Concrete Construction of the Year in Estonia – seaplane hangars of the Tallinn Seaplane Harbour

Press release

During an annual Concrete Day seminar held in Tallinn today, the Concrete Association of Estonia announced winners of ‘The Concrete Construction of Year 2012’ awards.

Concrete Construction 2012 in Estonia is the reconstruction of concrete structures of the seaplane hangars in Estonian Maritime Museum’s Seaplane Harbour (address: Vesilennuki 6, Tallinn). The Grand Prix was granted to constructors Karl Õiger and Heiki Onton.

Client Award – Estonian Maritime Museum, Architect Award – KOKO Arhitektid OÜ: Raivo Kotov, Andrus Kõresaar, Constructor Award (new structures) – Neoprojekt OÜ: Priit Luure, Riho Märtson, Builder Award – Nordecon AS, Concrete – Sika Baltic SIA Estonian branch, Rudus AS.

The seaplane hangars were designed and built between 1915 and 1917 by a Danish company Christian & Nielsen as part of the former naval Miinisadam harbour. The so-called thin shell construction is one of the most outstanding achievements of its time in the whole world regarding both theory and practical usage of reinforced concrete.

One of the biggest challenges of restoration work turned out to be filling different cracks in the hangar domes – total length of cracks endangering the structure was measured as total 3,6 kilometres. All cracks were seamed with metal struts and filled with a special mix. Beneath the domes, a new reinforced concrete layer was added to restore their strength.

Comments of the jury: “The reconstruction work contains more innovation than in most of new constructions. The seaplane hangars illustrate well the longevity of concrete and are very important in popularising concrete as a material. Engineers’ and builders’ work deserves great recognition.”

Aadu Kana, chairman of the jury: “Experts call the seaplane hangars’ restoration process as a great construction industry achievement due the hangars had not been repaired or maintained practically at all within their 95 years of existence, because of which their condition was extremely bad. One of the leaders of such unprecedented reconstruction process in our conditions was Mr. Karl Õiger, a professor of the Tallinn University of Technology, who has for 11 years been engaged with studying the hangars of the Seaplane Harbour and making their reconstruction possible.”


Special Award for the architectural concept was granted to Narva College building of the University of Tartu (address: Raekoja plats 2, Narva). Architect Award – Arhitektuuribüroo Kavakava OÜ: Siiri Vallner, Indrek Peil, Katrin Koov.

Dominant feature of the building is a white concrete front wall facing the Town Hall Square. The wall provides a detailed spatial delineation of the scope of once destroyed stock exchange building and the form of its historic façade. External layer of the ground floor façade has been built by using high-quality white concrete mix (white cement, white filling). The front wall of the first and second floors as well as the third floor’s “beak” pointing towards the Town Hall Square have been assembled from white concrete panels.

Comments of the jury: “It is a building that popularises concrete in best possible manner. Its architectural concept is world-class and purely refined. The entire building is very concrete-like and displays well the possibilities of concrete also inside. An excellent example of a building where concrete serves architecture.”


Special Award of the Estonian Association of Civil Engineers was granted to Karl Õiger and Heiki Onton for the restoration of concrete structures of seaplane hangars at Seaplane Harbour.

Diplomas of the Estonian Association of Civil Engineers were given to:

– Priit Luure and Riho Märtson for reconstruction and design of the structural parts of the seaplane hangars at Seaplane Harbour;

– Maari Idnurm and Siim Randmäe for design of structures of the Narva College building of the University of Tartu;

– Kaido Sooru for design of the overpass at the eastern part of Muuga Harbour.


Special Award of Ehitaja magazine was granted to AS Nordecon for the construction of the crypt and columbarium of St. Paul’s church in Tartu.

The ‘Concrete Construction of the Year’ competition, held for the 13thconsecutive time in Estonia, aims to introduce the broad possibilities of concrete usage to the public and to recognise the people having used this local construction material to realise their ideas: concrete offers numerous possibilities and can be formed in countless ways. 16 nominees entered the competition this year. The competition was open to concrete constructions as well as structures and processes used in them, that were finished for clients during year 2012.

Members of the competition jury were: Mr. Johannes Pello from the Concrete Association of Estonia, Mr. Ralf Lõoke from the Union of Estonian Architects, Mr. Indrek Peterson from the Estonian Association of Construction Entrepreneurs, Mr. Heiki Meos from the Estonian Association of Civil Engineers, Mr. Enno Rebane from the Association of Construction Material Producers of Estonia, Mr. Andres Saar from the Estonian Association of Architectural and Consulting Engineering Companies and Mr. Aadu Kana as the chairman of the jury. Additional members were theme-related journalists Mrs. Eva Kiisler from Ehitaja magazine, Mrs. Liivi Tamm from the business newspaper Äripäev and Finnish architect, editor-in-chief Mrs. Maritta Koivisto from Betoni magazine.


For further information please contact:

Aadu Kana, chairman of the jury and Authorised Engineer in Estonia,
Phone: +372 504 9477

Peeter Kokk, Managing Director, Concrete Association of Estonia,
Phone: +372 518 7198 or +372 648 1918; E-mail:

Enno Rebane, Managing Director, Association of Construction Material Producers of Estonia,
Phone: +372 518 2662 or +372 648 1918; E-mail:

The Concrete Association of Estonia is an organization promoting the usage of concrete as a locally produced construction material. The association comprises 49 enterprises, organisations and individuals.

The Association of Construction Material Producers of Estonia is an organization of entreprises that is engaged in production and sales of construction materials. The association has 62 member companies.

This site is registered on as a development site.