Closing of the “Krasta City” design competition and the award ceremony of the winners
The competition for the development vision of “Krasta City” territory, organized by real estate developer “Hepsor”, lasted from May 15 to August 31. A total of 13 applications was received from 5 countries. At the beginning of September, in 2 days, a jury of 9 people evaluated the submitted applications and eventually determined the best ones.
The award ceremony and the presentation of the new development vision for the right bank of the Daugava took place on September 22, at the National Library of Latvia event room Kore Hall. The event was attended by representatives of the developer of “Krasta City”, chairman of the jury Jānis Dripe, director of the Riga City Architect’s Office
– Gvido Princis, and representatives of the design competition winners and their architecture offices.
The choice of location was not random – the landscape of Riga unveils itself in all its glory and the planned location of the “Krasta City” territory near the Island Bridge is clearly visible from here. The event was an opportunity not only to admire the beautiful city panorama but also to imagine how the new development vision of the project will organically blend into the architectural ensemble of Riga. It will bring new life and give a modern look to this quarter between Island Bridge, Krasta Street, and Daugava.
At the beginning of the ceremony, the chairman of the jury Jānis Dripe, gave a brief insight into the course of the competition and revealed the hardness of jury decision-making. Dripe also praised the successful combination of top applications’ ambitions to be visible in the silhouette of the right bank of Daugava and to create a modern and human environment – a city within a city where people want to return for work, leisure, and entertainment.
Director of the Riga City Architect’s Office Gvido Princis followed by outlining the role of “Krasta City” in the development of the urban environment and adding that this project will change the face of the city in the foreseeable future. “I would like to emphasize the developer’s understanding and responsibility for this place and the fact that after difficult discussions, we have come to a common denominator. From now on, strategic discussions will turn into tactical discussions, and the process will run more smoothly. I hope, this will be a good example of how compromises can be found when big investments enter the city, “said Prince.
Martti Krass, the representative of the project developer, thanked all the participants for the time invested and visions offered and presented the further development plans of “Krasta City”. The selection of the development vision of the territory is only the first step, after which the development of a more detailed project will continue. Construction works for the quarter development could start at the end of 2021.
The awarding of 5 winners followed – first two third-place winners, then two second-place winners, and finally – the first-place winner. The number of winners illustrates the complicated decision-making process for the jury and the enormous work invested by the participants into the development of the project designs.
The offer of the Danish architectural firm “Arrow Architects ApS” won first place, receiving a prize of 10,000 EUR. The work of the architectural bureau “Sarma & Norde” and the joint performance of “RUUME arhitekti”, “K forma” and Ansis Šinke shared the second place and were each awarded with 6000 EUR. The offer from the designers association “OUTOFBOX” and the work of “a part” and architectural bureau “Ozola & Bula“, won third place, each receiving 4,000 EUR.
The author of the idea and winner’s representative, architect Ulrik Raysse, emphasized the changes in the world and the way people live, and briefly described his vision of “Krasta City”: “Our offer focuses on what the future will look like. Organically shaped pavilions combined with nature-inspired surroundings and Scandinavian design create a strong sense of belonging and identity. Buildings of various sizes provide a diverse work environment that connects harmoniously with the historical panorama of Riga. This is a place to go and linger around even for those who do not work here. This is the future! ”
The architect’s vision will serve as a basis for the development of the whole area, starting from the first phase when the necessary infrastructure will be built and the adjacent territory – landscaped. The developed sketch envisages a multi-story construction with an emphasis on space, light, and green roof terraces – currently an increasing trend in Europe for projects of this scale. The outdoor space between the planned buildings is of great importance – it will provide greenery, recreation and dining areas and boat docks for everyone, as well as a recreation area on the very bank of the Daugava. Modern infrastructure will be built within “Krasta City” – bicycle lanes, a pedestrian bridge and tunnel, a car driveway, and a recreation area. All of it will become part of the city’s infrastructure. The project will forever alter the image of the right bank of the Daugava and improve the landscape of Riga. It will create a unique environment suitable for the 21st century, where both work and leisure are in balance.
The award ceremony of the “Krasta City” design competition was covered in the public media as well. It can be viewed at https://tv3play.skaties.lv/tv3-zinas-11013114.
With its unique location at the intersection of the city’s main roads and the vision of a future-based lifestyle, “Krasta City” will offer an inspiring environment for productive work and pleasant recreation for the residents of Riga. In total, the development project will be implemented in several stages over ten years, with construction taking place over more than 155,000 m2 of usable area. The total planned investments will exceed 150 million euros.
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