Roosikrantsi 8b – History of the Building

The Commissioner’s Office has moved to a new address – Roosikrantsi 8b. The building was built by the apartment association “Your own Family” (in Estonian “Oma Pere”) from 1939-1940. The architects of this representational as well as functional building are Ott Puuraid (1904-1986) and Harald Arman (1910-1965).

The relief, titled “Family”, decorating the southern facade of the building, has an importance of cultural heritage and acclaimed national importance. The sculptor of the relief is August Vomm (1906-1976), a renowned professor at the Estonian Academy of Art. You can enter the Commissioner’s Office from the main entrance of the building, which is located in the middle of large shop windows. The Commissioner’s Office is accessible also to people with disabilities.

The building at Roosikrantsi 8b is historically a kind of memorial to the protection of fundamental rights. The upper floor of the facade has marks from several gunshots. The families who built the house could only live in the building for a very short time before the Soviet occupation took place. They did not manage to complete all interior design elements. The academician Mart Kalm had estimated that the architecture similar to the building at Roosikrantsi 8b would have been the modern Estonian architecture of the 1940s if the Estonian people would not have lost their freedom.

Before the Soviet occupation, the premises on the first floor of the building used to belong to the first Estonian mixed-gender corporation Põhjala. During the Soviet time, a fashion studio of skilled master craftsmen was active in those spaces. The corporation continued to operate in exile. The sculptor of the relief, August Vomm, complimented his studies in Paris and achieved wide recognition already before the war. During the occupation, August Vomm stayed in Soviet Estonia, while his wife, the painter Benita Vomm, together with their children, managed to flee to Germany. In the years to come, August Vomm stood out as a creator of many warmhearted sculptures depicting children and animals. He also continued to teach several generations of contemporary Estonian sculptors.

After the occupation, the premises at Roosikrantsi 8b were returned to the original owner, the Corporation Põhjala.