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.
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.
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.
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.
Learn more about the project here.
LocationAlberta laukums, Centra rajons, Rīga, LV-1050, Latvia
Project ManagerJulia Line
Project ArchitectsEvgeni Leonov, Gulnara Hasanshina, Antons Gonda
News via U-R-A.