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Rīga: The Latest Architecture and News

Hanzas Perons Cultural Center / Reinis Liepins + Sudraba Arhitektūra

© R. Hofmanis © R. Hofmanis © R. Hofmanis © R. Hofmanis + 31

Rīga, Latvia

ZHA & Esplan Win Competition to Design the New Terminal for Rail Baltica

Zaha Hadid Architects were selected along with Esplan from Estonia to design the new terminal of the Rail Baltic railway at Ülemiste, Tallinn. Their proposal for the starting point of the Rail Baltic line connecting Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius with the European high-speed rail network, has been awarded the first place in the design competition.

Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects © ZOA Studio, courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects Courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects © ZOA Studio, courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects + 11

Mixed-Use Project in the Cultural City of Riga Receives Planning Approval

The Latvian city of Riga, the largest between the three Baltic states, is undergoing a cultural and urban renaissance. The city's pedestrian-only Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with several museums, cultural centers, and restaurants, attracting thousands of new visitors every year.

London-based architecture firm AI Studio have received planning approval for the development of a mixed-use tower in the Latvian capital, featuring retail stores, offices, restaurants, and public spaces.

© Photoreal3D © Photoreal3D © Photoreal3D © Photoreal3D + 17

Teamakers Guest House Competition Results Announced

Bee Breeders has announced the winners of the Teamakers Guest House competition, calling for design proposals for an eco-friendly, cost-effective accommodation to house visitors to the Ozolini teamakers retreat, situated in a forest 100 kilometers southeast of the Latvian capital of Riga.

Club Central Residence / Open AD + TECTUM

© Indrikis Sturmanis © Indrikis Sturmanis © Club Central Residence © Indrikis Sturmanis + 14

Riga, Latvia
  • Architects: Open AD, TECTUM
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 2000.0
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2015

AQUA LUNA / Open AD

© Maris Lapins © Maris Lapins © Maris Lapins © Maris Lapins + 33

  • Architects: Open AD
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 600.0
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2013

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

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

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

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

Riga, Latvia
  • Architects: NRJA
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 400.0
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2017

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

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

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

Rīga, Latvia
  • Architects: NRJA
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 706.0
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2016

Latvian Museum of Art / Processoffice and Andrius Skiezgelas Architecture

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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...