I spent Monday wandering around Tallinn, taking pictures of monumental Soviet structures that are still significant. Probably the greatest of these is the City Hall, an enormous bunker of a concert venue and ice rink erected for the 1980 Olympics. Like all these imposing buildings, its footprint is vastly disproportionate to the useful space. Where modern buildings such as the Plaza multiplex manage to fit a surprising amount of function into a seemingly minor volume, these Soviet architectural memorials of gray stone and concrete strive to comprehensively fill up your vista.
You approach the City Hall via a large plaza, and climb a wide stairway, the bunker shape rising to your eyeline as you ascend. The long walk from the stairs to the main entrance - necessitated by the harbour rail line passing underneath - gives you time to take in the expansive projection of the complex. The amphitheater of the main stage is dug into the ground, a massive 6000-seat semicircle. A concrete pier juts out behind the structure, now the home of a Helsinki commuter ferry and a closed heliport.
It is difficult to find the one angle that would convey the brooding dominance of this compound. An amble through its courtyards and back passages leaves you with the impression that it could very easily feature in the next Half-Life or Stalker game.