From the Curators. The exposition with the project title Unwritten highlights issues regarding the perception, research, and conservation of Latvian post-War architecture. Unwritten chronicles, in fact, inexistent research on this.
Venice Biennale 2014: NRJA to Establish First-Ever Database of Latvian Post-War Modernist Architecture
The architects of NRJA have been chosen to curate Latvia’s participation at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale. Based on the assertion that “there is (no) modernism in Latvia,” the pavilion’s exhibition Unwritten will confront the lack of research and evaluation of Latvian post-war modernist architecture.
Designed by NRJA + IG Kurbads, their ‘Show Under Skin’ proposal for the reconstruction of the new Riga Theatre corresponds to the dynamism of the creative process within the theater – minimalist, smooth finish, combined with a twisted in a motion stopped volume.The skin is a multi-functional covering structure which is connected with the historical volume, covering it and combining various features and space dimensions in a single organic volume, also matching different adjacent building heights. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Located in the small Latvian town of Bauska, the composition of this winning proposal for the library was dictated by low-rise surrounding buildings and the wish to save valuable heritage on the site – old trees and historical building. In order to harmonically integrate into the environment, A2SM Architects decided to divide the building into a few small volumes instead of a single large building. More images and architects‘ description after the break.
The main goal of Sampling Architects for designing the interactive forest information center was to create a generic contemporary addition for the nationally famous National Park of Tervete. They believed the project should allow the discovery of the delight of ‘life of the forest’ through an educational center, but more importantly, creating a space for exchange of know-how of forest science between professionals, students and the general public. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The aim of the proposal for the University of Latvia Academic Center of Natural Sciences by Sestais Stils Architects is to create a comfortable, functional and sustainable environment for studies and work. They wanted a space for students and other interested persons to research and acquire contemporary knowledge and technologies. They also wanted to create a unit of urban structure where all functions necessary for optimal study and research process are provided at one place but at the same time the structure interacts with ‘outside world’ as well. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Haptic Architects, in collaboration with Narud Stokke Wiig Architects & Planners, and Griff Arkitektur recently won the open international competition for the new airbaltic terminal at Riga International Airport in Latvia. Selected from 125 entries from 70 different countries, their design features a roof for the airbaltic terminal that is influenced by the gently undulating forms of the latvian landscape, with peaks and troughs responding to the structure’s internal configuration and passenger flows. More images and project description after the break.
NRJA shared with us their proposal for the reconstruction of a former police station to an apartment building in Riga, Latvia. Their design concept respects the architectural heritage, partly renovating the existing volume and adding a new modern architecture. Reinhold Schmaeling buildings, especially schools, hospitals and public buildings created in early 20th century are very unique architectural works and important part of the rich and diverse heritage of Riga. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The hotel proposal by BNKR Arquitectura aims to reproduce in material form the ephemeral process of the diffusion of sound. This is a process of vibrant outward expression and subsequent decay. It is a narrative of the loss of integrity and dematerialization in space. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The winning project proposal of Hotel Liesma by Ventura Trindade Architects recovers the concept of old ‘estrãdês’, simple outdoor structures formed by a stage with an acoustic shell and a flat audience, in front.The building acts like a system of visual and functional relation with the theme of the music box (resonance box), with visual resonance in the collective memory of the guests and general population. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The musical theme is present in the project proposal by ARQX Arquitectos, therefore in a very metaphorical way, avoiding a mimetic decoration or spatial-appropriation to music reported items. They try not to just show musical objects, but to compose as a musician, to flow in nature and in space, contemplating and feeling. This idea of contemplation is seen in the rhythm of the volumes, as well as the allowance to go to the exterior, to feel weather contingency, to hear the sound of the sea and of the the wind in the trees constitutes the basic experience they feel a guest should have while staying at Liesma. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The proposal by Capella Garcia Arquitectura is designed for a music-themed upscale Hotel Competition in Jurmala. The resort town, located on the Latvian coast of the Baltic Sea, in the Gulf of Riga, can be described as a polycentric, linear city between the Gulf of Riga and river Lielupe, formed of several historical fishing villages. From the 19th century onwards, the city has transformed into seaside resorts, but Jurmala is also well known for its musical heritage, so they believed the surrounding environment must not be ignored.
Jurmala’s main focus nowadays is on leisure and its related programs and the greatest environmental advantage is the proximity to the Baltic sea. What do music and the sea have in common? How can it be related to architecture? How can the new building fit in Jurmala’s cityscape? Their concept was guided by these questions. More images and architects’ description after the break.