Adjaye Associates win competition to design €30m Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art

by Kim Megson | 16 Jun 2016

The architecture studio of David Adjaye have won the international competition to design a new contemporary art museum for the centre of Riga, Latvia.

The Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation today (16 June) announced that Adjaye Associates’ vision for the museum – which imagines a highly-animated tilting roof geometry – has been selected ahead of six rival submissions, including from Caruso St John Architects and Henning Larssen Architects.

Adjaye has worked with Latvian architects AB3D on the design, which the jury said would “give the new museum real presence” and create opportunities for public gatherings and social interaction.

The €30m (US$34m, £23.6m) Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art will be the first major public-private cultural initiative in Latvia and is the first newly commissioned museum in the country since winning its independence. Its collection will span art and visual culture in Latvia and the Baltic Sea region from the 1960s to the present day.

“The winning proposal is a beautiful and poetic response to the challenge of the design brief but above all it is specific to Riga,” said Latvia’s culture minister Dace Melbarde. “The team thoroughly understood the effect of soft northern light in experiencing and creating art and this insight was the inspiration for their scheme.

“Through the use of wood and form, the concept design subtly references Latvian architecture, proposing a very animated structure with a lively entrance that will enable the museum to create architectural presence in a new and emerging district. The design is very welcoming and porous – it has the potential to be loved.”

Adjaye said he was honoured to have been selected for the “ambitious and much-needed project” and vowed to create a “beacon that both celebrates Latvia’s incredible artistic legacy and meaningfully links the country to the international art community.”

His highest-profile leisure project, the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C., will open on 24 September 2016. Look out for an interview with the British architect in the forthcoming issue of CLADmag.

Adjaye Associates  David Adjaye  Latvia  Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art  architecture  design  Malcolm Reading 
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The architecture studio of David Adjaye have won the international competition to design a new contemporary art museum for the centre of Riga, Latvia. The Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation today (16 June) announced that Adjaye Associates’ vision for the museum – which imagines a highly-animated tilting roof geometry – has been selected ahead of six rival submissions, including from Caruso St John Architects and Henning Larssen Architects. Adjaye
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Latvia's culture minister said Adjaye's submission 'is a beautiful and poetic response to the challenge of the design brief' / Adjaye Associates/Malcolm Reading
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