Noblessner Shipyard, a newly-decommissioned industrial property on the Tallinn seaside, has found new life as an offbeat event venue, with its one-of-a-kind atmosphere making it a popular choice whenever a large space is needed in the city centre. Since shipbuilding operations ended here this spring, the site has played host to a jazz festival, a fashion show and a lifestyle fair, as well as corporate and VIP events. The unrenovated facility has also been used as the setting for this year’s Stancest car show and housed the Tallinn Maritime Days’ Design Street expo.
Sitting on the shoreline a few metres from the capital’s Seaplane Harbour attraction, the shipyard comprises multiple structures from various decades of the 20th century. The building that hosts events is a decidedly raw-looking, Soviet-era colossus measuring over 1,500 m2 in area. It comes with 20 m ceilings and massive sliding doors that open towards Tallinn Bay. It’s this vast scale, rough look and bay views that have made Noblessner a sought-after locale.
The history of the Noblessner Shipyard goes back to 1913 when the St. Petersburg-based Nobel & Lessner Company, part-owned by oil industrialist Emanuel Nobel (nephew of Alfred Nobel), established it as a submarine works. The yard produced 12 submarines for the Imperial Russian Navy between then and 1917, and in the decades since has primarily served for shipbuilding and repair. Current plans involve a 250 million euro investment to redesign the property into an integrated residential and commercial area that makes maximum use of its access to the sea.