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Olev Sinnmaa was born Oskar Siimann in Pärnu into a joinery shop owner's family. He studied interior and furniture design in Wismar and Konstanz technical schools in Germany. In 1925, he was appointed the architect of the city of Pärnu, Estonia.
Siinmaa's first Functionalist design was in 1930 on Roosikrantsi Street in the Estonian capital of Tallinn. Siinmaa is possibly best recalled as the architect (along with Anton Soans) of the Pärnu Beach Hotel, constructed between 1935 and 1937.
Completed in 1937, the hotel has been described as the "flagship of the new functionalist architecture." In 1938, Siinmaa, along with architect Alar Kotli competed to design the The Paslepa Residence, which was to be the Building of the Office of the then President of Estonia, Konstantin Päts. Kotli designed the ceremonial spaces of the office building, while the President's Big Office was designed by Siinmaa.
- MOMONECO: Pärnu Resort Functionalism
- Ülar Saar: Olev Siinmaa 125
- Estonian Institute. The Pleasure of Mud. Estonian Summer Resort Architecture.
- The President of the Republic of Estonia
- The Independent. Estonia: State of grace by Janet Street-Porter. 27 August 2005
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