Design competition for international communism museum

The Estonian Institute of Historical Memory has launched a design competition to find the best designs for an international museum of the crimes of communism.

The objective of the design competition is to find a contemporary, attractive and visitor-friendly design for the museum’s architecture, exposition and interior design.

The new museum is to be established in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, in the Patarei prison complex, which is under heritage protection as a monument for victims of communism and Nazism.

The Patarei complex is one of Europe’s largest intact classicist style military installations. The museum is planned to an approximately 5,000sqm area in the eastern part of the building, with authentic prison cells, an execution chamber, corridors, a prison lean with prisoners’ walkways and more.

The museum will introduce causes of and crimes committed by communist regimes on a multi-level basis – from a global scale, the focus moves to the events in Europe, and finally to a more detailed overview of local history under communist rule.

“The biggest challenge for the designer will be bringing together the existing building and the ideas for the exhibition,” curator Martin Andreller told ERR News. “We want to exhibit the building and the parts of the prison, but also create a unique and modern museum with the possibility to make it an actual education and research centre.”

The design competition opened on 1 February 2018 and the deadline for submitting entries is 24 March 2018. The Estonian Institute of Historical Memory will pay out €40,000 in awards as part of the competition.

The Estonian Institute of Historical Memory was founded in 2008 with the aim to investigate international crimes and human rights violations committed by anti-human regimes. The idea of establishing a museum in Patarei Prison was first proposed in 1989 with The Museum of Red Terror one of the possible names.

Image: c. Estonian Institute of Historical Memory.