The Latvian Architects Union (LAS) has drawn up a shortlist of what it believes are the most suitable sites for a new concert hall in Rīga — and the location previously touted by the Culture Minister as the perfect spot doesn’t make the cut.
Evaluating the best place to build a new national acoustic concert hall, the LAS has three suggestions: Andrejsala, the Riga Congress House and the industrial goods market territory close to the Central Market, signaled the LAS website .
The site chosen by the Ministry of Culture at 2 Elizabetes Street, the supposed benefits of which have been pushed by Culture Minister Nauris Puntulis as ” the best place in Rīga ” is not among the places considered suitable by the LAS. Nor are locations at AB Dambis and a park location in Pardaugava, which also have their fans.
A year ago Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš was also extolling the virtues of the Elizabetes Street location, pledging: ““We will formally take a decision to demolish this existing Soviet building in Riga, and build a new concert hall. We will make it clear to the whole community and the cultural community that such a concert hall in Riga will be built.”
On June 8, at the meeting of the LAS Council, the results of the evaluation work of MASH Studio (Lithuania) and Grupa93 (Latvia) were presented. As explained by the LAS, the study includes an assessment of the strategic potential and accessibility of the sites, the readiness of the site for development, the legal criteria and the risks associated with them. Other factors considered include site cost forecasts, estimated capacity, urban context and the possibility to create a visually distinctive building. Principles of sustainability and the possible public reactions were assessed, as well as comparable examples of international concert hall projects.
More details are due to be given at a public presentation on Thursday, June 10 which will be available at 10.00 on the Facebook profiles of the Ministry of Culture and LAS .