Viljandi Festival Arena is an open-ended wood and concrete auditorium with stage and seating, designed by Kadarik Tüür Architects in Tallinn.
The town of Viljandi lies in the rolling hills and valleys of southern Estonia and has a population of 17,000 people. This part of Estonia is green and picturesque and covered with all kinds of trees. Viljandi is famous for its white roses, and every summer the town celebrates White Rose Day with the planting of hundreds of white roses in front of the town hall, to the delight and amazement of locals and visitors alike. The town is also a major cultural centre, and every July hosts a major folk music festival.
The unusual location selected for the Viljandi Festival Arena—in the middle of one of the town’s protected green areas—meant that the new building had to blend into the natural landscape and exist in a state of harmonious dialogue with its surroundings.
The architects worked with the idea of giving architectural form to sound. An acoustically pure sound that had no need for electrical amplification. The architects of Kadarik Tüür therefore designed a structure with a highly-articulated inner lining that would assist the natural propagation of sound. As the architects point out, the building only reveals its true character when it’s hosting a musical event, for that’s when architecture and music fuse together in sound.