New building of the Academy of Security Sciences opened on 22 February

EASS new building

On Friday, 22 February 2019, the new study building of the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences (EASS) was opened at the border of Maarjamäe and Pirita-Kose in Tallinn.

The event also included the inauguration ceremony of the new rector Marek Link. The opening ceremony was preceded by the traditional Estonian Independence Day parade formation where the students and employees of the academy were greeted by the Prime Minister Jüri Ratas, Minister of the Interior Katri Raik, Minister of Justice Urmas Reinsalu and the leaders of internal security agencies.

The gross surface area of the new building is about 11,000 m2. In addition to classrooms and administrative offices, there are various specific rooms for conducting instruction in the curricula of internal security, for the use of virtual simulation equipment, fire safety and other labs, prison simulation environment, sports halls, indoor shooting range etc.

According to the rector of EASS Marek Link, the advantage of the new building is that now the implementation of integrated instruction will be more efficient, in other words, the students of the curricula of rescue, police service, customs, prison officers etc can study together and exchange experience. “The new building has improved the facilities for more practical studies,” the rector said. “We are extremely proud that we now have a system of virtual simulation labs unique in Northern Europe with 3D technology allowing us to play through the entire crisis management chain starting from the call to the emergency response centre up to the government office and all in a relatively realistic environment,” Marek Link stresses.

The building also includes a large conference centre for 256 participants – allowing the internal security and safety institution to organise extensive international conferences in Estonia.

According to the Minister of Interior Katri Raik, who was the rector of EASS prior to joining the government, Estonian security begins at EASS and in addition to strong lecturers, also the physical environment of the academy must enhance the provision of the best possible education. “It is surprising that the higher education institution of internal security was the last university in Estonia to receive new premises,” the Minister said. “The construction and planning of the new building have been thorough and efficient. I am glad that the newly elected rector Marek Link can start here as he has proven to be a highly innovative lecturer and Vice-Rector of Innovation and Development,” Katri Raik said.

The construction of the new academic building of the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences was funded by the EU Regional Development Fund investment plan of the institutional development programme ASTRA for research and development and higher education institutions (13.5 million euros) with the rest provided by the state budget. Together with the IT and sports equipment and the interior decoration, the total cost amounted to 19 million euros.

The architecture competition for the new building held in 2016 was won by the entry “Faalanks” by a team of architects of the architecture office Arhitekt11. The design project was completed on March 20 in 2017 and a construction company was selected through an international procurement. The Estonian Academy of Security Sciences signed a contract with the construction company Nordecon on June 10 and the much-awaited construction work could begin later that summer. The foundation stone was laid on 28 November 2017. The rafter party to celebrate the attainment of the height of the building was held on 16 April 2018. Over the 3.5 years of the construction, altogether 250 people spent over a million man-hours on the project.

Grand and dynamic in its architectural form and both protected and open depending on the perspective, the building provides a visual expression of the values of EASS. The highly powerful form reflects institutionalisation while also remaining cosy and allowing synergy between the units.

The main justification for the construction of the new study building of EASS was the need for a building fitting the unique features and the specific studies of the school. So far, the academy had operated in the building complexes constructed for the school of Construction Troops during the Soviet occupation.

See the opening ceremony gallery from EASS Facebook. 

See the pictures of EASS's new building also from EASS Facebook.