Preliminary Design Solutions for the Expansion of the Ülemiste Center Were Presented

  • 2024-06-22

On June 19th, a public discussion was held to introduce the preliminary design solutions for the detailed planning of Ülemiste Center and its surrounding area. The presentation provided an in-depth look at the proposed urban space solutions. Ülemiste shopping and entertainment center plans its most significant expansion to date, aiming to add more than 60,000 square meters of retail and office space.

In May of this year, the Tallinn city government approved the initiation of the detailed planning for Ülemiste Center, one of the largest shopping centres in the Baltics. The detailed plan will set the construction rights for the redevelopment, expansion, and new construction near the intersection of Tartu Road and Suur-Sõjamäe Street.

According to Guido Pärnits, CEO of Ülemiste Center, the third expansion is a natural step. "I foresee that the entire nature of the Ülemiste area will change completely in the coming years. The Rail Baltic terminal will be built here, the Tallinn Airport will expand, and Ülemiste City will continuously grow – Ülemiste will become the main gateway to Tallinn," Pärnits explained. "A significant portion of the planned development for Ülemiste Center will be office and service spaces, with a smaller portion dedicated to retail," Pärnits said, adding that future visitors to the Ülemiste area, whether tourists or employees of the nearby offices, will need a broader range of services than the centre and the area currently offer. For instance, there are plans to include health and medical services, and there is consideration of opening a library.

Kadi Metsmaa, CEO of Esplan, the company that created the preliminary design solution, explained that from the beginning, the solution has been based firmly on modern urban space development principles. Renowned architects Lever Lõhmus and Erik Ristoja, who have international experience, were involved in creating a concept suitable for the area. "For an experienced client, it was important that the planning solution be future-proof in terms of environmental friendliness, architectural functionality, and flexibility, which is why the preliminary solution has been developed over a long period. The multifunctional development, well integrated with the rest of the city and considering various modes of movement, will create new value for the area," said Metsmaa.

The detailed plan provides for constructing various urban space solutions and a multifunctional European park connecting Tallinn Airport, Rail Baltic terminal, Ülemiste Center, and Ülemiste City as part of the expansion.

Kristi Grišakov, Head of the Detailed Planning Service at the Tallinn Urban Planning Department, noted that ensuring a safe network of movement paths for pedestrians and cyclists is crucial in creating a human-friendly and surrounding environment-aware plan. The plan must include existing, planned, and designed roads and bicycle storage options. She added that the commercial space must also be an excellent public space, and one of the main objectives of the initiated plan is to reduce the high proportion of surface parking and create a new, green, and activity-rich urban space associated with the shopping centre.

In the planned expansion's first phase, the centre's eastern wing along Suur-Sõjamäe Road will be developed. According to the plan, up to 5 commercial buildings with a maximum height of 12 above-ground floors and three underground floors will be allowed as part of the Ülemiste Center expansion. The European park, connecting the Ülemiste terminal and the airport, will be built, with the new main entrance of Ülemiste Center located along its edge.

The preliminary design solutions for the detailed planning of Ülemiste Center and its surrounding area are available for the general audience to familiarize themselves with, and feedback can be given by July 2nd. Information is available in the Tallinn Planning Register, the Lasnamäe District Government, and an information stand set up at Ülemiste Center. After the detailed plan is established, an architectural competition will be held for the buildings and public space along Tartu Road to find the best architectural solution.

Opened in 2004, Ülemiste Center is a family-oriented shopping and entertainment centre. It is the largest shopping and entertainment center in Estonia, covering 125,000 square meters and hosting nearly 230 different stores and service providers. The developer of Ülemiste Center is Linstow Baltic, a subsidiary of AS Linstow, one of the leading real estate developers and operators in the Baltics. More information: