Gunārs Birkerts, the prolific Latvian-American architect best known for designing the "Castle of Light"—the world's largest library in Riga, Latvia—has died aged 92. The National Library, which was first conceived in 1988 and officially opened in 2014, has become among the most significant, and controversial, contemporary public buildings in Latvia.
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Bee Breeders has announced its winners of the Mango Vinyl Hub Competition, which entailed the repurposing of an abandoned tin foil factory in Latvia into a new industrial hub.
Bee Breeders have selected winners of the Stone Barn Meditation Camp competition, seeking to create a place of refuge for individuals amidst the pristine natural beauty of one of Latvia’s most remote regions. In announcing the competition results, the jury applauded the respect and regard shown to the environment by submitted schemes, commenting that the most successful projects stood out for their simplicity, elegance, and balance with nature.
Bee Breeders has released the results of their Blue Clay Country Spa competition, which asked participants to design a non-urban ecotourism facility in Latvia. The competition invited students and professionals to “interrogate the inherent tensions between subject and object, [and] building and site,” as well as to “engage the agency of typological form—including, for instance, the courtyard, shed, garden, and pavilion.”
Focussing on prefabricated and sustainable means of construction, Italian practices 3GATTI Architecture Studio and OFL Architecture have envisioned an airy forest resort and spa in the historical region of Kurzeme, Latvia. The Pinecones Resort does its name justice by the spiky cone-like units that inhabit the site, made possible through the use of an inflatable roof constructed from ETFE, a lightweight polymer film.
PLH Arkitekter has been announced as one of two winners in the international design competition for Rail Baltica, organized by The European Railroad Lines, Ltd. As a part of the European transport network, Rail Baltica will be a multi-modal public transport hub in the Latvian capital of Riga, with a railway bridge crossing the Daugava River.
As part of ArchDaily's coverage of the 2016 Venice Biennale, we are presenting a series of articles written by the curators of the exhibitions and installations on show.
The Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation has selected Adjaye Associates to lead the design for a new contemporary art museum in downtown Riga. Selected from a pool of 7 finalists including wHY and Lahdelma & Mahlamäki, the winning design features a strongly animated roof geometry designed to pull soft northern light into each of the gallery spaces.
The Baltic Pavilion at the 2016 Venice Biennale, representing Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, will explore the "transformative efforts at play" that are currently "reprogramming an inert region beyond the delineations of separate nation states." It "intends to explore the built environment of the Baltic States as a shared space of ideas." Located in Enrichetto Capuzzo's Palasport Arsenale Giobatta Gianquinto, a Brutalist architecture sports hall located next to the Arsenale, the exhibition will also be accompanied by a series of related events that will be presented in the form of a cross-section through Baltic space unfolding as "a non-linear stratigraphy."
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