Tartu University: Narva College

Narva, Estonia

Facts and downloads

  • Architect: Kavakava OÜ
  • Location: Narva, Estonia
  • Fellert Area: 3500 m² (37,674 ft²)
  • Fellert Installer: Acoustic Baltic
  • General contractor: YIT Estonia
  • Type: New construction/renovation



The beak in Narva. Prize-winning Estonian illusion

The story of the Narva school’s origins is not only interesting, it also has a moral. It’s the story of three architects’ insistent strivings to gain acceptance for a design vision above and beyond the norm. Narva College has received a multitude of awards and international acclaim, and rightly so. Fellert and Even Better Secern played a lesser but very significant role in this prestigious project – creating high quality acoustical environments for Estonia’s future talents.

The city of Narva is a unique building environment in the correct meaning of the word. Most of the city was completely destroyed during the Second World War and when Estonia was later occupied by the Soviet Union, the order of the day was the most brutal possible – level it to the ground! An entirely new city was built up, with neither consideration to the previous city plan nor architecture. Moreover, Estonian citizens were forbidden to live in the city. A few buildings were spared however, such as the Alexander Cathedral and the old city hall. In this extremely sensitive environment, an entirely new school was to be built – a building with striking architecture. The twists and turns around this project are all too many to describe here in detail, but the architects at Kavakava finally gained acceptance for their visions, and if a city could smile, old Narva would grin with pleasure over the results. Directly adjoining the city hall there is now a building that unites history and the future in a spectacular manner, much due to the genial facade with it’s characteristic “beak” that from a distance is reminiscent of how the old Narva could have looked with an optical illusion. Being able to contribute to a smoothly functioning academic environment and high quality acoustics in such a building is a privilege enjoyed by few.


(Photo: Mads Fredrik)

Top benefits

  • Large surfaces, discriminating interior, good acoustics
  • Historical building environment
  • Educational activities with varying spatial needs