Presidency venue – Tallinn Creative Hub (Kultuurikatel)

The main venue for the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union is Tallinn Creative Hub (Kultuurikatel), a multifunctional creative and cultural centre located by the sea in central Tallinn.

The carefully renovated building boasts a fascinating history and has become a popular venue for cultural events, festivals, concerts and exhibitions, as well as housing various creative businesses. The character of Tallinn Creative Hub (Kultuurikatel) is matched by its surroundings - the cosy Creative Hub Garden is perfect for holding events or just relaxing in the summer, while more colour is provided by the Contemporary Art Museum of Estonia (EKKM), the Energy Discovery Centre, and Linnahall, a Soviet-era former concert and sports venue soon set for a makeover.

Tallinn Creative Hub (Kultuurikatel) is located in the former building of Tallinn City Central Power Station, which began operating in 1913 and closed in 1979. Arguably it was the founding of the power station that brought electric power to the masses in Estonia. The limestone building which now houses Tallinn Creative Hub used to be the power station’s boiler room, which was completed in 1934.

Kultuurikatel
Tallinn Creative Hub (Kultuurikatel). Photo: Kaupo Kalda

The brick chimney was erected in 1948 and was the tallest in the Baltic States at the time, rising to a height of 102.5 metres.

The impressive boiler hall has a 16-metre ceiling, and houses giant boilers built in 1948 and 1949. They were designed and made in Estonia and adapted for the use of local oil shale. Oil shale has also had a lasting impact on the landscape around the Creative Hub. As there was no place to store the ash left over from burning oil shale, it was dumped on the beach, thus steadily advancing the shoreline. Linnahall now stands on the resulting ash field.

The chimney of the power station also had to be extended to prevent a thick black smoke from blanketing the city. The brick chimney was erected in 1948 and was the tallest in the Baltic States at the time, rising to a height of 102.5 metres.

Stalker (1979)
Stalker (1979)

The power station stopped production on 2 February 1979, while the boilers continued to operate until the early 1990s.

However, the most colourful detail in the history of the Creative Hub is related to culture and, more specifically, 1977, when the renowned Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky shot his film Stalker, now a classic of sci-fi cinema, in the complex. The famous scene where the protagonists enter the Zone was filmed right at the gate of the Creative Hub. The letters UN - standing for United Nations - were painted on the chimney in the course of the film shoot and are still visible today.

Location

Tallinn Creative Hub (Kultuurikatel)

Põhja pst 27a, 10415 Tallinn, Estonia