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Proposal for reconstruction of Gas storage towers in Riga

Sarmīte Fogele, Tatjana Kotoviča (1951), Pēteris Venckovičs (1947), Imants Žodžiks (1955). and photo: Ansis Starks

Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) - Biennale Architettura 2016

Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) - Biennale Architettura 2016

The project on numerous 1x1m size panels was submitted as part of the first Latvian Young Architects exhibition in the Chamber of Architects, Riga, under the open call: "What will be the future of regional architecture?"

The project authors were four young architects studying at the biggest Latvian USSR Institute of Architecture and Urbanism, in what was known as the “Urban Project’’ department. The architects offered their perspective on the regional architecture by transforming the abandoned gas towers in Riga into a technical museum. On the submitted panels, shown here, a grand airship or Zeppelin was situated among the three towers—as a reference to the First World War when the German army aircrafts settled in the Latvian territory.

During the Soviet regime, Soviet Latvia’s architecture was an area in which the implementation of new, experimental and ambitious ideas was practically impossible yet one of the exceptions was the young architects’ conceptual exhibitions in the late 1970s, marking new trends in the field. This moment witnessed and emergence of both the impressions of international architectural trends, acquired through architectural journals, and efforts to highlight the regional and national architectural contexts. In times of stagnation these rather daring fantasies were likely encouraged by the young Estonian artists and architects, later known as the “Tallinn School’’, whose works were shown in the exhibition at the Chamber of Architects that same year. It highlighted new ways of thinking about architectural processes in Estonia and had an impact on architects in Latvia. Their distinctive architectural vision included proposals on how to change the perception of the environment and present new, alternative functions to the historic architecture by offering new purposes for redundant industrial facilities.

The historic gas storage toweres were built in 1882 and 1901. They have been renovated and improved with a third newly built tower in 2008 where the state owned company "Latvian Gas" is located.

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Details

  • Title: Proposal for reconstruction of Gas storage towers in Riga
  • Creator: Sarmīte Fogele, Tatjana Kotoviča (1951), Pēteris Venckovičs (1947), Imants Žodžiks (1955)., photo: Ansis Starks

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