As part of our 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale coverage, we present the completed Latvian Pavilion. To read the initial proposal, refer to our previously published post, "Latvian Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Biennale to Highlight Turning Points in 20th Century Apartment Block Design.”
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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.
Bee Breeders have announced the winners of the Amber Road Trekking Cabins competition for the Latvian Baltic Coast. The competition sought proposals for low impact, transient and inhabitable infrastructure to support a planned hiking network along vast topographies of the Latvian Baltic Coast. The winning projects considered the various landscape elements of the site including pine trees, dunes, and white sand beaches while responding to programmatic requirements - economy, constructability, environmental sensitivity and utilitarian function.
Bee Breeders have selected the winners for the Pape Bird Observation Tower competition, which saw participants submitting designs for a new bird observation station located in the Nica and Rucava Municipalities in the South Western region of Latvia. The competition is the first in a series organized by Bee Breeders in collaboration with Pasaules Dabas Fonds, Latvia's leading nature conservation fund. The competition asked for proposals for a tower that would replace a previous tower that was struck by lightening.
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:
Latvian Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Biennale to Highlight Turning Points in 20th Century Apartment Block Design
The Latvian Ministry of Culture have announced Together and Apart: 100 Years of Living as the theme of the Latvian Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. Urbanist Evelīna Ozola, architect Matīss Groskaufmanis, scenographer Anda Skrējānem, and Director of the New Theatre Institute of Latvia Gundega Laiviņa will highlight "ideological turning points from the last one hundred years," presenting ways in which "architectural projects and processes of apartment blocks have embodied different ideas about living together and building a nation."
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.
Bee Breeders has announced its winners of the Mango Vinyl Hub Competition, which entailed the repurposing of an abandoned tin foil factory in Latvia into a new industrial hub.
Bee Breeders have selected winners of the Stone Barn Meditation Camp competition, seeking to create a place of refuge for individuals amidst the pristine natural beauty of one of Latvia’s most remote regions. In announcing the competition results, the jury applauded the respect and regard shown to the environment by submitted schemes, commenting that the most successful projects stood out for their simplicity, elegance, and balance with nature.
Bee Breeders has released the results of their Blue Clay Country Spa competition, which asked participants to design a non-urban ecotourism facility in Latvia. The competition invited students and professionals to “interrogate the inherent tensions between subject and object, [and] building and site,” as well as to “engage the agency of typological form—including, for instance, the courtyard, shed, garden, and pavilion.”
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