“Eesti”, a project about the Rummu prison by EKA Interior architecture Erasmus exchange student Lieze Vanlerberghe won on the list of Arts Thread’s Global Design final exhibition 2022.
“Eesti” – Lieze Vanlerberghe
(Interior Architecture, Graphic Design)
A parasitic blue life taking over Estonia’s dark history.
I remember Estonia during my Erasmus as a place where people were building a completely new life. However, the scars left by the Soviet Union are still visible.
I stumbled upon this impressive site, in the middle of nature, about 40 km from Tallinn.
Only 50 years ago, Rummu Prison was a former labor camp where limestone was hewn from the ground. In 1991, when the Soviet fell, the quarry was abandoned, and the locks were opened. The quarry filled up with water, too soon to save all the materials present. It seems that the prison was abandoned abruptly from one day to the next.
The feeling you get at the site is indescribable. When I returned in the winter months, the fierceness of it all hit me. Everything was snowy and looked cold and quiet. Suddenly, history emerged almost literally. That experience inspired me enormously.
My eye fell on a typical communist building that stood right on the edge of the lake. I tried to create a new life that runs through the heavy foundations of the prison. An ingenious staircase system that moves very fragile through the openings. Just as I experienced, the country is on the rise. In this way, I did not want the “new life” to touch the heavy walls that symbolize dark history. Throughout the walk, you experience the surroundings from different perspectives.
Source: Estonian Academy of Arts webpage
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