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Kotka supermarket

  • Communicative Urban Space
  • Paul Pinna 21

Kotka supermarket

The store was completed in connection with Tallinn sailing regatta of the Olympic Games in Moscow, and its aim was to show (within a hypocritical campaign) that life in the Soviet Union was as good as in Western countries. Therefore the building was constructed with uncommonly high quality. As the architect Lembit Aljaste designed the building in cooperation with a renowned Finnish company Gripenberg & Co, the supermarket with its red and brown shades was like a fraction of a foreign country amidst grey stone desert of Lasnamäe. Furthermore, it was a self-service store, where goods could be taken from shelves, without the need to ask them from a seller standing behind the counter. The three-storey building constructed near a pedestrian bridge over Lasnamäe channel cut into limestone rock was accessible from all levels. Walls of the building were reddish-brown, while wide cornice and posts of the shelter roof in front of the store were red, which left very colourful impact on grey background.
On the walls of the building, blue and white logo (Finnish flag colours) could be seen in several places, with a resolute-looking eagle, who gave name to the Finnish twin city, inside the letter O.
After regaining independence, the building has got new tenants, and now the dissonant myriad of signs from 1990s is covering the wall.