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5,197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am getting desperate without my camera (no money for new one – because I want a really good one...). But today I took a walk to see – what’s new in Skanste Street area and how Riga is going to meet World ice Hockey Championship. And decided to try that weird thing called "mobile phone camera" + GPRS to send them to e-mail.
Here you see the result. Pictures have terrible quality – but they at least show something.

Skanste Street area is located north from Centre, bordering it. It is enormous, flat, boring area, which some 3 years ago seemed to be forgotten by anyone else except homeless people and some random cars driving the 6-line, semiabandoned Skanstes street tgrough it. This flat, empty area is some 2 km long. Historically it is pasture of Riga city – it seems, that the soil is very fertile still today.

Preparations for World Ice Championship totally changed the fate of this area. When it seemed that nobody will manage to build large hockey hall in time, Estonian „Merko Ehitus” made a deal – they promised to build hockey hall but asked for exclusive rights to develop major part of this area. Initial plans envisaged buildings up to 40 floors high but now these plans are less impressive – I have not heard real plans for buildings above 24 floors. Still – there will be enough highrises – I know about planned 12 highrises there, 10 of them – office highrises. But Kipsala or Lucavsala will have a lot more.

3rd May – two days before World Ice Hockey Championship – was exciting time to walk through. Whole area is in making – some parts are fresh and newly built, but some 85% of Skanste Street area is only starting to „wake up”. Southern part of area was full with people speaking all languages mixed with cranes, heavy construction technics, children playing football, people cutting bushes... lots of activites. North still is silent, only around the Krajbanka building there are activities.

1. My walk started from the North of Centre – the most posh area in Riga IMHO. Here – Alberta Street. All the street was filled with dust and noise – three buildings have expensive reconstruction works on-going (each more than 10 mio EUR). OMG, this crappy picture does not show even the beautiful lampposts installed last year...

2. Skonto arena some 250 m further away (they got complex of four arenas close together, this one is the ugliest) – surrounded by barriers. Seems, exactly this arena would be one of two Championship arenas.

In June, when everything will be over, this ugly tin can will be removed and construction of apartments will start. Initially they wanted 17-floor building here, then it was lowered to 12 floors, now I heard – only 7 floors. This is historical Centre of city, I will survive without highrises here. Initial proposal:

Several large projects here are waiting for the end of championship.

3. Some 300 m further. Workers have started to clear the bush in area where another Estonian developer – „ Metro Capital Management” is planning to build a group of office highrises.

Initially they wanted four 14-floorers...

Now there are planned six of them. May be at the end there will be even more?

4. Walking some 200 m. Empty football field with the „Rietumu banka” construction site in the background. Further behind is Center.

5. Some 50 m futher comes Riga Arena – the main hockey hall. You see one of the new streets on the pic. As always – I was shy, waiting when there are less people :) :

6. Walking past the Hockey Hall, some 200 m further. Just few people walk thus far, here starts the wilderness :) You can see the Olympic Sports Centre in the background, where NATO summit will take place in November.

7. Just across the Skanstes Street, in the opposite side have been started early works to prepare huge area for construction of new business district:


8. The same place, just looking ahead along Skanstes Street – „Krajbanka” has rised!!!
This building would be classy!!! I really loved its rounded glassy corners and different shades of glass on facades!

Render – some years later, looking from the other side of Skanstes Street... empty place would filled with buildings.

9. Walking past the construction site. Crane is removed, new street along the Krajbanka is built and on the opposite corner, closer to us pile driver has started to work – early preparations for the first 24-floor apartment tower.

10. We have walked across 2/3 of Skanstes Street plains. Looking back – you can see Riga Arena and Hotel Latvia somewhere far away. Whole area should be covered with buildings, including even larger area to the right, outside the picture.

11. I walked almost 1 km further to look at the far end of Skanstes Street – here starts the city again. Two large office complexes are constructed opposite each other. On this picture you see the construction site of Duntes Street offices, in forefront small corner of „Duntes biroji” construction site. This place in city was not the best, but it will improve :)

Renderings of Duntes Street offices, architect - „Arhis”:

Rendering of „Duntes biroji”, Finnish architect:

12. Walking back along the eastern side of Skanste Street development area (actually - K. Valdemara Street) – here is lively city with many interesting buildings. Construction site of „Shokolad” – this trendy building will be located between very ornate Stalinistic style building and fine 9-floor Postmodern building from early 1990ies:

Rendering of „Shokolad”, they have invented trees instead of buildings around it :) :

Walked past numerous interesting construction sites :) (two very trendy projects in Miera iela, Tomsona terases, Zalves iela...) but some other time.
13. Construction site of 20-floor „Rietumu Capital Centre”. This large construction site is squeezed among earlier Soviet time buildings. Now they are building 6th floor.


I hope that I will get something better to take pictures with... because there are lots of interesting things starting up in Riga now, really hundreds of construction cranes.

5,197 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks :)
- @Enoch Root: still I have no pleasure to make some more pics with phone camera... too bad quality, decreases the real effect too much.
- @Mr Denmark - I love those cylindric ones too :) But this project still is not announced to public and I am not quite sure if it will be realised.
- @NorthStar77 - I recently discovered that is a good way to get top-notch cameras much cheaper... Now I am eyeing at some SLRs ;)
- @Ita - I am absolutely convinced that Skanste Street area will have a lot more than these projects which were shown here. Just one - two years.
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