Kärdla is the main town on the small Estonian island Hiiumaa. In 2O15 MARLED together with architects Bornstein Lyckefors won first prize in this general competition to redesign the outdated town center. The context is rurban, people from all over the island come here for services and shopping. Until now, the elongated place was dominated by traffic and parking. The challenge in the competition was to renew the square and create new life in the city center with, among other things, a new market hall and a new cultural center.
Detailed design started in 2017 with a dialogue process with the public and high school pupils. The suggestions and comments from this process helped to adjust the proposal to meet local needs even better. For instance, the market building was downsized and more activities for children and youths added. Our proposal divides the site into a park, an urban square, and a drastically smaller parking area. Public space in human scale where culture, market and greenery meet are created. The proposal is inspired by the nearby stream and uses rain gardens with alders, water play and wetland vegetation in the design. Over 65% of Hiiumaa is covered by forests so wood was a natural choice as the primary construction material for the pavilion, street furniture and playground equipment. Abstract alder cones add local character and are used as play sculptures.
The project was successfully completed in late 2020.