Permanent exhibition in Tallinn, “A heart to heart about your body”
Margus Jurkatam has been the Director of the Estonian Health Care Museum in Tallinn for 6 years. The museum re-opened its doors in May 2014 after a thorough three-year restoration. Work on the top floor of the museum is still ongoing, and will be completed in April 2015.
KOKO Architects, the renowned group of Estonian architects whose work includes the design of the Museum of Puppet Arts in Tallinn, was responsible for the entire renovation project in cooperation with the design team of the multimedia company MOTOR/Produktsioonigrupp OÜ.
The Estonian Health Care Museum was an initiative of medical staff from the University of Tartu. The first steps towards its creation were taken in 1921, and the museum was opened in 1924. Dr. Voldemar Sumberg, the museum's first director, laid the foundation for its subsequent many-sided activities by his enthusiasm and his skills in recruiting the best curatorial staff and obtaining support from medical experts. The Health Care Museum has been operating as a foundation, under the aegis of the Estonian Ministry of Culture and Tallinn University of Technology, since the start of 2014. This new organisational set-up will make it easier for the museum to obtain objective scientific information directly from researchers at the University and to introduce their achievements to the museum's visitors.
The Health Care Museum, which welcomes some 3,000 visitors every month, is housed in two historic buildings in Tallinn's Old Town. The first director of the museum, Voldemar Sumberg, had a clear vision of the museum's mission: "Health museums are not just depositories for antiquities and historical artefacts," he said. "They are educational institutions, with the task of teaching people about healthcare issues."
The reconstruction of the museum as a whole and the creation of a new permanent exhibition began in 2011. All technical systems were updated in a way that preserved the original features of the building - for example, by hiding the necessary wiring and other systems n the walls, above the ceilings and below the floors. The museum is housed in two medieval buildings, which were given a complete face-lift (while still preserving as much of their original character as possible) during the three years when the museum was closed for renovation. "We opted for a very modern design in the medieval rooms," Margus Jurkatam explains. "KOKO Architects, who had won the competition for renovation of the museum in 2010, designed a kind of labyrinth through which visitors can walk as if they are passing through the organs of the human body. We have a dual aim for the new bulding. On the one hand it is a museum, on the other it is an educational establishmentthat aims to make a real contribution to medical science - especially from our perspective as medical historians. One of the special events in the museum's annual programme is a scientific competition, which was first held three years ago. This is one of the activities we use to increase secondary school students' awareness of anatomy and physiology, and indirectly to raise the level of healthcare in Estonia." The scientific competition encourages pupils to carry out independent research into problems in the medical and related fields. The number of participants has grown from 18 in 2011 to 52, from 27 schools across Estonia, in 2014."
|The museum's Vision Room explores how we see things and the mechanisms underlying optical illusions. In addition, the museum as a whole has been designed to facilitate use by partially sighted and blind visitors|
The Estonian Health Care Museum has a permanent exhibition, called "A heart to heart about your body", which shows children and adults - who often come from Russia, Finland, Sweden and Latvia as well as Estonia - how their body and their internal organs work. The new permanent exhibition aims to give visitors a vivid and memorable experience of health, the history of healthcare and breakthrough discoveries in this field. Visitors are given the opportunity to enter the human world at a microscopic level and to tewst their senses. The structure of the exhibition follows the human life cycle, covering all vital functions from birth to death and making detours at each stage. The musem is also an educational facility that uses illustrative displays to explain healthcare topics in a visual and engaging manner. Children enjoy the virtual hair-style machine, which allows them to E-mail a photo of themselves with a simulated extravagant hair-do. The special gallstone collection is another highlight.
|The Mirror Room is designed to challenge visitors' understanding of how the brain processes visual stimuli presented to it. The glass-fronted showcases in this room are in the shape of people, and have pictures of people mounted inside them. Visitors entering the room see both these showcases and their own images reflected in the walls, and have to decide which of the images they see are of real people.|
Margus Jurkatam , manager of the museum, is showing what sizes and lifetimes different human cells have.
Health Care Museum of Estonia: Ülle Kask, Kärt Mikli, Margus Jurkatam, Kai Merilain, Karina York, Helena Orle.
Head of engineering KOKO architects: Project manager: Jaanus Männik, director of Koko Architects, Estonia, Indrek Mikk (architect)
Interior architecture by KOKO architects: Liis Lindvere, Raili Paling and Kadri Kaldam. Consultant of exhibition solutions: Andrus Kõresaar.
Exhibition development, design and production:
MOTOR/Produktsioonigrupp OÜ. Project lead: Teele Laats. Designers: Marko Ausma, Maris Kaskmann, Joosep Maripuu.
Multimedia, animations, hands-on: Siim Vinter, Mark Baranin, Sander Põldsaar. Displays (exhibits): Villu Plink, Kristiina Laurits.
For further information please visit: www.tervishoiumuuseum.ee