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Luminescent script of the cinema Kosmos

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    Communicative Urban Space
  • Pärnu mnt 45

Luminescent script of the cinema Kosmos

Cinema Kosmos located at Pärnu Road is an iconic part of Tallinn cityscape. This building, which was completed in 1962–1964, was strikingly modern after the abandoning of Stalinist classicism. The architect of the building placed loosely on the lot was Ilmar Laasi, who probably knew the building of Berlin Philharmonic (architect Hans Scharoun, 1960–1963) constructed at the same time. Relevant references are swinging shelter roof of the building, glass surfaces reaching the ground, and silent red brick walls of the higher hall part, aligned as dense vertical ribs.

High wall of the cinema bears the neon script Kosmos, resembling a careless signature. Such glass tubes filled with gas started to spread in 1930s, when it was discovered that activated gas became luminescent in the tube. Connected letters were favoured in the design, due to uniform distribution of gas. While in case of a regular neon sign the solution followed the italic handwriting style often favoured in Germany, the swinging script of Kosmos supplements perfectly the elegant architecture of the building.