“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 Unwritten will confront the lack of research and evaluation of Latvian post-war modernist architecture.

‘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.

Floating Barn Proposal / NRJA

Courtesy of

Floating Barn is a lakeside residence designed for long Latvian summers. The two-story house features living spaces, a bathroom and a small deck on the first floor, and a sleeping area is located on the second floor. By using one material for both walls and roofs, a homogenous look is achieved. The pontoon base of the house features storage tanks for clean water, filtered graywater and fuel.

DOM(E) / NRJA

Courtesy of

Architects: NRJA
Design Team: Uldis Lukševics, Ivars Veinbergs, Linda Leitāne-Šmīdberga
Area: 120.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Courtesy of NRJA

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With the existing Passenger Terminal now outdated and situated in an exclusive location – adjacent to the very center of , the infrastructure needed a new identity and urban response.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.

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 Riga, . 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.

8 Blacks / NRJA

© Gatis Rozenfelds, NRJA

Architects: NRJA - Uldis Luksevics, Ieva Lace, Linda Leitane, Ints Mengelis
Location: ,
Project area (living space): 461 sqm
Project year: 2004 – 2011
Photographs: Gatis Rozenfelds, NRJA

Latvian National Museum of Art / NRJA

Overview © NRJA

NRJA shared their competition entry for an extension of the Latvian National Museum of Art with us.  The project proposes a reconstruction plan incorporates new features that will not disturb the historical structure of the museum, but will considerably improve its structural and sustainability performance.  The museum sits at a dominant location in the center of and NRJA’s extension seeks to link the existing historical building with a new park gallery.

More about the extension after the break.

Järva Cemetery / NRJA


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Our friends from NRJA (be sure to view previous NRJA projects on AD, especially their 2009 Building of the Year House) shared their finished competition entry for a cemetery in Järva Common, with us.  Designing a cemetery is a difficult challenge as it is a place filled with symbolic importance and infused with a commitment to offering hope.   The architects decided that this new cemetery will provide a place where the identity of the site is defined not only by the environmental quality of the space and its historical importance, but also by the project’s emphasize on concentration on the memory of the deceased.

More images and more about the project after the break.

Building of the Year 2009, Houses: House of Ruins (Drupas) / NRJA

Location: Saka,
Architects: NRJA (Uldis Luksevics, Martins Osans)
Client: Una and Andris Vitolins
General Constructor: RBS Skals
Size: 200 sqm2

Go to project page

2 Sisters House / NRJA

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Architects: NRJA
Location: Langstini, District of , Latvia
Project team: Uldis Luksevics, Martins Rusins
Structural engineer: Aigars Fridrihsons
General contractor: Abi Buve
Plot area: 1,530 sqm
House area: 335.4 sqm
Project year: 2007
Photographs: NRJA

NRJA proposal for Beirut’s House of Arts and Culture

NRJA, previously featured on our AD Futures series, shared their entry for the House of Arts and Culture competition in Beirut, .

Project description and images after the break.

House of Ruins (Drupas) / NRJA

I like how this house uses an existing structure to hide, in both landscape and against the strong winds, creating a new habitable interior. This house by (this weeks AD Futures pick) won the Gran Prix for the Latvian Architecture Prize (2005), the Best Technology Award at the Interior Digest Magazine (outstanding implementation of a project using contemporary construction, constructive and electronic technologies, 2006) and was nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Award (2007).

Location: Saka,
Architects: NRJA (Uldis Luksevics, Martins Osans)
Client: Una and Andris Vitolins
General Constructor: RBS Skals
Object: private house
Size: 200 sqm2
Year: 2002

In Progress: Z Towers / NRJA

This project by young Latvian architects NRJA (previously featured on AD) is currently under construction. The complex, in , , includes 2 towers (29 and 30 stories each), connected by a floor bridge. It also includes a 4-stories podium. Completion is expected durin 1st quarter 2010.

Architect´s description, more renderings and construction photos after the break. You can also watch the construction site via webcam.

AD Futures #3: NRJA / No Rules, Just Architecture

This week on AD Futures, NRJA:

I found this practice thanks to the recommendation of one of our readers who sent me this video. After watching it, I had a good feeling about next generations.

Fresh ideas, a young team (average age is 25)… actually building those ideas! That´s NRJA (No Rules Just Architecture) a practive based in , , founded by Uldis Luksevics in 2005. As a young office they have a very strong statement, that can be seen (or felt?) on their projects. They feel passionate for what they do, while being professional and always trying to go beyond than  is allowed or required – hence “No Rules Just Architecture”.

But I think their statement describes it better: