A Unique Place in the Whole Baltic Sea Region
In cooperation with Scandium Kinnisvara, Everaus Kinnisvara and the 3 + 1 architects, What If had the opportunity to create a vision for the revitalization of the Marienholm Peninsula. The uniqueness of the narrow Marienholm peninsula provides an opportunity to create timeless and site-specific qualities for the location. At the same time it opens new opportunities for visitors thirsting for new sensory experiences around the world.
The total size of the area to be developed is almost 8 hectares, with a public promenade running on the morning and evening shore of about 1.5 km. The promenade runs along the peninsula past the planned spa hotel, restaurants, culture tower, harbor building, sea villas and apartment buildings.
In its openness to the sea, the environment being built on the peninsula can be seen from all directions and has a great impact on the entire silhouette of Haapsalu. The revitalization of the peninsula’s marine culture is important in creating a new living environment. The aim is to create landing opportunities here for vessels with different drafts. The wharf at the top of the island is the deepest waterway in Haapsalu, which can be used to attract visitors from all over the Baltic Sea region. The lagoon of Haapsalu Bay has great potential to become the Venice of the Baltic Sea – Marienholm is becoming the epicenter of local marine culture.
An important concept in creating a new environment for the peninsula is the authenticity of the experience based on the uniqueness of the place. Marienholm aims to promote a slow, purposeful culture as opposed to mass tourism and immoderate consumption. The identity of the peninsula grows over time through local creation – art, design, music and other cultural events. The focus is on a slow and contemplative lifestyle – being in the moment, experiencing emotion immediately and deeply.
Due to the unique position of the location, it was a great challenge to create the most unique and comprehensive environment possible, which would further enhance the character of the peninsula and at the same time take into account all user groups on the peninsula. Thanks to a very diverse team with different competencies, it was possible to successfully implement such a challenge.
A separate challenge in designing the living environment is to ensure privacy in a situation where the entire peninsula is publicly accessible and there is an active movement of people in all directions during the high season. The architectural solution is designed in such a way that the buildings raised to the “feet” to protect against high tide are additionally secured with artificial dunes covered with landscaping, which help to create a semi-private space for the residents.