Tallinn Art Hall is an exhibition venue managed by Tallinn Art Hall Foundation, located at 8 Vabaduse väljak in Tallinn. Tallinn Art Hall Foundation is a venue for contemporary art founded in 1934, which presents exhibitions in three galleries on the central square of Tallinn: at Tallinn Art Hall, and the nearby Tallinn City Gallery and Art Hall Gallery.
Freedom Square (Vabaduse väljak) is Tallinn’s representative square and is designed as a pedestrian area. The square is bounded by Kaarli Boulevard to the south, Pärnu Road to the east, Harju Street to the west and the buildings of the Tallinn Art Hall (among others) to the north. There is a carpark underneath Freedom Square with spaces for 121 cars.
Approaching from the west, you will arrive at the square after travelling done Kaarli Boulevard, the square being on your left. If you are arriving from the south, you will come along Pärnu Road and also find the square on your left behind St Johns Church. If you have travelled from the suburbs in the northern and north-eastern parts of Tallinn, you will arrive after travelling up Pärnu Road and the square will be on your right. Lastly, if you are walking to Freedom Square through the Old Town of Tallinn, you will likely walk along Harju Street, which ends when the square opens up to your left. It is also possible that from the Old Town you could approach the square along Suur Karja Street; in this case you should turn right just as Suur Karja Street joins Pärnu Road.
Tallinn Art Hall is located at the northern edge of Freedom Square and is flanked by other buildings. To the left and facing the square, there is a building containing commercial and residential quarters, and cafés and restaurants opening onto the square. The building to the right houses the Art Hall Gallery, Galerii-G art supply shop, artists’ studios and apartments. Further to the right, in front of the Georg Ots Tallinn Music College, there is a courtyard surrounded by a limestone wall and wrought-iron fence with metal gates.
To the west of the square is Harjumägi Hill with the Victory Column commemorating the War of Independence at the foot of the slope. Komandandi Road, connected to Freedom Square by stairs embellished with large decorative vases, leads from there up to Toompea.
Other buildings that look onto the square include St Johns Church, which is on the eastern edge of the square. The Palace Hotel, Russian Drama Theatre and the offices of the Tallinn City Government are all on the southern edge on the far side of Kaarli Boulevard.
The building of Tallinn Art Hall was designed by architects Edgar Johan Kuusik and Anton Soans. The brown façade of the modernist building is characterised by straight lines and perfect symmetry, as well as classical form. The cube-shaped volume rests on two red columns. The windows on Level II form a giant glass showcase, with with bronze statues by sculptor Juhan Raudsepp in cornices on either side.
On the ground floor, on either side of the main entrance, there are commercial spaces with floor to ceiling windows. Between them, stepped back from the street front, is the main entrance to Tallinn Art Hall. Located at street level (Level I) is the foyer and ticket office. The exhibition halls are on Level II, while levels III, IV and V, are reserved for office spaces and artist studios.
You can reach Tallinn Art Hall by catching a bus, trolley bus, tram or taxi to Freedom Square. The stops are located on Estonia Boulevard, Pärnu Road and Kaarli Boulevard as well as along the sides of Freedom Square. Alight from the bus at “Vabaduse väljak”.
If you are approaching from Estonia Boulevard or Pärnu Road, you need to walk through the green area surrounding St. John’s Church. Coming from the stops along Kaarli Boulevard and Freedom Square, you can head directly to the main entrance of the Art Hall along the eastern edge of Freedom Square, passing the main entrance of St. John’s Church.
When coming by taxi, ask the driver to let you out at Suur-Karja 18 next to the fastfood kiosk (currently Shaurma Kebab). There is a wider section of footpath there and looking away from the main road towards the square, the entrance to Tallinn Art Hall will be on your right after about 100 metres.
Caution! You are in an area where cars occasionally mount the pavement, driving in and out of the courtyards of nearby residential buildings, also to and from Jaani kirik.
When you step out of the taxi, the T-intersection where Suur-Karja Street meets Pärnu Road is behind you to your left. Also to your left, between your nine and eleven o’clock there are two trees at different distances, surrounded by round natural stones and curbs, an old-fashioned round concrete pillar for event posters, a modern illuminated sign advertising events and traffic signs with round concrete bases.
To your right, between your twelve and three o’clock there is a fast food kiosk 3.5 × 2.5 metres (currently selling Kebabs), with large wheeled bins right next to it, traffic signs with round concrete bases and trees surrounded by round natural stones with curbs. Further in the same direction is the left corner of Suur-Karja 18 building with a staircase leading to the cellar.
At a distance of approximately 14 metres between your eleven and twelve o’clock, there is a large gate 3 metres wide leading to the courtyard of the music college.
Move towards the gate and then turn to your nine o’clock. Continue for about 40 metres along the side of the garden wall, which curves round to the right. From March til October, there are about 10 flower stalls with tables in front of the curved wall. Along the way, you will pass two gates in the wall and then a building approximately 30 metres wide with three entrances on the facade. Caution! There are two rectangular pillars on the sidewalk in front of the second entrance.
Moving further 5 metres, you will reach the corner of the entrance area of Tallinn Art Hall. Continue another 4.5 metres and the main entrance to the Art Hall is about 6.5 metres to your three o’clock.
The main entrance to Tallinn Art Hall is located on the edge of Freedom Square and is used to both enter and exit the building.
The entrance is stepped back from the main facade behind two round columns painted red with a circumference of approximately 1 metre that help support the upper floors of the building. The width of the area between the columns is about 3.5 metres and the columns are in line with the main facade of the building. Between the columns, about 5 metres away, there is a low threshold step directly in front of the main entrance.
The distance between the walls on both sides of the entrance narrows evenly as you get closer to the main entrance. The walls leading to the main entrance are angled and curved and partly consist of floor to ceiling windows.
The commercial space to the left of the entrance is home to the Lugemik bookstore and Hulda Café. Outside this shop/café there is a metal open-mesh ramp 1 metre wide, which runs along the wall and then turns to the right, arriving on the threshold step in front of the main entrance to the Art Hall. Caution! The ramp has no guardrails or handrails.
The commercial space to the right of the entrance is home to Tuum Café, in front of which there may be café furniture and a sandwich board.
The threshold step in front of the main entrance is 4 metres wide and 1.5 metres deep, with a 1.5 × 1 metre rubber mud mat with small holes – round holes with a diameter of 3 cm and square holes 1 × 1 cm.
The outer door into the vestibule as well as the doors leading from the vestibule into the foyer are double-sided, with windows in a wooden frame. The doors can be difficult to open. The handle is vertical and tubular. There are wooden-framed windows to the left and right of the doors.
Enter the door to your right that opens outwards. You will enter a vestibule about 4 metres wide and 3.5 metres deep. On the floor there is a rubber mud mat about 2.5 × 1.5 metres with a pattern of fan-shaped holes 1.5 × 1 cm.
In the vestibule, the door on your left leads to the main internal staircase, where you will also find the lift. On your right, a steep staircase leads down to KuKu Klubi. The entrance to the foyer of Tallinn Art Hall is directly in front of you. Enter through the door to the right that opens inwards.
The foyer is located on the ground floor (Level I) of the building and there is a ticket counter, a cloakroom, toilets and the main staircase leading to the exhibition halls on the first floor (Level II).
The foyer is a rectangular room 10.5 metres deep. For the first 2 metres, the width of the space is 3.5 metres, expanding to 7 metres to your right for the rest of the space.
When you enter, there is a wall between your nine to eleven o’clock. At your nine o’clock there is a wall-mounted radiator with a wooden frame.
The semi-circular ticket counter is at your eleven o’clock, with the door to the unisex toilet to the left of the ticket counter and the door to the accessible toilet to its right.
At your twelve o’clock there is a large mirror approximately 2 metres wide with an equally long wooden bench or smaller armchairs in front of it.
The cloakroom is at your one o’clock. The staircase leading to the exhibition halls on Level II is at your two o’clock. Between your two and three o’clock there is a wall with an old-fashioned water access point for firefighters in case of fire, approximately half a metre wide. At your three o’clock there is a modern fire extinguisher and a rubbish bin.
To access the ticket counter, proceed about 8 metres forward and then left about half a metre. You can buy an exhibition ticket at the counter and if needed, also borrow tactile floor plans which must be returned before you leave.
Tallinn Art Hall does not have guide paths for visually impaired visitors or the possibility to use a stationary sound amplification system with an induction loop.
When you are facing the ticket counter, the open self-service cloakroom is about 1.5 metres behind you.
To access the cloakroom, first go straight ahead to arrive in front of the ticket counter, about 8 metres from the entrance. Then turn right and move on about 1.5 metres. The cloakroom is in front of you in an area with an open front about 5.5 metres wide and 3.5 metres deep.
Going directly toward the cloakroom area, you will reach a row of wooden storage cabinets on the floor that stand about half a metre high, which you can also use as a bench to sit on if needed. The end of the row of storage cabinets faces the ticket counter and there are three lockable cabinets on either side.
’There are metal rails with coats hooks on either side. The rails are 2.5m lõng, and the hooks at a height of 1.7m. The coat rail has a wooden base facing the ticket counter that is 30cm high and 1m wide.
The back wall of the cloakroom area, which is the right wall of the foyer, there are frosted windows divided into five sections approximately 5 metres wide in total, covered with a matte material.
Leaving the cloakroom area and moving back towards the main entrance, there is a section of wall on your left about half a metre wide, followed by the main stairs, about 2 metres wide, with a handrail on the right. Climbing these stairs will take you to the exhibition halls on Level II.
Stairs and access to the exhibition halls on the Level II
To access the main stairs, locate the end of the row of storage cabinets closest to the ticket counter.
If you stand with your back to the end of the storage cabinets, the ticket counter is 2 metres away at about your twelve o’clock. The main entrance is about 8 metres away at your ten o’clock. At about your nine o’clock, approximately 3 metres away is the right-hand edge of the main stairs.
Moving towards the stairs, the ends of the metal bars with coat hooks in the cloakroom area are on your left. These are followed by short length of wall about half a metre, with the main stairs (2 metres wide) around its corner. Move to the right-hand edge of the stairs, where you will find a tubular metal handrail along all sections of the stairway.
Climb four steps up. The fifth step is a landing of about 2 square metres, on which you will have to turn right. This is followed by another fourteen steps. Caution! In this part of the staircase, the handrail starts and ends one step before the next landing. The fifteenth step is again a landing of about 2 square metres. Turn right again and go up two more steps and you will have arrived at Level II.
Standing at the top of the stairs on the first floor, the largest exhibition hall is at your three o’clock. At your twelve o’clock there is a door leading to the stairwell and the lift. You can access the rest of the exhibition halls by moving towards your ten o’clock.
For easier navigation, please use the tactile floor plan available at the ticket counter.
To use the lift to get to Level II, please express your wish to do so to the attendant at the ticket counter. You will be accompanied by an employee of Tallinn Art Hall, who will unlock the door leading from the vestibule to the stairwell and will also accompany you in the lift.
The lift can fit a wheelchair with a maximum width of 76 cm and a length of 86 cm.
Exiting the lift, you will again be in the stairwell. At your three o’clock there is a door leading to the Level II foyer. Upon entering, the largest exhibition hall is at your nine o’clock. At your one o’clock there are the main stairs leading to the ground floor.
Moving towards your three o’clock, you can access the rest of the exhibition halls.
The toilets are located on either side of the ticket counter. The door on the left leads to the unisex toilet and the door on the right leads to the accessible toilet. The doors to the toilets can be difficult to open.
The door to the unisex toilet opens inwards to the left against the wall. The room is 2.5 × 2.5 metres square. You will pass the side wall of the toilet cubicles on your right and arrive in the left corner. Turn to the right and you will be facing the cubicle doors which open outwards to the left.
When entering the cubicle, the toilet paper dispenser is mounted on the wall by the door to your right. The toilet bowl with an external cistern resting on the floor is at your twelve o’clock.
The other identical cubicle is next to the first one on the left.
There is a round sink against the back wall opposite the door of the toilet room. To the left of the sink there is a wall-mounted paper towel dispenser, with a wall-mounted rubbish bin beneath it.
The soap dispenser is mounted on the wall to the right of the sink. When standing at the main door, there is a radiator at your one o’clock, above which is a window with a ribbed curtain overlooking the courtyard. There is a flower pedestal in the right corner of the room.
You will enter the accessible toilet from the right corner. The door opens inwards to the right against the wall. The room is a 2.5 × 2.5 metre square. Privacy is ensured by a spinlock.
To your left, immediately next to the door hangs an emergency pullstring. The toilet bowl with armrests and toilet paper dispenser is next to the door at your nine o’clock. To the right of the toilet bowl is a urinal.
When standing at the door, the round sink is against the back wall at your eleven o’clock. To the left of the sink there is a wall-mounted paper towel dispenser, with a wall-mounted rubbish bin beneath it. The soap dispenser is mounted on the wall to the right of the sink. There is a radiator against the back wall opposite the door, above which is a window with a ribbed curtain overlooking the courtyard. To the right of the radiator, directly opposite the door, is a changing table.
You can use the stairs or the lift to leave Level II and go back down to the foyer on Level I. To use the lift, you will be accompanied by an employee stationed on the Level II, if this has been agreed in advance at the ticket counter.
To access the ground floor using the main stairs, use the left-hand edge with the handrail. At the top of the stairs on the left, there is a plinth with a surface about half a metre wide where the guestbook is kept.
When you reach the bottom of the main stairs, the main entrance (and exit) is at your ten o’clock. The ticket counter is at two o’clock. At your three o’clock there is the cloakroom, which you can reach by turning right at the bottom of the stairs. Move straight ahead. To your right there is a short section of wall about half a metre wide, followed by the cloakroom area around the corner to the right.
The distance from the row of storage cabinets by the cloakroom to the main entrance (exit) is approximately 8 metres. If you stand with your back to the end of the row of storage cabinets, the ticket counter is at your twelve o’clock approximately 2 metres away. The distance to the main entrance (exit) is about 8 metres at your ten o’clock.