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Old June 2nd, 2006, 05:07 PM   #1
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Riga, Latvia – highrise boom in full bloom (large thread!)

Since our economy is on good tracks and develops fast, construction craze has started in our metropolitan region – Greater Riga. Although we are not exactly Dubai, projects here are quite large and interesting IMHO.

Right now we see rise of Baltic metropolis where lots of developers and architects from all over the Europe are only starting to work.
Look at City centre – construction boom is on! But don't be afraid that historical architecture would be overshadowed by highrises - all has been thoroughly planned and there even was a moratorium on construction for some years before elaboration of plans.

There are 24 buildings over 12 floors under construction now, 12 among them – with 20 floors or more. If frankly, I have lost count of highrises which are in process of approval now – but this number well exceeds 100.

„Vertikala pasaule” (Vertical world) – construction started some weeks ago. Investment from Kazakhstan. Higher tower (33 or 36 floors – different renders show slightly different proejcts) – offices, lower (25 or 29 floors) – hotel. Large restaurant will unite both buildings.

„Spice” offices – 27 floors. Will be started in late summer, site preparation on-going. Architects – Finnish „Evata” – have promised to improve facade architecture after pressure from city council.

Four 24-floor apartment towers in Skanste street area – sorry for bad quality picture. Construction just started.

„Rietumu Capital Centre” offices – technically 20 floors high, although office part is 14 floors high. Construction on-going. Local investment.

„Panorama Plaza” – four apartment towers and mall. Construction of two towers on-going. Turkish investment.

National library – 12 floors, 66 m high. Long fights around this expensive building (235 mio EUR) have lasted for more than 10 years, Postmodern design has become somewhat outdated – but anyway – construction slowly is starting.

„Da Vinci” – 27-floor apartment tower in Kipsala, construction started. Local investment.

Group of six 18-floor office towers – Skanste Street area, developed by Estonian „Metro Capital Management”. Site preparation started, first tower should be started later this year.

„Astra Lux” – two residential towers – 22 and 24 floors. Under construction

„Tamarings” - group of three towers, all 24-floors high. Italian investment, „Palazzano architects”, construction will start around September this year. Round one – office tower, others – residential. First highrises in Mezaparks development centre.

24-floor apartment building in Kipsala, designed by local „Arhis„, project recently purchased by Estonians. Will be started in middle of 2007.

Lucavsala mixed use district – group of 20 highrises up to 30 floors high. Designed by Finnish „CEJ”. This is smaller part of whole Lucavsala development project, which is shown below. Land preparations on-going. Two 24 – 28 floor apartment towers will be started later – in autumn.

Jurmala „gates” – 24-floor hotel

This building should be located in suburban Riga resort city – Jurmala. They are fighting the bureaucracy for several years already – this posh resort city is not happy about having highrises.

Highrise proposal by „Depo projekts”, Kipsala. Tender on design was some 6 months ago.

New development centres
Lack of apartment, office and almost any other space creates need for new development centres.

Kipsala is most ambitious development centre – opposite the historical Old City there is planned a group of skyscrapers with high-end design, maximum height – 180 m, up to 50 floors. For several years there are on-going large planning works, deep and detailed analysis of visual impact, infrastructure reconstruction works and now first highrises have been started.
View now – when on the way from airport to Old City:

View with current proposals included. There are more ang higher under preparation now.

View on whole „New City Centre”

Kliversala – this district is neighboring to Kipsala. Italian development, will get some 8 towers up to 24-floors high. Interesting Postmodern architecture, should be very cosy. Architect – local Vents Didrihsons. Construction will start in 2009.

Mezaparks – north from centre. After international tender visions of German „Behnisch Architects” and Finnish „CEJ” have been selected. First highrises will be started at the end of 2006 (see „Tamarings” project).
Vision of „Behnisch”

Vision of Finnish „CEJ”

Lucavsala – some 100 ha large area on island south from centre. Mixed use development planned with highrise cluster in middle. Investment – approximately 1 mld EUR. Unfortunately this project is endangered due to disagreements over Riga City participation in this PPP project. Architect – local „Arhis”.

Skanste street area
This more than 100 ha large area is under active development now with lots of streets, piping and buildings under construction. Some projects were shown above. In total there will be more than 20 highrise buildings, although this area will be mainly midrise.
One quartal is designed by Finnish „CEJ”. Land preparation on-going now.

Quartal No6, designed by Finnish „Evata” – includes two 17-floor buildings and one 12-floorer. Land preparation and infrastructure development on-going.

Rumbula – Daugava Green City
Ambitious large scale development project some 6 km south-east from Centre, at Daugava River. Envisages more than 20 highrises up to 40 floors high. Early development stage, developed as PPP project.

”Hanzas dārzs”
District bordering with Skanste Street development area, buildings up to 24-floors high. Early development stage. Architect – local „SZK”

Peninsula in Daugava river, south from Centre. Planned group of highrises up to 24-floors, as well as many lowrise buildings and waterfront. Active work at design on-going.

Airport business city
Riga airport has been very successful over the last years and has ambitious plans to develop its own business city. Buildings up to 24 floors high. Whole area now is getting street network built, rather many buildings are u/c as well – but no highrises yet.

Other interesting developments
Among hundreds of development projects quite a few have interesting design.

- Southern bridge – large bridge over Daugava south from Centre. Construction on-going, whould be open for traffic in 2008.

At north-eastern access roads of this bridge supermarket „Azur” is close to be completed:

While closer to Daugava river at this bridge group of office buildings planned – construction will start around 2008.

- Accoustic concert hall – design was selected some weeks ago, after international tender. Project of local architect „SZK” was selected. Construction might start in 2008.
Site – this artificial peninsula in front of future Kipsala and Kliversala highrise districts.

Winning design – Kliversala development area is seen too

- „Aizkulises” – apartment building in Centre. Under construction.

- „Galleria Patollo” – posh department store, under construction

- „Shokolad” – apartment building, under construction:

- Offices on Duntes Street, under construction, architects – Latvian „Arhis”

- Modus Vivendi – apartment building, under construction

- Galerija Centrs – department store – under construction

- Vecpilsetas rezidence” – under construction

- new quartal at Railway station – will be started later this year

- residential on Miera Street, under construction

- rebuilding of quartal in Centre – „Valdemara parks”, designed by „Behnisch Architects”. Construction should be started in 2007.

- rebuilding of quartal in Centre – „Tango”, designed by several Latvian architect companies. Construction should start later this year.

- „Sporta pils” quartal development in Centre, to be started this year. All the buildings would be new.

- supermarket in Jelgava City south from Riga. Constructed – although I’ve not been there yet.

- Hotel at Central railway station, Behnisch Architects. To be started in this summer.

- „Citadele” office complex – construction on-going. Architect – „Vincents”

- Muitas Str 1 offices – construction on-going

Most expensive realty in Latvia – constructed right now in Jurmala near Riga.

- RBS Skals offices – under construction

- Riga Plaza entertainment and shopping area. Had to be started – but doesn’t start somehow . Architect – Arhis.

- Martina nams – residential. Under construction. Architect – Ventis Didrihsons.

- Latvijas Krajbanka – under construction. Architect – local „Sarma&Norde”

- Apartments on Elizabetes 39 – construction started, architect local „Arhitektonika”

- Police quartal (Pentagon) – almost completed. Architect „Sarma&Norde”

- Hotel Reval Latvia extension – nearly completed. „Sarma&Norde”
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Old June 2nd, 2006, 05:17 PM   #2
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Wow, all those buildings look superb! It's fantastic that Riga is becoming such a great city now, you must feel very happy
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Old June 2nd, 2006, 05:48 PM   #3
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Awesome projects. This rendering is simply gorgeous.

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Old June 2nd, 2006, 06:20 PM   #4
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Wow, Riga has really gone some decent stuff going on. It's getting what it deserves!
The UK Housing Wiki - Attempting to document every tower block, council estate, private estate, housing association, tower block construction/ demolition method, tower block architect, tower block construction company... etc etc, in the UK. Everything to do with postwar residences! - Please join and help!

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Old June 3rd, 2006, 12:25 AM   #5
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nice, does riga has 5millions people now :p ?
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 02:23 AM   #6
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Riga pop 2005 - 731,762, must be redeveloping half of the city! nie project but
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 03:55 AM   #7
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interesting achitecture, on par with tokyo or la
go silver line go!!!
...go aqua line go???

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Old June 3rd, 2006, 06:11 AM   #8
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Wow so much projects
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 12:29 PM   #9
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I personally don't hope that most of them will be developed - but anyway - the ambitions are high.
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 01:58 PM   #10
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Riga is really booming .
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 02:56 PM   #11
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Wow! I have to visit Riga again!
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 03:21 PM   #12
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Hope that city doesn't boom too hard and too irascible.. aftermath can be uncomfortable then.
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 03:29 PM   #13
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Many great projects there! Some of them looks huge, even too big for Riga!
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 05:02 PM   #14
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Awesome boom, great projects!
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Old June 3rd, 2006, 08:39 PM   #15
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That first twinned condo tower, and the pyramid-shaped one are really cool!
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Old June 4th, 2006, 12:00 AM   #16
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Thanks for comments. You don't see hundreds of more boring projects here - some of them are pretty large, but you would not be that pleased to see huge groups of boxy midrises.
In order to understand this boom - you should know that Latvia and Riga have been on hunger of built space in Soviet times and in last 15 years too. We used to live on rather high standards before last World War and the misery brought by war and Soviets was not natural for us. The same refers to boring architecture of Soviet times (with some nice exceptions) - before Soviets we used to develop Riga as a "little Paris" with thousands of buildings of original, unusual architecture with spatious apartments inside.
Now, as freedom is back and people get richer, we are just back on our tracks - building a great city. This will take time - and the process might be bumpy.
But city is beautiful today too - don't think that you will find anywhere such large concentration of ornate Historism and Art Nouveau buildings (except Paris and few other European metropolitan cities) where you can walk for hours in any direction and see thousands of diverse ornate buildings.
You can look these threads to see the beauties of historical Riga:

My best pictures of 2005 (mostly Riga)

Riga renovations '05

Riga renovations '04

Riga - August-September 2005

Riga and Jurmala - May - June 2005
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Last edited by Gatis; June 4th, 2006 at 12:08 AM.
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Old June 4th, 2006, 03:34 AM   #17
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These projects look awesome. Very impressive and great for Riga!
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