The reconstruction project of the wooden school building was initiated by Europa Nostra foundation in 2001. The purpose of the project was to draw public attention to preservation of neglected wooden architecture heritage by developing an example which would reveal the unique qualities of Riga’s wooden buildings and show contemporary way to their renovation. It was possible to start the reconstruction work only ten years later when European Regional Development Fund financed the project. The former Katrina School was built in 1820. It is the oldest wooden school building in Riga, which for two hundred years has retained its educational function, now housing Riga School of Design and Art. The main objective of the renovation project was to restore the architectonic presence of the early 19th century wooden building as close to the original as possible. To this end, it was essential to analyze, understand and reveal the historical size, functions and unity of detail so as to adapt the building to the functional needs of a modern school as gently as possible. To ensure sustainability and rational use of the historical building both at present and in the future, the chosen renovation approach could be formulated as foreground semantics and background functionality.
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