Estonian Methodist Church of the Congregation of St. Luke
Architect: Arhitektuuribüroo Kolde Grupp OÜ
Author: Indrek Allmann
Structural Elements: Estkonsult OÜ
Hall Lamps: Tarmo Luisk
Project Designed: 2001
After turning from the dense city centre onto picturesque Vallikraavi Street, one can easily forget the anxiety and speed, automobiles and asphalt of the city centre as one proceeds along the slope of Toomemäe. Although the hustle and bustle of the city is all right around the corner, it is not visible behind the bend in the road. Here there are trees and it is peaceful (it could be just my delusive impression, having come from Tallinn, yet there does not appear to be any particular metropolitan noise here either).
On the left, an isolated Little White Church towers on the green slope. Its narrow windows and angular shape make it a monumental observer looking down into the valley. Access to the church is via a stair ascending at a respectful distance. The only way to approach the church is slowly, glancing from time to time to view the building as a whole. This white church is not some sort of romantic knickknack, the new old-fashioned decorativity of which would nevertheless appear in our contemporary era of disbelief to be merely a miserable reminder of a distant religious glory. It is also not the expressive latest fashion through which both the architect and the congregation could advertise themselves. Upon closer examination, the building is in fact extremely practical. Its hall section with its sloped roof is connected to an office block of non-ambitious simple form. Its frugal bell tower is also its stairwell, and the entire building is deliberately economical. It is actually only the first stage of the church building as a whole. Presently, church services are held in the future chapel.
The church has a great deal of secondary roles in modern society and nothing ties its exterior appearance to canonical methods of form, especially in the case of institutionally American so called "new churches". The modernistic architecture of the Methodist Church of the Congregation of St. Luke, its hall designed with simple materials like brick or wood and its office wing with its altogether so called zero-design resembles some sort of safe Scandinavian communal centre, a common room for meek society activities that take place regularly. The modern church is a public institution. Here the Methodists have, for example, a cafeteria, a soup kitchen with a separate entrance, rooms for Sunday school, a library and offices. Thus the hall also does not stand out with anything architecturally spectacular – the spacious quadrangular room has a dark clinker floor, narrow windows with coloured glass (according