Disclosure of mottoes and opening of qualification documents

VNĪ: Latvian Architectural Office “NRJA” Has Won the Competition for Development of the TabFab Creative Quarter

According to Kitija Gruškevica, Board Member of the State JSC “Valsts nekustamie īpašumi” (“VNĪ”), the prize-winner of the competition “The Architectural Vision for the Complete Development of the TabFab Creative Quarter” is the Latvian architectural office “NRJA” that has been invited to participate in the negotiation procedure for the development of the construction design and author’s supervision.

The vision of the architectural office “NRJA” (“No Rules Just Architecture”) for the development of the TabFab creative quarter was almost unanimously recognized to be the best one by the international jury.

As many as 130 requests for competition materials were received, and 17 competition entries were submitted from different countries of the world. The organisers of the competition believe that this can be regarded as an excellent achievement.

“The jury evaluated the quality of the architectural solution, the idea and its relevance to the needs of the users, the blending of the object within the cityscape and the functionality and attractiveness of the landscaping solutions of the territory. Long-term operational aspects of the buildings like energy efficiency and sustainable solutions were also of crucial importance”, Gruškevica said.

She emphasises that the prize-winning solution is brave, original and attractive not only to the local community but to foreign visitors as well. “In this vision, the jury saw a strong composition, architects’ understanding of the urban environment and a skilful design which masterfully combined the needs of the community of the creative quarter”, Gruškevica added.

Minister of Culture Dace Melbārde underlined the significance of the competition for development of the TabFab creative quarter, as it is going to be a home for several institutions of culture and creative industries, including one of the three Latvian higher educational establishments of culture, i.e. the Latvian Academy of Culture.

“I am sure that the jury consisting of Danish and Latvian experts has chosen the best solution that will bring joy to the students and lecturers of the Latvian Academy of Culture as well as to the visitors of the Riga Film Museum and the Latvian Photo Museum. At the same time, this place should become a starting point for the creative industries where new ideas are born and evolving”, Minister of Culture Dace Melbārde said, announcing the competition results.

According to Agnese Hermane, a spokesperson for the prospective residents of the quarter, a member of the jury and director of the Creative Industries programme at the Latvian Academy of Culture, the proposed visual image of the buildings, although not reflecting the traditional perception of the reconstruction of historic buildings, still conveys the overall impression of the Tobacco Factory quarter.

“The authors of the idea have managed to capture and reflect the spirit of the academy. The location of the library at the entrance to the quarter is symbolical and perfectly fits the university function. I am particularly grateful that it was possible to relocate our garden and campfire place to this site”, Hermane added.

The architectural office “NRJA” or “No Rules Just Architecture” was founded in 2005 and it currently employs a team of six architects. While the high-rise complex “Z-Towers” is the most outstanding and visible one among the office’s works, several other projects are in the process of approval at the Riga City Construction Board, e.g. the reconstruction and development project for the building of the Latvian Railway History Museum, the construction of a six-storey office and apartment building in Eksporta iela. The office was also a prize-winner at the international design competition for the reconstruction of the Riga Circus.

“The name of our office means looking at architecture without the rules, that is, we capture and implement different things from different points of view. Each object is a new challenge for us, we use our knowledge and experience we have gained in every object. Therefore, we can be pretty sure that we have included the best solutions we could also in the development vision for the TabFab quarter”, stated Uldis Lukševics, the head of the architectural office “NRJA”.

The prize-winners of the competition also receive prize money. The architectural office “NRJA”, who won the first prize, will receive 18,000 euros. The jury awarded the second prize and 14,000 euros to the proposal submitted by an association of Latvian and British participants including “Alsins Architecture”, “Kalve Arhitekti” and “Fabrum”, and the third-prize winner SIA “Būvdizains” will receive the prize money of 10,000 euros.

The jury has also awarded four incentive prizes in the amount of 2000 euros each. They will be awarded to the Danish company “SLETH”, a Latvian and Danish association “LAAA” including “Lauder Architects”, “Ainavu projektēšanas darbnīca ALPS”, “A.Ābeles inženieru birojs”, “Acitektura”, a Danish association of companies ““Arkitekt MAA”, “DSA Ark Studio”, “Jorgen Taxholm & Nils Jeppe Hansen Wuttke & Ringhof Arkitekter BDA MMA”, “Thomas Ringhof Knud Aarup Kappel”” and “Richard Galey & Partners (Leicester)” from the UK.

The State JSC “VNĪ” organised the competition in partnership with the Latvian Ministry of Culture, the Latvian Academy of Culture and the Danish Cultural Institute.

The entries submitted to the competition were evaluated by an international jury consisting of architects from Latvia and Denmark: Jānis Dripe, Agrita Maderniece, Gvido Princis, Aigars Kušķis, Gatis Didrihsons, Steen Enrico Andersen, Tanja Jordan and Agnese Hermane from the Latvian Academy of Culture who represented the new residents of the quarter. Michael Metz Mørch, Secretary General to the Danish Cultural Institute, participated in jury’s sessions as an expert and architect Dace Kalvāne acted as secretary-in-charge of the jury. Chairperson of the jury was Kitija Gruškevica, board member of “VNĪ”.

“VNĪ” plans to complete the construction and development of the Creative Quarter by the end of 2022. The total budget of the project is 5.058 million euros, of which 4.980 million euros are the funds of the European Regional Development Fund and Latvia’s budget, and 78,000 euros were provided by the Kingdom of Denmark. The budget also includes the total amount of prize money.

“VNĪ” is currently implementing 32 significant development projects as part of the programme “100 Addresses for the Centennial of Latvia” amounting to about 135 million euros. The company has more than 500 buildings with an area of 1.8 million square meters and more than 4100 land properties with an area of more than 10 million square meters. The company was founded in 1996 and its sole shareholder is the Ministry of Finance.

Additional information to the media:
State JSC “Valsts nekustamie īpašumi”
Corporate Communications, e-mail: komunikacija@vni.lv

AWARDED PRIZE: 1st place
(Legal name SIA “F.L.TADAO & LUKŠEVICS”)
(Uldis Lukševics, Zigmārs Jauja, Ivars Veinbergs, Ieva Lāce – Lukševica, Elīna Lībiete, Inga Dubinska, piedaloties Artūram Tolam)

AWARDED PRIZE: 2nd place
AUTHOR: Association
– SIA “KALVE ARHITEKTI” (Māris Pērkons)
– SIA “FABRUM” (Arnis Alsiņš)

AWARDED PRIZE: 3nd place
(Normunds Pavārs, Sidhards Jānis Libers, Egīls Markus, Andra Odumāne, Aleksandrs Borodkins)

AWARDED PRIZE: Incentive award
AUTHOR: A/S “SLETH” (Søren Leth)

AWARDED PRIZE: Incentive award
AUTHOR: Association LAAA
– SIA “Lauder Architects” (Kārlis Lauders)
– SIA “Ainavu projektēšanas darbnīca ALPS” (Ilze Rukšāne)
– SIA “A.Ābeles inženieru birojs” (Armands Ābele)
– SIA “Acitektura” (Ainārs Cikanovičs)

AWARDED PRIZE: Incentive award
AUTHOR: Association
– DSA Ark Studio (Jørgen Bech Taxholm, Nils Jeppe Hansen)
– Wuttke & Ringhof Arkitekter BDA MAA (Thomas Ringhof)
– Knud Aarup Kappel, Arkitekt MAA
(by participating: Martina Bo Rubino (Arkitekt/EAHR architects), Eri Yamazaki (Arkitekt), Nanna B.Hansen (Stud.arch.))

AWARDED PRIZE: Incentive award
AUTHOR: LTD “rg+p”