The Estonian pavilion surprises visitors with lots of different experiences. For example introducing Estonia as a modern country with interesting history and traditions, promoting nature and our forward-looking people. More than 40 Estonian companies have been involved in preparing the content of the pavilion, being present with their products and services at the world exhibition for the entire six months.
The permanent exhibition on the ground floor of the pavilion is a thematic video installation covering various aspects of Estonian life. The viewer’s interest in Estonia is prompted with the help of exciting scenes trying to answer simple questions such as “Where is Estonia?”, “Who is Estonia?” and “What is Estonia?”. The videos in the “nest boxes” showcase Estonian culture and customs, the identity of Estonians, Estonian information society, nature and food. The purpose of the videos is to transmit a message about Estonia as a country with diverse and available opportunities and prompt the visitor to explore the other displays and exhibitions at the pavilion in greater depth.
RESTAURANT AND SWINGS
The other half of the first floor welcomes visitors with a restaurant - operated by Kitchen Mood - serving Estonian dishes, snacks and craft beer. The restaurant counter showcases the smart plants by Click & Grow which symbolise the innovative and nature-friendly mindset of Estonians.
On every floor of the pavilion there are swings for both young and not so young visitors to enjoy.
STAGE / RECREATIONAL AREA
The ground floor will also be a setting for a stage set up on the main street, where the visitors can enjoy concerts by Estonian orchestras, choirs and bands. In the time free from public events, the stage is available as a recreational area where people can rest their feet in the comfortable bean bag chairs in Estonian national patterns.
PERMANENT EXHIBITION “POWERED BY ESTONIA”
The first floor of the pavilion welcomes visitors with the permanent exhibition “Good Estonian Things”. This is a symbiosis of installations based on various Estonian products, themes and ideas. In every nest box, the focus is on a theme presented to the visitor through interesting videos, images and texts. Some of the nest boxes call on the visitor to explore the theme, whereas others are interactive installations providing an experience through participation in an activity.
In the song and dance festival nest box visitors will find general information about this cultural phenomenon and four Estonian folk dances can be learned in a quick course. The history of the largest folk party in Estonia is displayed here and entertaining scenes from the 2014 festival can be watched. The main consultant and supervisor in the preparation of the nest box was the Estonian Song and Dance Celebration Foundation.
In the nest box introducing modern bicycle culture and community, visitors can try out a bicycle by Viks on the cobbled streets of Tallinn, marvel at the leader’s jersey Jaan Kirsipuu wore during the Tour de France and read texts about Estonian cycling heroes and the cycling movement gaining popularity in Estonia. The preparation of the cycling nest box has been supported by Viks and Tour d’ÖÖ.
In the e-Estonia nest box, visitors can enjoy a short overview of Estonian success stories and achievements in the field of information technology, where digital signature, e-state and e-residence are the main keywords. The purpose of the nest box is to show how much a state can facilitate communication with citizens with the help of IT and how much more convenient it makes everyday life. Not to mention saving on time and other resources, of course. The preparation of the nest box has been supported by e-Estonia Showroom.
In the science nest box, major universities of Estonia present themselves to the world: Tallinn University of Technology, the University of Tartu, the Estonian University of Life Sciences, Tallinn University and the Estonian Academy of Arts. The universities showcase their discoveries and present Estonia as a country with smart thoughts and people. Some of the exhibits are directly related to the main theme of the EXPO. For example, the Estonian Academy of Arts showcase T-shirts by the brand UP by Reet Aus, which are made from recycled materials to save energy and other resources.
The wooden house nest box tells a story of the use of the most ancient construction material in modern Estonia. As we all know, Estonian wooden house manufacturers are recognised for their high-quality work and materials and this is one of the reasons why Estonia is one of the major exporters of wooden houses in the world. The sponsor of the nest box is the Estonian Woodhouse Association.
The nest box of the Estonian forest has been created for a very simple reason: to convey the feeling one gets when walking in the Estonian birch forest. The walls of the nest box are covered with mirrors to intensify the effect of the forest even more – a very simple solution with a strong message. The authors of the nest box are students of the Estonian Academy of Arts.
MOTHER EARTH & DELICIOUSNESS
The permanent exhibition also displays nest boxes dedicated to Estonian food and the importance of rye in Estonian cuisine. The main messages conveyed are seasonality and freshness, the world view of young Estonian chefs being similar to their Nordic colleagues and the resulting similarities between Estonian and Nordic cuisine. The rye nest box is focused on this cereal, traditional in the Estonian kitchen, from its sowing to harvest, and the products made from rye – bread, vodka and beer. The rye and food nest boxes have been prepared in cooperation with Sangaste Rye Village, Moe Distillery and A. le Coq Brewery.
MYSTERIOUS PATH & COAST OF NORTHERN BEAUTY
Estonia as a tourist destination is introduced at the permanent exhibition with two nest boxes: the Northern Estonia (bog) and the Western Estonia (islands) nest box. In the bog nest box, among other things, visitors can have their photos taken on a three-dimensional moorland landscape and in the nest box of the islands, major islands of Estonia are introduced and seals recorded with the nature camera can be observed. The sponsor of the tourism nest boxes is the Estonian Tourist Board.
SOUND OF ESTONIA
The nest box of Estonian music introduces Estonian musicians making various styles of music. The most famous name in this nest box is the composer Arvo Pärt, of course. Music for the nest box has been chosen with the help of Virgo Sillamaa from Music Estonia.
In the glass hall on the first floor, the Estonia piano and the Renard motorcycle have been displayed as individual contrasting objects, the first of them symbolising a product with decades-long traditions and history and the other symbolising modern design. The glass hall also welcomes visitors with a souvenir shop selling handicrafts and designs by recognised and well-known Estonian artists.
On the second floor of the pavilion, visitors can enjoy the Estonian forest – this is the area for getting to know Estonian nature and relaxing. When a visitor sits on a bench in the roof area, an Estonian bird begins to sing in the forest installation. When there is more than one visitor, a nice Estonian bird symphony can be enjoyed as there are lots of benches here. Through peepholes, the everyday activities of Estonian birds and animals can be observed in the nature cameras.
ESTONIAN DESIGN ROOM
On the second floor, visitors will find the Estonian design showcase room, which is great for holding small meetings and presentations. The interior of the design room displays designs by Bolefloor, Borg, Audes, Radis, Borealis, Derelict, Less and Visioon Tekstiil.