The course of the competition for the development vision of “Krasta City” territory
In May, the project developer “Hepsor” announced an architectural sketch design competition with a prize fund of 30,000 EUR. The aim of competition – to obtain architecturally and functionally well thought-out and economically justified sketch designs for the development vision of the territory at Krasta Street 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, and 3D and a spatial development vision for a multifunctional office complex at Krasta Street 1A through creative rivalry, rational use of resources and free competition among the participants.
One of the developer’s priorities is to ensure the maximum involvement of various social groups throughout the project, hence emphasizing the importance of public opinion and assessment from industry experts in the creation of “Krasta City” and guaranteeing the transparency of the process. To implement it already in the first phase of the project, not only the composition of the jury, including the names of persons, professional qualifications, and institutions represented but also the criteria for determining the winners were publicly visible in the design competition brief. Every company in the industry could get acquainted with the brief on the website of the Latvian Association of Architects and “Krasta City” competition and consider its participation.
The participants of the competition had to provide a high-quality vision of the spatial development along with the master plan concept for the area of the “Krasta City” indicating development stages and architectural solutions for the office building at Krasta Street 1a, a commercial building with a multi-story car park at Krasta Street 1C and freestanding buildings at Krasta Street 1B, 1D, and 3A. A total of 13 applications from 5 countries were submitted to the competition.
A respectable jury of nine people – various industry professionals and the municipality, evaluated the submitted designs. The jury consisted of the chairman of the jury Jānis Dripe, Karla Polli and Martti Krass (“Krasta City”), architect and urban planner Māra Kalvāne (SIA “Metrum”), architect and professor Toomas Tammis with experience in evaluating Latvian architecture competitions (Estonia), architect Māra Liepa-Zemeša (Riga City Development Department), architect Gunita Kalīte (Riga City Construction Board), Egons Bērziņš (Riga City Architect’s Office), Edgars Bērziņš (Latvian Association of Architects), as well as the secretary of the commission without a right to vote – architect Dace Kalvāne.
The integrity in the urban landscape, architectural quality, and functionality of buildings, sustainable solutions, technical quality, economic and social efficiency, and other factors of each participant’s offer was evaluated within the framework of the competition. The evaluation of applications took place in several closed sessions from 11 to 13 September. Following the guidelines of good practice for the architecture competition and ensuring fair rivalry, the sketch design evaluation was carried out anonymously. The sketch materials of all applications were pre-marked with mottoes without revealing their authors, and the authors’ names – placed in sealed motto envelopes, which were opened after the announcement of results.
In the morning of the first day, the entire jury visited “Krasta City” and the adjacent territory, as well as Zaķusala by driving across the Southern Bridge to assess the fitting of the project in the city skyline, the surrounding building landscape, and infrastructure opportunities.
After the trip, the jury went to the premises of Riga Technical University, Faculty of Architecture, to continue the evaluation of the approved sketch designs corresponding with the regulations and hold a joint discussion on the benefits and deficiencies of the submitted works.
The next day the jury discussed the results of the previous session and selected the most promising applications, which were considered further by taking into account the design program of the competition and the evaluation criteria specified in the competition brief.
On September 13, the closing day of the jury commission’s work, each jury member expressed their opinion on the selected and evaluated project applications. As the entries were of high quality and the sum of their scores was very similar, the jury decided on the distribution of seats and prizes by voting. The opening of the award-winning project design motto envelopes and the discovery of the design authors followed. After checking the compliance of the authors’ qualification documents with the criteria of the competition brief, the jury made the final decision on the results of the competition, which were publicly announced at the award ceremony on September 22 at the National Library of Latvia.
We thank all participants for their time invested and the visions submitted.
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