Sunday, December 9, 2012

New building

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. 

 This is my office!  I have the orange chair.  The map is to cover up the concrete.  We don't have much of a view, but it is nice to have an office.  Our department probably will paint some of the walls in the future.

 This is the main part of the inside of the building from the fifth floor.
Here is looking up.  Since the buildings are so smashed together they don't have a lot of light coming in, so they added this nice sky light.

 This is what a standard staircase looks like.  Part of the floor is done with really nice tile, and the rest looks like a parking garage.

 This is a typical hallway, the floor is actually ok, but again you can see one of the walls is plain concrete and the ceiling looks like it is from a factory.  I do like the big clock though.

 This part of the building will be the library.  The main library will still stay in its old location, but the text books will be here and this will be a quiet study area.

 Now the people who designed this place aren't complete idiots, so in an attempt to spice up the grey concrete they add small bits of nice color.  These are the bathroom doors, in bright colors.  The interior cubbords and doors of the bathroom match the colors of the outside doors.  This is all fine and nice, but it can't cover up a cement wall. 
 This picture is for my friend Eoin.  In Estonia they have a problem drinking hard liquor.  You can find empty bottles everywhere, although usually it is a single bottle sitting right side up.  I'm not really sure how it turns out that way but I found one in the new building already.  It is left over from the opening ceremony I suppose.

 This is the outside of the building with the new flags flying.

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. 

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