English summary of the Masters Thesis, Estonian Art Academy 2010, Yoko Alender


Disruptions and encounters in the built environment – spirit and space in the Kopli Railway Depot Area



The thesis concerns the former Kopli depot area in North-Tallinn. Impelled by changes in the

greater infrastructure of the city the railroads and depot are moved out from an area situated

between living quarters. The master thesis and project start from here.

The first main decision made is the choice of location and theme. A place – a theme – that concerns

me – that I wish to draw attention to – want also others, the society to see. North-Tallinn has an

interesting manyfold spatial and social congregation stemming from its industrial and military

history. Also the potential of redevelopment of the former industrial areas and the opening up

of the city to the sea makes the choice of area reasoned.


The thesis is based on a theory of hiatus and cohesion present in the spatial and

cultural/psychological realities. The area (also the whole of North-Tallinn) is cut off from the

city centre and surrounding urban structure by function and incoherent infrastructure, but also

by imagological-cultural means.


The thesis investigates the interralations of space and thought – architecture and language.

The prosesses of the cultural transformations on the every man level affect the development

of space, which in its turn start to affect its users. The concept of hiatus is not presented as

wholly negative and cohesion as a positive feature in both thought and space. Rather the

thesis deals with searching for the meetingpoints of the themes and optimated combinations of

the two in space. Also personal narratives concerning space are evaluated. Public space is

valuated as a possibility for the whole society to generate and reflect transformations – a

space where encounters are made possible.


The thesis consists of three parts. The first deals with the terms and concepts used and gives a

broader cultural backround. The second part gives an analysis of the area and the main ideas

of the thesis. The third part presents the choices made for the concept of the project based on

the formerly presented analysis. The thesis is illustrated and searches for parallells in concepts

given by Walter Benjamin, Henri Bergson and Gilles Deleuze etc.


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