Kalev Sports Hall in Tallinn earns IOC’s award for sustainable architecture


At the Estonian Olympic Committee’s gala event “Stars of the Year in Sports 2019” (“Spordiaasta Tähed 2019”) the International Olympic Committee’s award “Sports and Sustainable Architecture” was issued to Kalev Sports Hall located in the centre of Tallinn. Its renovation was based on ecological and sustainable principles while preserving the historical heritage of the building.

Pictured: Director of the Tallinn Sports Hall Jüri Dorbek accepting the award. Photo by: Raigo Pajula / Estonian Olympic Committee

According to the head of the Tallinn Sports Hall Jüri Dorbek, the Kalev Sports Hall building is truly inspiring. “There is an inviting aura, it feels like a great place to organize events. The facilities may be somewhat small, but you feel great here since the building truly has its own soul and spirit and a certain place in the hearts of Estonian people,” said Dorbek. 

“Sports facilities are rarely mentioned at sports-related events and galas. But there are hundreds of talented people working sports facilities all over Estonia who provide the best training conditions for our top and young athletes every day. They do this work seriously – not for the highest salary but with great enthusiasm. I want to tell you, dear colleagues, that this is also an implicit recognition of your work, and I’d like to thank you all for it!” noted Dorbek while receiving the International Olympic Committee award on stage of Alexela Concert Hall in front of an audience of 1800 people and live national television broadcast. 

Designed purposely as a sports building, Kalev Sports Hall is one of the symbols of Estonian sports history. Kalev Sports Hall was designed in 1957 and completed in 1962. In 2010, the City of Tallinn bought the building and carried out extensive reconstruction work. In the spring of 2017, Kalev Sports Hall was reopened – the architectural monument under the state protection mostly kept in its original form, but every possible element was updated and modernised. There is more space and functionality, energy efficiency has increased significantly, and renewable energy produced by solar panels is widely used.

“Stars of the Year in Sports 2019” gala event is organised by the Estonian Olympic Committee and sponsored by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia (Kultuurkapital), Postimees Grupp, and Sportland.