View Full Version : Riga Renovations'04 (ornate!!!)
October 22nd, 2004, 06:11 PM
Besides the mighty and beautiful clouds Riga has got something more.
Today decided to take pictures of some buildings which have been renovated or are under renovation this year. This was rather lucky day – sometimes the Sun was shining...
Some pictures were taken also two days ago. Btw. do not think that this is all what’s been renovated now – taking pictures of all the ‘04 renovated buildings would take many days. Some of the buildings we see here have been totally renovated, some – just lift-up of the facade.
Let’s start with Old Riga
Finally there has been renovated fine Art Nouveau building in Skarnu 2 Street. That small guy seems to have no fear – he is ready to go even higher ;)
Skarnu 2 – building itself.
Skarnu Street an hour later (when my walk was near to the end)
Kalku Street 6, 8 and 10. Three rather simple buildings... but in fine colours
Kalku 11 – Art Nouveau with fine stone cladding. Love this building.
Valnu 19. Old Riga has got some very good representatives of Functionalism. This was cinema in Soviet times... but nowadays – offices are invited
Its neighbour on Valnu Str 21 – late Ecclecticism style, shortly before Art Nouveau appeared.
Balcony a little nearer
Aspazijas Boulevard 24 – large building, impossible to take picture of all the building. Lover two floors are taken by one of the largest book stores in Riga, upper floors – one of the central offices of „Latvijas pasts” - mail.
Teatra 9 – Embassy of Italy and some more things inside. If frankly – do not remember – may be this one was renovated in 2003, not this year.
Atlant holding the balcony of Italian embassy
Detail of window. This building has distinct early Art Nouveau influences
Grecinieku 28 – works in progress
Grecinieku 1 – this Maneurism style (I am not sure) building now is almost shining... if the Sun shines.
Window of the same building. Covering details with metallic colour or even metal plates becomes popular.
And now move to the Boulevards and Centrum
German Embassy – Raina boulevard 13.
Walking along Elizabetes street... that’s a delight for eye. Most buildings there are renovated already
This street starts with really luxurious buildings. Have been posting the ones reconstructed in 2003 in another thread. Now time for the beauties of this year: Elizabetes Str. 15
Balcony. This side of the street is so luxurious that I even feel a little dizzy
Elizabetes 17. This one has gold plating.
Women flattered on the walls :eek2:
Elizabetes 21 – this will be hotel.
Elizabetes 25 – wooden building, the „breathing” colour used – it allows to conserve the wood for almost unlimited time. Here the street becomes somewhat simpler – but more busy, with offices, more people.
Elizabetes 45/47 – simpler piece of Art Nouveau.
Elizabetes 51 – piece of Functionalism with some haute-couture shops inside.
Elizabetes 59 – French Cultural centre.
French architects added also some smaller building and interesting fence. But this building does not fit well in to my mind. Notice the large building in background – that one was renovated too.
Now some not-renovated buildings
Some days ago there was announced that this building would be renovated. Some 7 mio EUR would be needed for it. Alberta Street 1
This is not Red Army star. Then people did not know what terror would be done behind this symbol...
Alberta Street – hundreds of sculptures waiting for renovation...
Facade renovation was done in Merkela 12 – this is comparatively cheap hotel.
Merkela 17 – neighbour of University
Pulkveza Brieza Street 7 (long name, I agree)
The same – detail.
P.B. street 11 – Pro Kapital investment
Its neighbour – No. 13
Now I had to hurry up, just few pictures...
Typical streetscape in Centre – this is Lacplesa Street.
Krisjana Barona 36
Caka street – „Red quartal” of Riga. Beautiful street with more than 140 ornate buildings.
Dzirnavu 96 – on the Caka Street corner
Caka Street 12
And finally something 45 km from Riga – the large Kemeri sanatorium (Art Deco style from late 1920ies) reconstruction coming to an end. This for sure has been >10 mio EUR investment... Wannabe "Kempinski" 5 star hotel.
Hope you liked it
October 22nd, 2004, 06:29 PM
I've never realized how beautiful Riga really is. I've seen so few pics of Riga (except Hansa Banka, of course) that I have to say I'm very impressed. Magnificent, beautiful city, I truly hope you can keep it that way. With those new towers you are planning, it'll look simply astonishing.
October 22nd, 2004, 06:36 PM
Moolio... this is very very small fraction of the things and diversity what Riga can offer. You may look around here for some more threads.
October 22nd, 2004, 06:49 PM
excellent thread, Gatis! I know that Riga has plenty things to offer and that it is our Big Boy (Girl?:D) of the Baltics! These buildings look great after restoration (only some colours are slightly too bright to my taste ;))
October 22nd, 2004, 06:52 PM
Riga is very beautiful city. :yes:
October 22nd, 2004, 07:19 PM
Impressive! But I don't quite understand who renovates these buildings? Municipality or owners? In Vilnius there are a lot beautiful, but neglected buildings because they belong to multiple owners (people living in them) and they are renovated only if some company buys the whole building.
October 22nd, 2004, 07:41 PM
@Gladiator - nearly all of them are privately owned by a single company. Only commieblocks are owned by multiple owners and may be some more buildings.
Some are owned also by the state enterprises (mail), some - by foreign embassies. While in Vilnius businessman build Business Triangle, here in Riga they do the same in these Art Nouveau quartals... (but these buildings are not so well fit for offices and now all businessman will move to the new highrises ;)
Now it is popular for private owners to buy whole quartals of these buildings and to elaborate complex projects for whole quartals. 2 quartals (Berga bazars and Forburga) have been renovated over the last years and 6 - 7 more are starting huge investments right now.
Terbatas centrs quartal - investments starting right now:
They will add some new buildings instead of the ones which were bombed in WWII
October 22nd, 2004, 09:05 PM
Very beautiful, and this is much better than the clouds of Riga! ;)
My favourite from the ones posted in this thread is the embassy of Italy.
October 22nd, 2004, 09:11 PM
Thanks Gatis. But I still have some questions. How these companies managed to obtain these buildings? If they buy them who sells? Let's say in Vilnius if you want to buy some building you have to pay for everybody living in that house (8 or even 15 owners) and there is 100% that one of them will refuse to sell or will demand unreal price. Just don't understand why this works in Riga, but doesn't work in Vilnius. And you are right - that's the reason why in Vilnius money pours into new office building, but not restoration.
October 22nd, 2004, 09:39 PM
Riga is very beautiful....
Btw, what is Saulite? Is it a VPM shop or a hotel like it says on the side? Coz in Lithuania there's lots of Saulute VPM shops and this kinda looks like one of them....
October 22nd, 2004, 09:58 PM
In Riga and in all Latvia the pre-war ownership to these buildings was restituted (in Lithuania not?). Then - in 1930ies all these buildings were owned by private companies or single persons.
I am not good at this but will try to explain - may be with some errors.
Thus... in early 1990ies all kind of people got the properties of their granddaddies etc. (Unfortunately not me). Many comparatively poor and simple people (bus drivers, policeman, anyone else) suddenly became owners of numerous ornate buildings. If the property was not required by anyone, the people living in it got the right to privatise their apartments while the building as a whole was owned by the municipality. But such cases are not that many.
Owners of the buildings were not aloud to ask full market price from the inhabitants of the houses - otherwise there would be social blast in the society which was not ready to pay full market price to renovate the buildings. There still is so called "rental price ceiling".
Middle - late 1990ies was the time with active selling etc. of properties. My first wife owned more than 20 houses in Jurmala, they made quite a money by selling part of the buildings and renovating others.
Now the market starts to stabilise, bigger and bigger investments start. Starting from the next year the "rental price ceiling" would be removed. The owners of the buildings in principle would be aloud to ask any price for renting their apartments. This will have enormous effect on economy in this country. My rent, f.e. will increase some 5 times. It is calculated that big share of finances, which currently is spent on cars, entertainment etc. now will be invested in immobility.
All this process will lead to flourishing and investments in centrum and other prestigious districts, poorer people will be forced to move to commieblocks (what is happening continuously anyway).
October 22nd, 2004, 10:00 PM
@blimey - Saulite in Latvian means "the small Sun" - this is historical name of this shop and hotel for at least 20 years.
October 23rd, 2004, 01:27 AM
Continuing Gatis explanation about building ownership I will take my story as example:
My family moved in 1989 to a nice 2-room apartment located in a 3-storey house built in 1902 on Brivibas street in Teika neighbourhood. It was a good place and now costs lots of money.
In those times it was owned by municipality until the new law came in power in i think 1992 which allowed to re-claim ownership of in the past lost family property. So the new owner showed up and following the law we started to pay the rent to him while making a deal (which was a part of this new law) that in 7 year time he finds us another apartment in exchange to this we live in (his property). So we were supposed to leave only if he finds us another place. He could also just let us stay and keep the apartment, but his choice was logical. He wanted to find some cheap apartment in far suburb for us, while sell or rent his one for more money... After like 3 or 4 years still lived there I moved with my mom to the Netherlands, but my older brother stayed in that apartment. Unfortunately he made some bullshit while we were away, didn't pay rent, made mess, etc. The owner sued him/us and by decidion of the court we were kicked out of that apartment and the right to that another apartment we were supposed to get from the owner was gone also. My bro lives now in Ireland, I and my mom now still in the Netherlands. That building we lived in on Brivibas street is renovated now - looks good and we saw some kinda rich people living in there now...
October 23rd, 2004, 09:07 AM
OMG, RIGA is absolutely amazing!!! I love this GRAND City architecture/atmosphere, sometimes wondering is it really Riga, or maybe Wien or Praha... NO other Baltic city can (even try to) rival this :yes:
October 23rd, 2004, 11:13 AM
Ouch, @LatvianGG... that's very real story.
Thanks, @PornStar, hope that Riga will be really something in some years.
October 23rd, 2004, 11:30 AM
In Riga and in all Latvia the pre-war ownership to these buildings was restituted (in Lithuania not?).
Thanks Gatis and LatvianGG for explanation. In Lithuania it's slightly different situation. In early nineties everybody got such papers called 'investment checks' and could privatize their flats. I myself live in 4 story building build in 1914 and of course it belonged to somebody in interwar period, but there is no possibility that it will be returned back, because now it's a new ownership.
October 23rd, 2004, 11:59 AM
I see. There could be objective reasons for different situation in Lithuania - f.e. Vilnius was outside Lithuanian borders before the war.
We in Latvia also got "privatisation checks" - anything belonging to the state could be privatised with them, including factories. But if the thingie did not belong to the state... then these were not applicable. This complicated situation (for many buildings the owners appeared some years later) created chaos in immobilities area and slowed down the development. But now its over.
October 23rd, 2004, 04:26 PM
<----- amazed stunned totally blown away etc
ohwow. italian embassy rocks!
October 24th, 2004, 08:09 PM
I'm under big impression about it.
October 24th, 2004, 09:32 PM
:eek2: I`m surprising! Looks great! I have to go to Riga, I didn`t know that it`s so buetifull city!
October 24th, 2004, 10:07 PM
I Love Riga
October 24th, 2004, 11:02 PM
Thanks... Will try to catch some sunny day to picture renovations of wooden heritage - that's very wonderful as well!
October 25th, 2004, 07:54 AM
Been in Riga many times since ols soviet regime times and always been amazed by it's architecture anf atmosphere. Now it looks even more beatifull and it will never stop amaze me. Thanks for great show, Gatis :bow:
BTW, Pizza Jazz is my favourite in Kaunas
October 26th, 2004, 06:54 PM
I can't find words to express my feelings. It's $%&/great!!!
October 26th, 2004, 08:53 PM
:) Glad, very glad to hear it!
October 27th, 2004, 10:51 AM
October 27th, 2004, 10:05 PM
i'm impressed..O F**K!!what a beautifull city!!i must say !!WOW!! :eek3:
October 28th, 2004, 12:11 PM
Riga is getting higher up on my must-see-list every day!
This looks exactly like so many places here:)
October 28th, 2004, 12:42 PM
If you want to come to Riga, then come in Autumn. In this time Riga is most beutifull. And this year it`s the best, I just can`t stop looking at the red/yellow/green tree combination.
Like in this pic:
October 28th, 2004, 05:26 PM
Pictures of Riga were taken two weeks ago
A renovated building in Elizabetes iela.
Some examples of Art nouveau architecture :)
Unfortunately buildings in one side of the street are shaded behind trees
October 28th, 2004, 05:56 PM
Riga is even better then in pictures.
October 28th, 2004, 06:11 PM
Thanks, Romas! I see - you know Riga and know where to look.
Wait a little - this evening there should appear thread "Riga renovations II"
October 29th, 2004, 03:21 PM
October 29th, 2004, 09:18 PM
Thank you for this wonderful collection, Gatis! :master:
Riga is just so incredibly beautiful ... what a wealth of grand buildings! It's like offering a lady a thousand roses, or setting a kid free in a toy shop -- simply unbelievable!!!
Thanks also to Hybrid and Romas for their photos, and the discussion about property ownership etc. was most interesting. :okay:
October 30th, 2004, 01:02 AM
I also have to thank you for this marvellous thread, Gatis!
I am personally a huge admirer of the Art Nouveau / Jugendstil style hence Riga has been an object of my interest already for quite a while. Indeed, I really admire this city, despite the fact that I haven’t been there yet… However, I sincerely hope that I will get the opportunity to explore Riga in the not too distant future.
Greetings from the Netherlands :)
October 30th, 2004, 01:31 AM
Many thanks for this kind response! Feel free to come to Riga... although in a miserable way I can not promise guided tours at any time due to the nature of my work and family.
December 28th, 2004, 12:53 PM
Old gyps factory in Kipsala turned into luxus apartment and office building (night shot):
Bridges of Riga at night:
Navy ship in Riga passenger port
Riga Opera at night - hate this parking-lot in front of it.
Examples of modern architecture in Riga:
December 28th, 2004, 03:12 PM
Bridge over Riga Old Town moat canal.
Famous Riga skyline:
Riga-view from the top of the "Saules akmens":
Can you imagine that poeple working in this building can look at this sight all day long. I would love to have appartment with glass walls and such a view ...
opera at night:
The firework on the riverside in Riga in National Holiday of Latvia - 18th of november:
Cable bridge - view from Saules Akmens:
Central Terminal (Clock tower)
Old Town (B&W):
This marks the beginning of Riga city at the main highways entering city:
Riga traffic on Cable bridge (B&W):
December 28th, 2004, 03:27 PM
Very nice indeed!!! Riga rulez!
December 28th, 2004, 05:05 PM
BRILIANT Gati & Janis_LV :applause:
December 30th, 2004, 02:20 AM
I just LOVE Riga!!!
It seems to me that I was soooo lucky to have a relatively nice weather on March this year, when I came to visit Latvia - just one day after the rain showers!
Guess what!? I couldn't take my eyes from these nice buildings!!! "Collection" of so many different styles! WOW!
Result: 1600+ photos for 5 days! :righton:
I'll be back! :wave:
Here are some of my photos...
December 30th, 2004, 08:09 AM
Riga is just like a fairy tale city to me. I love Riga :love:
January 3rd, 2005, 01:10 AM
amazing buildings+perfect restoriation= :eek2:
I have to visit Riga soon :)
How much buildings(%) were restauration in Riga?
January 3rd, 2005, 03:09 PM
Some 10% I guess. But this means many hundreds of ornate buildings.
January 5th, 2005, 12:24 AM
Saules Akmens - I adore that pic!
January 5th, 2005, 09:12 AM
Looks very cool I admit ;)
January 5th, 2005, 07:57 PM
I'm impressed... wow great city!
January 5th, 2005, 08:17 PM
Odlicne slike Helsq :okay:
I hope that Gatis will continue shooting and that we will get to see Riga Renovations'05 (ornate!!!) ;) I just love Riga's architecture. And hopefully other forumers will follow so we will see similar threads with Tallinn and Vilnius. Cheers.
January 12th, 2006, 06:17 PM
WooooooooooooooooooooooW !!!! This city is an Awesome !!! I must visit it !
Looks very clean and friendly :)
January 12th, 2006, 07:18 PM
Thanks for reviving this thread! And heart is warmed by your positive impressions!
Due to change of work I will not have digital camera for some months - but I will look what to do about it.
@DJRexx - Centre is clean, some poorer districts not so clean. But nowhere it is really disgusting IMHO. Still most houses are in rather bad shape. But city definitely is friendly
January 12th, 2006, 09:28 PM
I have to say this once again: I'm amazed! Riga is probably the richest city in our region in the sense of ornate prewar buildings.
Old Town is of course something incredibly beautiful but IMO it's a shame if every tourist stuck to it, if the inner city outside the Old Town offers that much awesome ornate Art Nouveau and Neo-Renaissance blocks. Although I don't like "X is better than Y" -kind competitions, I have to say that this kind of majestic and dense prewar urbanity can barely be found anywhere in our region except Riga.
January 12th, 2006, 11:38 PM
Great thread! Good to know that a lot of buildings are renovated and getting renovated in Riga. I just hope that in the Baltic states there`ll be no economic chrisis in the future, which would be harmful to progress.
January 13th, 2006, 12:16 AM
This is what I like to see! What great renovations. Riga is shining ever so brightly!
January 13th, 2006, 03:37 PM
WOW..... I LOVE Riga, very very very beautiful renovations, hihg standard, European :) I must go there!
January 13th, 2006, 03:55 PM
Gatis, we're waiting for some updates :)
January 13th, 2006, 04:17 PM
Cool thread ! Thanks for pictures!
I´m seriously shokced by it.
Can somebody say (or show) me: what is the "insect-tematics related" barocco stile,
wich can found in Riga only ?
January 13th, 2006, 04:25 PM
Riga sure is beautiful.. I really should visit it in summer..
January 13th, 2006, 06:36 PM
Cool thread ! Thanks for pictures!
I´m seriously shokced by it.
Can somebody say (or show) me: what is the "insect-tematics related" barocco stile,
wich can found in Riga only ?
You mean Art noveau a.k.a. Jugendstil? :dunno:
January 13th, 2006, 06:47 PM
:eek: Riga is amazing!!
January 13th, 2006, 08:23 PM
@YanXenus - this is first time when I hear such term. I don't know any insect related ornament from Barocco time although one thing in Riga for sure is unique:
- there is style before Barocco - Maneurism (15th - 16th century). It is met all over Northern Europe. But in Riga this style has been very much influenced by some dark, Paganic beliefs - there are shown a lot of terrible things - ghosts, terrible masks, weird creatures. It seems, many buildings have been built with rituals, those masks were guarding the buildings from even more evil powers?
Much later, in early 20th century those terrible things became popular here again, but now much less serious, rather romantic. I have seen wonderful master's thesis classifying those "Art Nouveau" monsters of Riga. Authour counted several hundreds of buildings with those monsters.
January 13th, 2006, 08:25 PM
@vytauc - there was my update for 2005 in August. Will look for it a bit.
January 13th, 2006, 08:45 PM
OK - here it is - renovations' 05 link:
But now there are renovated a lot more... Would be possible to make one more thread.
May 15th, 2006, 05:47 PM
really impressive. wow, really well done!!!
May 15th, 2006, 07:37 PM
Riga... wow..... Riga... wow.... amazing... wow....
May 15th, 2006, 10:14 PM
Wow!!! Very beautiful city and very impressive architecture! I really have to get my lazy ass over the sea some day soon.. :eek2:
May 16th, 2006, 04:55 AM
Wow! What a city! It's funny to see how alike our towns are but still, there are some differences that makes it so fun to study the details. Like the jugent style houses. They look a bit different than the ones we have in Sweden.
December 17th, 2006, 05:39 AM
Your excellent photos of stunning Riga kept bringing me back to this thread time and again to look at the beautiful restorations being carried out in this amazing city. I am so taken with what you have shown that I have decided I must see it for myself so I am looking forward to visiting Riga in the spring. Thanks!!
December 17th, 2006, 10:09 AM
^it's sure worth it
riga is truly the pearl of the baltic, i believe architecturally the most interesting city around here (:
December 17th, 2006, 12:53 PM
Lovely architecture, thanks for the post Gatis.
April 12th, 2007, 07:04 AM
Riga is a jewel of a city! I am happy to have seen these wonderful pix! :)
April 12th, 2007, 10:30 AM
Awesome thread! Damn I miss your pics Gatis!
And Riga looks so goddamn awesome!
April 13th, 2007, 07:40 PM
Wait a bit - it seems, I will get both top-notch camera and car soon ;) I WILL BE BACK
April 14th, 2007, 03:09 AM
Terrific news, Gatis! :banana: