Linnahall may house 5,300-seat orchestra hall, conference center

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Photo: Sander Ilvest

Plans for the Linnahall arena now standing idle in the port area of Tallinn call for transforming it into an orchestra hall with up to 5,300 seats that would be among the biggest such halls in nearby countries, as well as a conference center, acting mayor of Tallinn Taavi Aas said on Friday.

«5,300 seats is not something final. When the task for the design has been set out we can tell the designing party the number. Everything depends on what the hall will look like - whether it's possible at all to get the kind of acoustics here that we wish,» Aas told BNS.

Aas said the building is big enough to also house a conference center. "It rather is a matter of logistics, how the big conference hall will relate to the small halls of the conference center in the future,"Aas said.

The chairman of the supervisory board of Linnahall, Meelis Pai, told BNS that multifunctionality is extremely important in our region. «Conference tourism is one of the engines of growth for Estonia,» he said.  

Speaking at the same news briefing on Friday, Neeme Jarvi, artistic director of the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, said a new orchestra hall is necessary because the symphony orchestra is working in cramped conditions now.

«We have to build a temple of classical music,» Jarvi said. The conductor added that while the Nordea concert hall is good to look at, it is lacking in any kind of acoustics whatsoever.

Renowned acoustic Yasuhisa Toyota meanwhile said that the eventual number of seats depends on what the structure enables to have. He described the way seats are arranged in the big hall of Linnahall as good but added that apparently the ceiling needs to be rebuilt.

The entertainment and sports arena in the portside area of the Estonian capital with a seating capacity of 4,200, designed by Estonian architect Raine Karp, was completed in time for the sailing events of the 1980 Moscow Olympics held in Tallinn.