Upon reflecting back to my years in school studying Architecture... I think back to a design class in which a professor once said to us.... "When you guys get out of school...and can afford it... Travel! Go see Europe! Otherwise your designs will end up looking like Markham shopping malls..."
We all laughed... but later on in life, I did get that chance to travel to Europe... I did get to see what some of the true Masters of design were about. In every historic corner of Europe, you find hidden gems of architecture...
This picture was taking in Tallinn, Estonia, I once spent 3 months there during another chapter in my life...
The Great Coastal Gate!
Imagine if you will a medieval town founded in the year 1154. Sailing ships travelling from various Scandinavian and Germanic communities in the Baltic Sea area... coming to the main gate (built in the early 14th century) of an important hub for trade in those days...
The archway crowned with the town's emblem flanked by fortified walls protecting the market and citizens of the area. The stone walls served a purpose for defense, but included design detail that people could marvel at for centuries!
The defense wall blocks your view of what lays beyond it and the winding cobblestone pathway leads your eye in as it prompts you to explore this 850 year old city...(Tallinn)
Still in Estonia, just to the left and down the road a bit from the gate is the Rottermann's Salt Storage, which was renovated recently and is now fittingly converted into The Museum of Estonian Architecture.
Originally designed by a Baltic/German Engineer named Ernst Boustedt and completed in 1908.
When I first saw this building, I could not take my eyes off it. It's shape is so pleasing to the eye as there are hidden geometric ratios in it's form and layout of the facade. The extreme craftsmanship of the Masonry work that went into this structure is a work of art.