Estonia: Tallinn

British diplomatic representation in Estonia from its independence until 1940 was headed by the minister to the Baltic States, who resided at Riga. There was a consulate in Tallinn for the whole inter-war period, during which the consuls acted as chargés d’affaires from time to time. The consulate was in a leased building at Lai Tanav17.

Estonia regained independence in 1991. The embassy at first worked out of a small suite of offices in central Tallinn. In the mid-1990s, contact was made with a Russian entrepreneur who had been developing a casino complex at 6 Wismari, adjacent to Falgi Park. The property comprised a half-finished building and outbuildings on a site of around half an acre adjoining a small public park. The Russian entrepreneur had run into financial difficulties and the property was bought from him in April 1998 and re-arranged as embassy offices with outbuildings on a self-contained site. Charles Scott, an FCO architect, designed a large glazed portico for the building and Hurd Rolland Partnership completed the development in 1999. The new embassy trialled an early ‘information kiosk’, an inter-active facility in the Reception Area which allowed visitors to see what Britain was about: an interesting idea soon superseded by other forms of IT.

Computer model of proposed new offices.

Offices frontage, as built, 1999.