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Riga

Schmidt Hammer Lassen Selected in Competition for Redevelopment of Riga Historic Quarter

14:25 - 22 March, 2018
The office building was inspired by the arches of the historic brewery. Image Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects
The office building was inspired by the arches of the historic brewery. Image Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

Danish firm Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects has been selected to design the redevelopment of Kimmel Quarter, a historic district in the heart of the Latvian capital of Riga, after an international competition. The 19th-century Kimmel Brewery complex, now mostly abandoned, will be transformed into a mixed-use center featuring a new office building, hotel, and an array of public facilities. Schmidt Hammer Lassen was one of eleven participants, with firms such as Henning Larsen and Zaha Hadid invited to the open competition.

The proposal for the 120,000-square-foot (11,500-square-meter) district manifests as a vibrant, public-orientated program, including a gym, child care center, café, food court, and spa. A series of courtyards and plazas are laced throughout the scheme, connecting old and new in a “timeless, classic appearance that is also uniquely contemporary.” The design took 2nd place in a competition in which no first place winner was selected, as the jury felt that no entry fully met the competition criteria. As the highest-placing entry, the competition organizers have committed to begin negotiations with Schmidt Hammer Lassen to refine the design.

Surfaces and facades are constructed from recycled brick. Image Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects Conceptual sketch. Image Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects Office terrace. Image Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects Courtyards offer a connection between old and new. Image Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects + 19

The Architect as Educator: Remembering Gunnar Birkerts

10:30 - 23 November, 2017

Gunnar Birkerts, Latvian-born architect and educator, passed away on August 15, 2017, at the age of 92. A passionate advocate of a creative process he called "organic synthesis," he leaves behind dozens of built works over three continents and influenced hundreds of architectural students and colleagues through his inquiry-based process and dynamic interactions. Eric Hill and John Gallagher, in their AIA Guide to Detroit, said of Birkerts’ architecture:

Each of his works seems to be approached as an opportunity to explore the essence of an architectural problem, resulting in a statement that often exceeds the immediate project.

Gunnar Birkerts in an undated photo. Image via The Republic Corning Fire Station, New York. Image© <a href=“https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brikerts_Corning_Fire_Station.jpg”>Unknown Wikimedia Author</a> licensed under <a href=“https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/“>CC BY 3.0</a> The Latvian National Library (2014). © <a href=“https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Riga_Petrikirche_Blick_vom_Turm_zur_Nationalbibliothek.JPG”>Wikimedia user Zairon</a> licensed under <a href=“https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/“>CC BY 4.0</a>. Image Courtesy of Wikimedia User Zairon ederal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, 1973, (now: Marquette Plaza), in its original configuration.. ImageVia <a href=“https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Marquette_Plaza.jpg”>Wikimedia Commons / Historic American Buildings Survey</a> licensed under <a href=“https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/deed.en“>CC0 1.0 (Public Domain)</a> + 4

A Two-Family House OGLE / NRJA

02:00 - 19 August, 2017
A Two-Family House OGLE / NRJA, © Gatis Rozenfelds - Zigmārs Jauja
© Gatis Rozenfelds - Zigmārs Jauja

© Gatis Rozenfelds - Zigmārs Jauja © Gatis Rozenfelds - Zigmārs Jauja © Gatis Rozenfelds - Zigmārs Jauja © Gatis Rozenfelds - Zigmārs Jauja + 17

  • Architects

  • Location

    Riga, Latvia
  • Lead Architects

    Uldis Lukševics, Ivars Veinbergs, Zigmārs Jauja, Linda Leitāne-Šmīdberga
  • Area

    400.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2017
  • Photographs

Gunārs Birkerts, Architect of the World's Largest Library, Dies Aged 92

14:00 - 15 August, 2017

Gunārs Birkerts, the prolific Latvian-American architect best known for designing the "Castle of Light"—the world's largest library in Riga, Latvia—has died aged 92. The National Library, which was first conceived in 1988 and officially opened in 2014, has become among the most significant, and controversial, contemporary public buildings in Latvia.

RED ICE / NRJA

05:00 - 11 March, 2017
RED ICE / NRJA, © Gatis Rozenfelds
© Gatis Rozenfelds

© Gatis Rozenfelds © Gatis Rozenfelds © Gatis Rozenfelds © Gatis Rozenfelds + 21

  • Architects

  • Location

    Krišjāņa Barona iela 40A, Centra rajons, Rīga, LV-1011, Latvia
  • Architect in Charge

    Uldis Lukševics,
  • Project Team

    Mārtiņš Rusiņš, Ivars Veinbergs, Linda Leitāne-Šmīdberga, Irbe Šmite
  • Area

    706.0 m2
  • Project Year

    2016
  • Photographs

Latvian Museum of Art / Processoffice and Andrius Skiezgelas Architecture

03:00 - 25 January, 2017
Latvian Museum of Art / Processoffice and Andrius Skiezgelas Architecture, © Norbert Tukaj
© Norbert Tukaj

© Norbert Tukaj            © Norbert Tukaj            © Norbert Tukaj            © Norbert Tukaj            + 30

PLH Arkitekter Wins Rail Baltica Competition with Arch-Inspired Infrastructural System

12:00 - 10 December, 2016
PLH Arkitekter Wins Rail Baltica Competition with Arch-Inspired Infrastructural System, Courtesy of PLH Arkitekter
Courtesy of PLH Arkitekter

PLH Arkitekter has been announced as one of two winners in the international design competition for Rail Baltica, organized by The European Railroad Lines, Ltd. As a part of the European transport network, Rail Baltica will be a multi-modal public transport hub in the Latvian capital of Riga, with a railway bridge crossing the Daugava River. 

The focal point of the project will be a train station building “that creates a strong visual identity in the cityscape, strengthening the sense of Riga as a metropolis.” Inspired by the archetypal form of the arch and the Art Nouveau period, the building will feature canopies that resemble arched fern leaves. On the north side of the building, the canopy shape allows for a unique view over the historic city, ideal for travelers entering or leaving the city to create a strong sense of place.

Courtesy of PLH Arkitekter Courtesy of PLH Arkitekter Courtesy of PLH Arkitekter Courtesy of PLH Arkitekter + 11

Call for Entries: Kip Island Auditorium

08:30 - 12 October, 2016
Call for Entries: Kip Island Auditorium, Enter the Kip Island Auditorium ‪architecture‬ ‪competition‬ now! US $ 20,000 worth of prize money! Closing date for registration: JANUARY 18, 2017
Enter the Kip Island Auditorium ‪architecture‬ ‪competition‬ now! US $ 20,000 worth of prize money! Closing date for registration: JANUARY 18, 2017

The Riga Exhibition Centre is one of the largest in the northern region of Eastern Europe. The Expo Centre is situated in Kipsala, also known as Kip Island, which is located at the heart of the Latvian capital. The Exhibition Centre currently houses two large exhibition halls, conference rooms and smaller meeting rooms, and has recently announced plans to further expand its facilities.

Adjaye Associates Selected to Design Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art

10:15 - 16 June, 2016
Adjaye Associates Selected to Design Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art, © Malcolm Reading Consultants
© Malcolm Reading Consultants

The Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation has selected Adjaye Associates to lead the design for a new contemporary art museum in downtown Riga. Selected from a pool of 7 finalists including wHY and Lahdelma & Mahlamäki, the winning design features a strongly animated roof geometry designed to pull soft northern light into each of the gallery spaces.

Adjaye Associates, working with local firm AB3D, envisioned the museum as a social incubator, a welcoming and porous space where people could be brought together through a variety of formal and spontaneous interactions. The jury found that the proposal’s distinctive silhouette would give the museum a strong presence within its context of planned commercial and residential developments, and that is orientation and materiality showed a keen awareness of the vernacular and cultural contexts.

Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Reveals Shortlisted Designs

12:15 - 6 June, 2016
Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Reveals Shortlisted Designs, © Malcolm Reading Consultants
© Malcolm Reading Consultants

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.

U-R-A's Alberta Square Renovation in Latvia Evokes Maritime and Beverage History

06:00 - 19 February, 2016
U-R-A's Alberta Square Renovation in Latvia Evokes Maritime and Beverage History, Courtesy of U-R-A
Courtesy of U-R-A

U-R-A | United Riga Architects and Evgeni Leonov have won the competition to renovate Alberta Square in Riga, Latvia. The design combines the historical heritage of the site as the location of the first ancient Latvian settlements in Riga with the cultural heritage of Riga Black Balsam, a drink created by medieval pharmacist Abraham Kunce, who lived around the corner from the site.

7 Shortlisted for Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art

12:00 - 27 January, 2016
7 Shortlisted for Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art, © Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation
© Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation

Adjaye, Henning Larsen, and wHY are among seven practices shortlisted in an invited design competition to design the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art (LMoCA). The new museum, planned for the center of Riga, Latvia, hopes to become "the most visited art museum in the Baltic States,  as well as a cultural arts center of interregional significance." It's collection will feature regional art and visual culture from the 1960s. 

The seven shortlisted teams are...

Revitalization of Spikeri Square and Daugava Waterfront Promenade / Arplan + A plus Architects

20:00 - 3 April, 2015
Revitalization of Spikeri Square and Daugava Waterfront Promenade / Arplan + A plus Architects, © Aivars Silins
© Aivars Silins

© Ilze Denisova © Aivars Silins © Ilze Denisova © Aivars Silins + 59

  • Architects

  • Location

    Maskavas iela 6, Latgales priekšpilsēta, Rīga, LV-1050, Latvia
  • Team leader, main architect, member of the board, head of the office

    "ARplan" - Rolands Bruzgulis and "A+" - Dace Kalvāne
  • Area

    57582.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

Wooden Building Reconstruction of Riga School Of Design And Art / Zaigas Gailes birojs

21:00 - 6 March, 2015
Wooden Building Reconstruction of Riga School Of Design And Art / Zaigas Gailes birojs, © Ansis Starks
© Ansis Starks

© Ansis Starks © Ansis Starks © Ansis Starks © Ansis Starks + 32

  • Architects

  • Location

    Lāčplēša iela 55, Latgales priekšpilsēta, Rīga, LV-1011, Latvia
  • Architect in Charge

    Zaiga Gaile, Liene Griezīte, Iveta Cibule, Ingmārs Atavs, Ineta Solzemniece-Saleniece, Dāvis Gasuls, Kristīne Riba
  • Area

    897.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

Visiting Gunārs Birkerts's Latvian "Castle of Light"

00:00 - 22 August, 2014
Visiting Gunārs Birkerts's Latvian "Castle of Light", National Library of Latvia, Riga
National Library of Latvia, Riga

For an article featured in Blueprint Herbert Wright examines Riga's new National Library of Latvia, completed by 89-year-old Gunārs Birkerts this month. Located in one of Latvia's most historic urban settings, the library - locally known as the "Castle of Light" - challenges the city's recent history of Soviet public architecture with a contemporary, if not as equally monumental, cultural edifice. Initially conceived in 1988 now, over twenty five years later, the structure stands as a €163million testament to Latvia's rich academic and public cultural heritage. Earlier this year, "14,000 Latvians formed a 2km human chain to pass books from the old to new libraries." Wright's exploration of this seminal building on Birkert's œuvre is complemented by Janis Dripe's excellent photographic studies of what is certain to be one of the most important Eastern European buildings of this decade.

Riga 2014 Pavilion / Mailitis A.I.I.M.

01:00 - 25 February, 2014
Riga 2014 Pavilion / Mailitis A.I.I.M. , Courtesy of Austris Mailitis
Courtesy of Austris Mailitis

Courtesy of Austris Mailitis Courtesy of Austris Mailitis Courtesy of Austris Mailitis Courtesy of Austris Mailitis + 17

  • Architects

  • Location

    Esplanāde, Centra rajons, Rīga, Latvia
  • Architect in Charge

    Austris Mailitis
  • Design Team

    Jānis Ielejs, Simone Riccomi, AndraOdumāne / Mailitis A.I.I.M.
  • Area

    458.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2014

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

01:00 - 29 August, 2013
'Show Under Skin' Riga Theatre Reconstruction Competition Entry / NRJA + IG Kurbads, Courtesy of NRJA + IG Kurbads
Courtesy of NRJA + IG Kurbads

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.

Spot Studios / Annvil

00:00 - 7 August, 2013
Spot Studios / Annvil, © Jurijs Vahrusevs
© Jurijs Vahrusevs

© Jurijs Vahrusevs © Jurijs Vahrusevs © Jurijs Vahrusevs © Jurijs Vahrusevs + 15

  • Architects

  • Location

    Rīga, Latvia
  • Designer

    Anna Butele
  • Area

    269.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs