U-R-A's Alberta Square Renovation in Latvia Evokes Maritime and Beverage History

U-R-A's Alberta Square Renovation in Latvia Evokes Maritime and Beverage History, Courtesy of U-R-A
Courtesy of U-R-A

U-R-A | United Riga Architects and Evgeni Leonov have won the competition to renovate Alberta Square in Riga, Latvia. The design combines the historical heritage of the site as the location of the first ancient Latvian settlements in Riga with the cultural heritage of Riga Black Balsam, a drink created by medieval pharmacist Abraham Kunce, who lived around the corner from the site.

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Drawing from a previous concept developed by M. Lejnieks that intended to place a wooden shipwreck model in the square, the new winning design features glass “in a ship silhouette form, which exhibits historical artifacts found in excavations” below grade, to serve as a sort of time machine displaying twelfth century Riga.

Courtesy of U-R-A
Courtesy of U-R-A

The project additionally includes a “dry fountain” space in which visitors can walk or sit that is reminiscent of Riga as an ancient port through its wooden flooring and wave-like steps.

Courtesy of U-R-A
Courtesy of U-R-A

In honor of Kunce, a monument in the silhouetted shape of the Riga Black Balsam bottle, entitled The Spiral of Kunce’s Life, is located at the side of the square. The spiral can be walked through like a tunnel, and serves as a “portal” to the square.

Courtesy of U-R-A
Courtesy of U-R-A

Learn more about the project here.

News via U-R-A.

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: Sabrina Santos. "U-R-A's Alberta Square Renovation in Latvia Evokes Maritime and Beverage History" 19 Feb 2016. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/782283/u-r-as-alberta-square-renovation-in-latvia-evokes-maritime-and-beverage-history/>