TALLINN - A theater built from straw, which is projected to be the biggest installation during the European Cultural Capital 2011 festivities in Tallinn, is currently undergoing construction and will open its doors in less than a month, reports news agency LETA. Straw is a worthy building material, which does not harm the environment and is so inexpensive that the theater house will accommodate a large hall, lobby, cafe, outdoor children’s playground and a small sporting area for a cost slightly less than 147,000 euros.
The straw-bale building, a project of NO99 theater, is being constructed as a temporary venue on a heritage conservation area and will, throughout a five-month period, accommodate both local and international performances.
In September, the straw construction must be pulled down, as strict rules apply to building in the Tallinn Old Town and new buildings are permitted to be constructed only where houses were destroyed during the 1944 Soviet air raids, said Boris Dubovik, the head of the conservation department at the Tallinn Cultural Heritage Department.
“If historically no buildings existed there, it is very difficult to justify building new ones, as it is known to everyone that the heritage conservation areas belong to the UNESCO World Heritage List,” explained Dubovik.
Nevertheless, NO99 has already drawn up a plan of how a real theater could be built on the heritage conservation grounds. Especially since the theater’s current neighbor, the Estonian Ministry of Defense, has advised the group to start looking for a new location.