Almost every large city of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe can "boast" of a large number of abandoned industrial buildings. It is what it is, state-run economy is gone, and production at these industrial monsters became unprofitable. That's how these buildings appeared to be outside the area of human activity. These vast territories with industrial waste are often located in the city center. They are a true headache for the authorities. Somewhere they are turned into original Loft properties. Somewhere they are simply demolished. However, most of these monsters are abandoned and almost lifeless.
They found an original solution to this problem in Tallinn. It might be adopted by others. Why don't we give these industrial facilities to creative designers and young entrepreneurs with a minimum of investment? They did it with workshops and administrative buildings of the former Tallinn electrical plant, turning it into the modern popular cultural and shopping center called Telliskivi.
I've visited this place and got a lot of extraordinary experiences. Let's look together how the Estonians managed to create something totally unique from the grim industrial hopelessness...
A new railway station was opened in Tallinn, or rather in Revel, in the distant year 1870. It connected the city with St. Petersburg. That beautiful building was located near the center of the Old Town of Tallinn. Unfortunately, it was destroyed during the Second World War, and it's hard to name the new building that was constructed in its place in the Soviet years the city's adornment.
Almost 150 years ago, they began to build iron-road shops next to the station. Production was of high quality and craftsmanship from the very beginning. They constructed here the royal train, and after the revolution - the first electric train in the Baltic region.
Tallinn locomotive-repair factory was formed on the basis of these workshops with the advent of Soviet power. It was named after one of the main ideologists of the USSR Mikhail Kalinin. Then they established a Research Institute in the territory, and the plant was switched to production of so-called mercury rectifiers. In those days it was the advanced technologies used in particular in the construction of engines for the first Soviet lunar rover. Units for nuclear power plants and aircrafts were also created here.
By the way, core of experts and part of technology were saved after the collapse of the Union. Production was modernized, a new modern plant was built and necessary world certificates were collected. But the old factory area with preserved royal workshops became abandoned.
City officials of Tallinn didn't manage to breathe new life into the hopeless derelict factory buildings immediately.
They didn't do here modern renovations and repairs. And didn't build new buildings for offices and private apartments. They decided to give the whole vast territory of the former factory to enterprising young people. Who could not offer multi-million dollar investment, but who had many creative ideas. That's how the so-called creative Telliskivi town was born. It is translated from Estonian like "brick".
Now this place is considered to be very fashionable and popular among residents and tourists. It is called the hipster paradise - and for a reason!
They turned former freight containers into small bars and cafes.
Organized a flea market in workshops.
Trendy restaurants - in the dining room building.
Dozens of shops and pubs were opened in administrative buildings.
They used original designs that do not require large expenditures. To create unique interiors, they used everything they had - pallets, different metalware or abandoned mechanisms. It is very creative.
All the pubs and shops here are special. There are no fashion boutiques and brand-name restaurants, but there are many places where you can try cuisine with drinks from around the world and buy original items of clothing or interior.
Local graffiti deserve separate attention. This street art enlivens the brick walls.
Telliskivi has a lot of very talented works that make you stop and marvel at the original thinking of their authors.
There's a whole gallery of modern street art.
The growing popularity of this district has also attracted attention of larger businesses. Major design and architectural companies began to open here their representative offices. Apparently, this is just the beginning of new history of this district .
We got in Telliskivi right from the streets of the Old Town. First we passed the station with empty platforms. Up to 140 trains per day used to depart from here. Riga, Pskov, Moscow, Leningrad and Minsk - almost all of these directions are now unprofitable. Stylish Swiss trains ply only around the surrounding areas. Although Estonia has plans for the reconstruction of the past values of railways.
Then we got on the territory of the former workshops along the paths of the old branch line. The first views we saw were a bit strange. But this is not the front part of Telliskivi, but rather the local backyards.
Soon we reached the first original object - the restaurant arranged directly between the two carriages. Moreover, visitors can sit here on the original passenger seats and at the tables selected from the Soviet carriages.
Well, and then we got into the whole cluster of very different eateries, fast foods and outdoor cafes.
One can easily notice that there are still many unused buildings.
This town has perspectives for growth. After all, you can not only get a snack or buy the original things here. Telliskivi has its own theater, dance center, several concert venues. Something is always going on here.
We visited one of the concert venues.
And saw a lot of innovative solutions in the interior once again.
Amazingly, but this chaos of used things has a certain comfort and aesthetics.
Of course, we could not resist and decided to eat somewhere. We chose the very unusual restaurant with a strange unpronounceable name - "Lendav Taldrik". It can be translated from Estonian as "flying plate".
They serve Indian cuisine and delicious alcoholic cocktails in the original, sometimes even unearthly, atmosphere.
What do you think about tables of the former cable reels or sofas of pallets?
Prices and service are quite affordable.
One can eat and drink depending on the thickness of the purse.
It is clear that not everyone will feel freely in this district. Telliskivi is created by young and brave people for the same like-minded people. Ordinary unpretentious people will feel in freedom here. There's the vast majority of such people among us!