Uhispank changes Tallinn's skyline

  • 1999-01-28
  • Kairi Kurm
TALLINN - Tallinn will have its first skyscraper thanks to the Uhispank Group, which is setting a new architectural trend in the city.

Estonia's second largest bank will reside in the country's highest building, construction of which started in October 1997. Uhispank's skyscraper, which cost the bank over 300 million kroons ($22.4 million) will be 94 meters tall and will occupy 24,350 square meters.

Jaanus Sula, Uhispank's administration director, said the design of the 24-storey glass building with a triangle metal construction at the top resembles the design of some of Hong-Kong's skyscrapers.

"None of the buildings in Tallinn is as modern as Uhispank's with its superior heating, cooling and plumbing systems," Sula said.

Raivo Puusepp, the architect, sees the whole area surrounding the building as "a city of Estonia's first skyscrapers."

Kalev Roosivali, manager at the Pindi Real Estate company, said he believes that it will take at least 18 years before other tall buildings are built in Tallinn.

He recalled that there was a 17 year gap between the construction of Uhispank's headquarters and the construction of the first tall buildings, the Viru and Olympia hotels at the end of 1970s.

Some analysts say it's not the best time to build a skyscraper because rent prices are declining due to an oversupply of office space for rent in Tallinn.

Uhispank Group will have to find tenants, since it does not need more than 70 percent of the building. Seven floors will be rented out at a cost of 300 kroons per square meter and the top two floors will accommodate a restaurant.

"Three-hundred kroons per square meter in a new building with modern technosystems, which is also very attractive due to its height, is a competitive price," said Roosivali. "For a prestigious company based in a foreign capital renting price may be of a minor importance."