This week was the official opening of the new Astra building! This year our university got two new buildings (see the October post on the other building here) This is a pretty big building, 10,500 square meters or 113,000 square feet. It cost 9.8 million euros to build, most of which was paid for by the EU. It has five floors, and our department is on the third floor. We had been previously across the street in an older building. We are all very happy with the new building, it is nice to not have to cross the street in the winter time.
Compared to BYU, the quality is lacking, but we are still very happy with it. The construction was pretty cheap. For example in 2004 when BYU built the 280,000 square foot JFSB it cost 78 million dollars, or 60 million euros. It cost 6 times more to build the JFSB, but it is only a little more than twice as big. The new Astra building follows a similar design as the Nova, lots of cement inside which certainly is one of the reasons it was pretty affordable.
The first picture is the outside of the new building, connected to its left is the main building. Then behind them are three more buildings forming the main part of the university. There are a few other buildings in other parts of Tallinn, but most if the university is in this one block area.
You can look at the photo gallary the local newspaper put together here they have some really cool pictures that I didn't get. Maybe I have been a bit harsh on the architechts of the building (given Estonia's grey concrete Soviet past, how could they not know better?), but it is really nice to have a new building. It will make life a lot easier for everybody.