecture magazine?

    I claim that this will not succeed in any way other than through space and spatial identity. People, however, live mostly in cities and as a recent UN report warned, this trend continues to grow. (The urban population will surpass the rural population in 2007. The population of the world increases practically only due to the growth of cities, whereas the population of rural areas will remain the same over a perspective of 30 years.) Thus I dare to define the space that will create identity for mankind in the future as urban space. Let us focus in and make use of four concepts that will help us divide spatial experience into more manageable pieces. The concepts are the territorialization of cities, terrain vague, megaforms and landscape urbanism. On the basis of these concepts, I propose a hypothesis, according to which megaforms can be used to change the identity of cities, but since cities are territorializing, large landscape forms are best suited for this.

    In conclusion, I will present two location-specific examples that explain the hypothesis and are prototypes. These places are the limestone quarry of Lasnamäe and the Pääsküla garbage dump. They are in contradiction by identity but complete in their context. Pocket worlds and microcosms.

    The Territorialization of Cities
    At the beginning of the 20th century, a total of 60 cities in the world had a population of a million or more. By the end of the century, that number was approaching 500. What will the metropolis be after 50 years? It is an enormous territory. The city has long since ceased to be the specific entity of the age of enlightenment. It has become a territory that combines contradictory environments within it. Urbanised areas are endless and without limits, filled with denser and sparser places.

    The end of the 20th century marks a displacement in the discourse of architecture and urbanism towards larger scale, into territory: urban sprawl, fragmented cities and large urban areas (Randstadt in Holland, the Ruhr area in Germany, the Flemish Diamond in Belgium, the Pearl River Delta in China and many others).

    Thinking about all manner of constructed, used and developed territories enriches the discourse of architecture and urbanism. Terra, which people mark by using it, becomes territory due to the intervention of people.

    What is this territory like? The concept of “urbanism as the potential of a territory and architecture as its consumer” formulated by Koolhaas ten years ago[1] and Estonia’s own book Üle majade (Over Buildings and Beyond) that is based on that concept[2] considers primarily aboveground structures. I would add Stan Allen’s surface and field conditions, which refer to the horizontal surface of the land,[3] and Raoul Buncshoten’s proto-urban conditions, which even go right into the ground,[4] to these themes. There layers that actually influence urban development – tectonic forces of the urban environment – often remain completely hidden from the eye. The useful life of buildings is continually becoming shorter. In some places things have gone so far that demolition drawings and the indication of the place where the waste from the demolition is to be stored are required together with the design project of buildings. The continual expansion of networks and the increase in mobility are behind the changes that take place at an ever-increasing tempo.

    Instead of gaining inspiration from the situation that has come about and intervening in the discussion with a new kind of spatial vocabulary, architecture has remained in the role of a bystander. Instead of intervention, “analysis” and “points of view” are preferred, contenting itself with the “mapping out” and “observation” of dynamic changes. I nevertheless believe that the territorializing city creates sufficient irritations that could develop into architectural concepts. Architects could thus quite certainly intervene in the building of urban space. This conditional manner of speech is used because the major decisions in Tallinn and elsewhere in cities of post-socialist countries are made without the inclusion of architects and planners. Of course, this is the case in the event that a politician who is also an architect does not happen to be on hand.

    There is nothing new in territorialization. “Look at the USA and you will see Europe in ten years time,” Edward Soja has said in his lecture – and everyone swallows in fear.

    Terrain vague – a concept derived from French denoting vacant land. Vacant land, which is not always even physically vacant, is an unused resource within the city. The concept of terrain vague contains within itself both the lack of something as well as possibilities, openness to something new. In order to completely comprehend the potential of vacant land, the other side must also be understood – its aspiration for independence.[5]
    “These places exist beyond the effective circulation and productive structures of the city. From an economic point of view, industrial areas, the vicinity of railroads, ports, unsafe residential districts and otherwise unsuitable places are not active parts of the city. Marginal islands of emptiness attract no attention – this is an uninhabited, unsafe and unproductive area.”[6]

    The social-economic change from local agricultural and industrial to global service-centred has left a significant mark on the structure of cities. Vacant lots bear witness to this; they are like inevitable by-products, despised illegitimate children. The last great change in the world economy from manufacturing production to service-centred has brought vacant industrial areas with it into the cities and in many cases vacant residential areas as well. Roads cover ever more land. For example, in East Germany there were about two million vacated apartments in former city centres in 2003. While centres are contracting, an additional lane is being built throughout the entire network of A4 highways, doubling its capacity to handle traffic to the level of the former West Germany. The structure of Estonian settlement has not experienced as extensive changes, yet we should turn our attention to our terrain vague as well in order to increase our awareness of the cultural influence of changed spatial conditions on cities, and on identity.

    Vacant land, on the other hand, is land of unlimited possibilities, like land in fallow. We would be very fortunate if this phenomenon were to be somehow possible to localise. Vacant land, however, continually expands and this is a sad fact. This continues in an accelerating tempo because the forces that carve up urban space do not dissipate at all, rather they continually need new additional land. The moving of industry out of the city centres and the increase in people’s mobility, which in Estonia means overall acquisition of automobiles, are some of the primary initiators of this trend. The entirely differing scale of vacant areas and the highway network from the surroundings removes the sense of belonging and of having something in common. The city is retreating from experience intended for residents and pedestrians. The interruption of space is expressed by the fact that people do not identify with its environment. This does not meet their ideal mental picture.

    There is nothing directly wrong with these vacant lots. Let them lie in fallow and one day there will come a time when something will be built on them. Something will be built anyway. The question is, will their character change in this respect. Or are we retroactive, that is we turn our weaknesses into strengths? Perhaps this is the origin of an entirely different kind of urban experience, the next step in development after the post-industrial city? The aspiration of space to become independent, its insubordination to control? Incidentally, attempts are made in Central Europe to even protect old quarries from being covered with buildings.
    Terrain vague grows along with cities. This happens as soon as public space is ignored. Vacant land itself becomes the city. It ultimately infects the public space of the entire city. The boundary separating the centre from the periphery becomes indistinct. It is said that Milan and Thessaloniki are already completely one large terrain vague. I wonder if there is the same feeling as in Jõhvi?

    Megaform
    Megaform is a certain horizontal urban pattern with potential to shape form that can influence changes in surface forms in the landscape of large cities.[7]
    Megaforms are artificial objects yet they can also be artificial surface forms. The concept should be considered separately from the concept of the megastructure (for example the Pompidou Centre) coined in the 1960’s. And the megaform does not have to be a large object that has fallen down from the sky. It could, for example, be a contextual object that creates identity (like the terminal of Yokohama Port, Tallinn’s Linnahall or Kenzo Tange’s project of 1960 for Tokyo Bay). The growing interest of European academic circles in this concept is also associated with the concept of New Monumentalism (not to be confused with neo-traditionalist New Urbanism).

    Very large programmes (like the amusement park a Danish group planned to build near the Skåne Bastion) can be considered megaforms, elements that are capable of modelling the landscape through their size, content and tendency, and of giving it orientation and identity. In the case of the amusement park, for example, the tunnel under Põhja puiestee, the Bastion as one large building, the new shape of the Kalasadam (Fishing Port), and so on.

    The megaforms of today cloud the distinguishing of ordinary landscape and architecture. Canals, railroad crossings, highways, dams and other artificial landscape objects become landmarks. Infrastructure gives form to the incessantly moving and flowing nature of the city.{{8 }}

    Landscape Urbanism
    Cities become territories due to their explosive growth – they lose their shape. Similarly, their complexity also grows. An integrated discipline that would include the entire spatial whole should deal with the building of cities.

    The concept can be explained through the example of Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, where public space was put in order only in the core of the city during the 1980’s – 1990’s. In present day Barcelona, the airport, logistical centres, the harbour area, the vicinity of the river and water purification facilities are being reinterpreted, whereas the focus is more on large-scale infrastructure than isolated buildings or squares.{{9}}

    Along with the incessant rapid change in the economic, cultural and social environment, the idea that professionals who work strictly in their own field should expand their skills horizontally as well has begun spreading. The subsequent hybrid word “landscape urbanism” contains these tendencies, where the cityscape has central meaning. This collision was denoted by a symposium and exhibition of the same name in Chicago in 1997, to which publications from the Actar and AA publishing houses have been added. There is also a landscape urbanism course at the London Architectural Association (AA) School. Its basis is the application of the traditional techniques and models of landscape architecture in urban planning – “artificial ecology on different scales”.{{10}}

    Analysis of Examples
    At the beginning of this article, I presented the hypothesis that the identity of cities can be changed by using megaforms yet since the city is territorializing, large landscape forms are best suited for this. I connect the hypothesis with location – how would this work in Estonia?

    Consider the limestone quarry of Lasnamäe and the Pääsküla garbage dump, which are located on opposite sides of the city of Tallinn, one a negative/ digging and the other a positive/heaping surface form. One has come about through the hauling away of material and the other through the heaping of material. Both have lost their original functions by now but they are sufficiently large and impressive to have an identity.

    How can we apply the concepts selected here? The limestone quarry is not necessarily a place with a negative undertone. The limestone quarry has its own ecological system with a lake, vegetation and avifauna, which makes it a natural location. The quarry is open to all. It functions as a public space for the residential districts of the area, where there is space for everything from washing one’s car to mountain climbing. The use of the limestone quarry changes from season to season and it is never absolutely deserted. In addition, it is near the city centre and large residential districts, it has good access, with public transportation stops at its edges – thus it has great potential from an urban construction point of view.

    The pit has gradually become smaller because it was filled with material from the blast excavation carried out for the construction of the Laagna Road channel. The Laagna Road channel is of course not the least bit less a megaform than the limestone quarry. It is likely the largest single object built in Tallinn. The original plans even provided for two channels: the roads chiselled into the limestone bank were to flank the northern and southern sides of Lasnamäe. {{11}} The limestone quarry is terrain vague per se, the moonscape of the expeditions of my childhood. It is a democratic, even collective space that does not in the least resemble the bourgeois public space of Kadriorg on the other side of the channel. Possible development activity was alluded to in the late 1990’s. It was to become a place for spending one’s leisure time and was to be provided with sports facilities. Actually, admission tickets could simply be put on sale, everything else is already there.

    The Pääsküla garbage dump, on the other hand, is environmental pollution and will be covered with a surface layer of soil. The meaning of this mountain that is no longer in use is also starting to change and suggestions are made for how it could be used: most likely yet another place provided with sports facilities for spending one’s leisure time. The sea gulls at any rate have already left the place behind. The physical presence of the garbage dump in a residential area of small detached dwellings creates an impression: it is visible rising up behind the forest like a threatening gigantic wave. A true megaform between inexpressive private dwellings. At the same time, residents likely do everything they can to erase the mountain from their consciousness.

    Summary
    By the token we may assert that landscape form as the fundamental material of fragmentary urbanism is of greater consequence than the freestanding aestheticized object.{{12}}

    Both megaforms are artificial and at the same time also part of the landscape. They stand apart from the remainder of the city, infecting the vicinity with its indeterminacy. Nobody dreams of vacant land remaining there unchanged forever, but they also do have potential. Vacant land does not bear the idea of petty bourgeois public space. On the contrary, it is collective space without an owner. In the case of the limestone quarry and the garbage dump, the clarity of their architectural image and form is important; megaforms must have a memorable shape. The search for clear images from the city is naturally a very conceptual activity and can remain a mere composition. All European architecture students who visit Tallinn first draw an axis from the Linnahall to the Viru Hotel and that is as far as they go for the most part. Additional places that support the hypothesis can easily be found in Tallinn, whether it be the Toompea plateau or the Admiralty Reservoir. The question, rather, is whether landscape forms have very local, site-specific influence or they are capable of bearing broader, for example city-wide or cultural values.
    The democratic urban space of Europe is most unique and to this day it differs radically from that of China, for instance. What role, however, does local uniqueness have in the global multi-world? Cultural philosopher Eric Corijn, organiser of Brussels as the cultural capital of Europe in 2000, has claimed that Occidentalism can be created only through urbanity. Tallinn also wishes to be a candidate for the cultural capital of Europe for 2012. What will we offer our visitors? Watered down soup or spatial experiences?

    [[8]] Ibid.[[8]]
    [[9]] C. Waldheim, Landscape as Urbanism. – James Corner (ed). Recovering Landscape. Essays in Contemporary Landscape Architecture. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1999.[[9]]
    [[10]] See http://www.aaschool.ac.uk/graduate/lu.shtml.[[10]]
    [[11]] Dmitri Bruns, Tallinn. Linnaehituslik kujunemine. (Tallinn. Architectural Formation.) Tallinn: Valgus, 1993.[[11]]
    [[12]] Frampton, op.cit.

  9. C. Waldheim, Landscape as Urbanism. – James Corner (ed). Recovering Landscape. Essays in Contemporary Landscape Architecture. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1999.
  10. See http://www.aaschool.ac.uk/graduate/lu.shtml.
  11. Dmitri Bruns, Tallinn. Linnaehituslik kujunemine. (Tallinn. Architectural Formation.) Tallinn: Valgus, 1993.
  12. Frampton, op.cit.