The design proposals of seven shortlisted finalists for the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Design Competition have been released by the competition’s organizer, Malcolm Reading Consultants. Located in the capital city of Riga, the funding for the €30 million project is a public private partnership with support from from the ABLV Charitable Foundation and the Boris and Ināra Teterev Foundation, which co-founded the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation. The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia and the Museum’s Foundation signed a memorandum of intent regarding the museum and building on 30 October 2014. The competition, organized in 2015 with 25 first-stage participants, will announce a jury-selected winner in mid-June.
The Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art will be located in a new business and leisure center of Riga known as New Hanza City (NHC), a 24.5 hectare development on the site of the city’s former railway goods station. The project will be joined by the headquarters of ABLV Bank, a hotel, conference center, exclusive apartment district, a pre-school, and urban gardens for recreation. According to the competition organizers, the museum is “set to become a cultural and arts centre of interregional as well as national significance…[benefitting] from a strategic site in the centre of Riga...its unique collection will span art and visual culture in Latvia and the Baltic Sea region from the 1960s to the present day.”
“It is a source of pride that we can experience the first example in Latvia’s history of cultural patronage on such a scale,” said Dace Melbārde, Minister for Culture of the Republic of Latvia. “The new museum building is becoming a catalyst for changes in Latvia. It is an affirmation of the power of private public partnership and the ability to significantly influence our cultural environment. The ambitiousness of the project proves that, by involving the private sector, it is possible to embark on the construction of large-scale, nationally important infrastructure. The creation of the museum is also a huge investment in the shaping of Latvia’s international image. I am glad that this project has already made creative partnerships between the world’s top class and Latvian architects’ offices.”
- David Bickle, Director of Design, Exhibitions and FuturePlan, at London’s V&A Museum, will chair the jury
- Uldis Balodis, Architect, representing the Ministry of Culture
- Gianni Botsford, Director & Head of Design, Gianni Botsford Architects
- Jānis Dripe, Architect, representing the Ministry of Culture
- Reinier de Graaf, Partner, Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), and Director of AMO (OMA’s think-tank)
- Luke Jerram, Visual artist and director of Luke Jerram Ltd
- Ieva Valtere, Executive Director, Pillar Management, SIA
- Elīna Vikmane, Board Member, Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation
- Malcolm Reading, Competition Director, will advise the jury
The museum is slated to open on 18 November 2021. In accordance with the Republic of Latvia’s Museums Law for private accredited museums, the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art will be publicly accessible and its holdings will be included in the National Museum Collection Catalogue.