“Unwritten” – Latvia’s Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2014

© Nico Saieh

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

Restaurant “Sēnīte” (1967); Vidzeme highway 37.km / Linards Skuja, Andris Bite, G. Grīnbergs, R. Ozoliņš – Courtesy of The Museum of Architecture of Latvia

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) in Latvia,” the pavilion’s exhibition Unwritten will confront the lack of research and evaluation of Latvian post-war modernist architecture.

View Terrace and Pavilion / Didzis Jaunzems + Laura Laudere + Jaunromans and Abele

© Maris Lapins

Architects: Didzis Jaunzems , Laura Laudere, Jaunromans and Abele
Location: Koknese, Koknese Parish, LV-5113,
Area: 50.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Maris Lapins

‘Show Under Skin’ Riga Theatre Reconstruction Competition Entry / NRJA + IG Kurbads

Courtesy of NRJA +

Designed by NRJA + IG Kurbads, their ‘Show Under Skin’ proposal for the reconstruction of the new 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.

Saldus Music and Art School / MADE arhitekti

© Ansis Starks

Architects: MADE arhitekti
Location: , Latvia
Architect In Charge: Miķelis Putrāms, Linda Krūmiņa, Evelīna Ozola, Uldis Sedlovs, Liena Amoliņa
Graphic Design: Zigmunds Lapsa
Area: 4,179 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Ansis Starks

Dzintaru 32 / SZK/Z Architects

© Martin Kudryavcev

Architects: SZK/Z Architects
Location: Jūrmala,
Project Architect: Uģis Zābers
Design Team: Kristīne Grava, Ilva Cimermane, Alvis Petrovskis
Interior Design: Zane Tetere
Area: 800 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Martin Kudryavcev

Spot Studios / Annvil

© Jurijs Vahrusevs

Architects: Annvil
Location: , Latvia
Designer: Anna Butele
Area: 269 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Jurijs Vahrusevs

Library Building in Bauska Winning Proposal / A2SM Architects

Courtesy of A2SM Architects

Located in the small Latvian town of , 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.

Riga Passenger Terminal Winning Proposal / NRJA

Courtesy of

With the existing Passenger Terminal now outdated and situated in an exclusive location – adjacent to the very center of , the infrastructure needed a new identity and urban response. Therefore, the first prize winning proposal by NRJA envisions the development of the territory and port as a high quality urban environment which offers not only maritime transport, leisure, shopping and business experience but also public space connection to the city. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Holiday Home at Aluksnes Lake / AB3D Ltd.

© Edgars Gribusts

Architects: AB3D Ltd.
Location: ,
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 386 sqm
Photographs: Māris Lapiņš, Edgars Gribusts, AB3D

Tervete National Park Information Center / Sampling Architects

Courtesy of

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 . 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.

University of Latvia Academic Center of Natural Sciences / Sestais Stils Architects

Courtesy of

The aim of the proposal for the University of 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.

Riga International Airport Winning Proposal / Haptic Architects

Courtesy of Haptic Architects

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 International Airport in . 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.

Reconstruction of Former Police Station to Apartment Building / NRJA

Courtesy of

NRJA shared with us their proposal for the reconstruction of a former police station to an apartment building in , 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 . More images and architects’ description after the break.

Hotel Liesma Proposal / BNKR Arquitectura

© Adrian Aguilar, Jaime Sol

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.

Hotel Liesma Winning Proposal / Ventura Trindade Architects

Courtesy of

The winning project proposal of Hotel 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.

Hotel Liesma Proposal / ARQX Arquitectos + Carlos Lobão

© + ARQX

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 . More images and architects’ description after the break.

Hotel Liesma Proposal / Capella Garcia Arquitectura

Courtesy of Capella Garcia Arquitectura

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.