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


Palasport (Arsenale) Giobatta Gianquinto
The Baltic Pavilion inhabits the Palasport Arsenale, Giobatta Gianquinto—a brutalist architecture sports hall located next to the main Arsenale exhibition grounds. Its tall concrete wall, cast in-situ, features an upright perimeter extrusion, which provides a stepped piazza—a clearing in the dense, historical city fabric. 
Designed by Enrichetto Capuzzo, the building has been actively used by the Venetian community for sports activities since the 1970s. The Baltic Pavilion provides the occasion for its doors to be opened to visitors of the International Architecture Exhibition for the first time .

There are transformative efforts at play which are reprogramming an inert region beyond the delineations of separate nation-states. The Baltic Pavilion intends to explore the built environment of the Baltic States as a shared space of ideas. This exhibition and a series of related events presents a cross-section of Baltic space. In light of the Anthropocene, a new geological epoch, the developments in this region will unfold as a non-linear stratigraphy.

Recent geopolitical developments around the Baltic States have created a sense of urgency for new spatial practices to be initiated, that both unite the region and underpin the foundations of the European Union. New infrastructural connections in the Baltic Sea, FSRU Independence, the natural gas storage ship in Klaipėda, and the pan-Baltic railway project Rail Baltica are among the many examples of this new kind of architecture.
The Baltic Pavilion attempts to unravel the conventions and instruments operated by a wide range of spatial practices, industries, and infrastructures that are actively trans-forming the built space of the three Baltic States, and the wider region. Without making distinction between abstract ideas and their material projections, the exhibition seeks to distill parameters and thought structures, to enable the formulation of a range of spatial interventions which aim to reconfigure the inert built environment of the Baltics.

Some elements of this built environment are too inert to be completely reorganised instantaneously—infrastructure, cities, and transport links are currently in a state of functionality, and so demand specific practices simultaneously to maintain their stability. At the same time, these structures also determine future possibilities. The BalticPavilion is interested in an ecology of practices that inscribe new policies onto existing material assemblies through procedures such as addition, transition, translation, integration, and assimilation—making use of what is already at work.

Realia can be understood as a particular material object or idea—linguists use the term to highlight structures that cannot be translated from one language to another. The intersection between power structures, ideologies, and resistances on one side, and the assembly of things on the other, results in realias as authentic responses to specific material parameters. This project proposes a reading of spatial interventions as realia—formed in relation to a place. The common denominator for the international team working on the Baltic Pavilion is a specific relationship to the Baltic region as a starting point for inquiry—it is an attempt to re-articulate architecture while responding to the logic of a particular place. Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania share common processes in political, economic, cultural, and infrastructural transformations–from the central planning of the Soviet Union to the current governmentality of the EU. Perhaps the phenomena of the shifting definition of the Baltic countries is a double fold—from the outside it is addressed as one region whilst on the inside it is often understood as three separate quests for identity. Thus, this project is an attempt to link contrasting concepts while analysing the conditions for integrity of the Baltic States through relation to a wider context.
The project takes a geological approach — it reads the things that compose this flat landscape as a stack of stratigraphic layers. Man-made space is understood as a sedimentary process and its infrastructure, as well as its mineral resources, are assessed as the key parameters that will define a development. This project functions as an intertwined cross-section cut through the current entanglement of identities, spatial practices, infrastructures, and geological resources.The exhibition presents a horizon of artifacts—a field that can be observed as a version of what is at work—an image of realias and their links. The different exhibition passages each propose a structured reading of artifacts while at the same time opening up new interpretations. Multiple representations of realias are structured by way of a gradient from subjective, artistic images to operative images.
Multiyear Spectral Analysis of the Baltic States
Overlayed in red, green and blue colour spectrum this analysis visualizes Landsat 7 and 8 band 1 data identifying man made features in the years 1999, 2008 and 2014 respectively.The hard surfaces from the earliest dataset that later disappeared are shown in red, while green represents features from the middle of the period and blue presents the latest developments. That in white is the data that appears in all three overlayed data sets, thus showing features that are unchanged. While reading the visualization, naturally occurring surfaces such as ice or sea vegetation are also visible and identifiable after closer observation.
Digital Elevation Model
The Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) was a project launched in 2000 to collect the most complete and up to date, contiguous high resolution topographic data, headed by NASA and the US DoD National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA).This sensor was launched on the space shuttle Endeavour and over eleven days collected measurements of elevation for almost one trillion points on the Earth’s surface. C-Band and X-Band Interferometric Aperture Radar was used to measure the elevation of the Earth between 60th parallel north and 56th south due to the orbital inclination, meaning the Baltic states are right on the northern limit of that range. After collection and processing, a global dataset was made freely available, at one arc-second (~30m) resolution for the US and three arc-second (~90m) for the rest of the world. As of 2015, NASA has began distributing the SRTM dataset for the rest of the world at the full one arc-second (~30m) resolution.The SRTM dataset has various applications in areas where high detail topographic data is necessary such as agricultural management, flood risk analysis, civil aviation, mobile communications and military simulations. This particular image relies on the designation of grayscale pixel values to calculations of elevation and slope, which are conducted on the original numeric data. Finally the elevation data is used to offset the image to create the illusion of depth when seen through filtered spectacles. It forms part of a larger project proposing a new relationship between digital technologies of topographic measurement and the transformation of our traditional understanding of the construction of bounded polities.
Atlas of Russian History 
The Atlas of Russian History is a book of translucent pages, superimposing thirty seven maps. Produced in 1953 in the year of Stalin’s death the study was made by twenty three year old George Maciunas while studying at Carnegie Institute of Technology taking inspiration in the course “Evolution of the Modern Russian State”. The study surveys the complex forces that formulated the system of Russian government at the time.  
Baltics: Timeline of the Last Hundred Years
The Baltic timeline considers the ever shifting definition of the Baltic states through an overlay of historical events with spatial interventions articulating transformative efforts.
Cartosynthesis of the Baltic Sea
DescriptionThrough the elaboration of our énoncé théorique the authors used cartography as a medium to depict specific geographical forms, complex information and data to provide a reading of a continuously changing reality. In this context, a transboundary landscape analysis was needed to evaluate the current overexploitation of the Baltic Sea and investigate the complex and shifting relation between the reshaping of international or supranational influence on the region and forms of the inhabited territories. This Cartosynthesis map, based on the authors’ analysis, paints a picture of the most important problematic faced by the Baltic Sea: primarily the eutrophication process. Text: Muriz Djurdjevic and Thomas Paturet
Atlas of Overexploited Territories – Baltic Sea
Two master students at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) were asked to produce an énoncé théorique: theoretical research, exploring a subject that they deemed interesting and relevant to introduce their diploma project. They chose to study the Baltic Sea through a selection of various climatical, geological, social and political topics. This book is the result of those four months of research. The énoncé théorique goes into detail—through maps, diagrams, charts, etc.—searching for clues and patterns on what an overexploited territory looks like (different layers of interaction) and what planning such a territory would imply. This book hopes to generate more ideas on how the exploitation of the Baltic Sea could be organised so humans can adequately manage and use the resources offered by the sea, today and in the future. Planning will become crucial for the Baltic Sea where user pressures are currently relatively manageable but are expected to witness a strong shift in the years to come. Text: Muriz Djurdjevic, Thomas Paturet
Bathymetry + Cartogenesis layers of the Baltic Sea
This bathymetric model (scale 1:900 000, accentuated by a factor of 100 in the Z-value) provides a background for the mapping of the Cartogenesis maps produced in our énoncé théorique. It enables one to understand the particular geomorphological nature of the Baltic Sea (which resembles that of a lake) overlapped with the flows, conflicts and relations that the Baltic Sea experiences on a daily basis. These maps aim to confront the classical debates for and against the primacy of economy and employment against the argument for maintaining landscapes and keeping ecosystems intact. Should we exploit or maintain? In parallel to this argument is the discussion around the benefits for local versus national populations, global or European interests.
Spatial planning map of the Baltic Sea
One way to strike a balance between developmental interests and environmental protection is to ensure the spatial planning of the sea. This is a new concept in Europe, and most countries are only now drafting their first plans on the basis of a “learning by doing” approach. In the Baltic region, only Germany and Lithuania have created such plans. A maritime spatial plan in Latvia is being drafted, while in Estonia two pilot territories have been planned to date and preparations are being made for the imminent drafting of a national maritime plan. Maritime spatial planning means identifying possible areas for development, as well as organizing the way that the sea is used in terms of time and space. Activities are arranged and prioritized in a spatial way, with particular focus on their potential impact on the marine ecosystem. As is the case with terrestrial planning, maritime planning involves both the public and a series of institutions. Unlike the land, the sea is publicly owned, which means that the public have greater opportunities to influence decisions that relate to the management of the sea. In practice, public interest in the development of the sea is far lower than in the case of similar questions around land—particularly when it comes to territories that are beyond one’s horizon. This is due to low interest in the processes that do not directly affect one’s everyday life, as well as the comparatively short history of maritime spatial planning. Maritime economic activities and the sustainability of marine ecosystems are transboundary by nature, and therefore countries must harmonize solutions, for example in terms of ecological value protection networks or the co-ordination of the placement of linear objects. The Baltic Sea region is at the forefront of such processes, actively looking for new approaches towards better co-operation in the planning of the Baltic Sea as a collective resource.Text: Jānis Ušča
Algae – the potential power of the Baltic sea
The sea is a productive environment and offers far more opportunities than those currently being used. The sea has been studied far less than land, and it hides unknown potential. It is expected that in the next decades there will be targeted studies of the sea to find innovative solutions as to how it can be used. Blue bio-technology has much potential, including the use of biological resources from the sea for pharmaceuticals, food manufacturing, cleaning the environment, energy resources etc. There are also innovations relating to a combination of ways of using the sea, thus creating more intensive use of the sea in specific locations, while ensuring that large parts of the sea can largely be left alone. Text: Jānis Ušča
Cyanobacteria Blooms in the Baltic Sea
Caused by the excessive introduction of nutrients to the marine environment, eutrophication remains one of the principal threats to the biodiversity of the Baltic Sea. It is driven by a surplus of the nutrients nitrogen and phosphorus in the sea: this nutrient over-enrichment then causes elevated levels of phytoplankton. The blue/green swirls that can be observed on the images are cyanobacteria or phytoplankton blooms that were captured by the Landsat 8 satellite (courtesy of USGS) and enhanced through our pre-processing maneuver. The maximum area of 125,000 km2 covered by cyanobacteria blooms was observed on August 14, 2015. 
Wavebreaker from the series "People in the dunes"
Industrially mass-produced, this interlocking pre-cast reinforced concrete module is an inseparable part of coastline infrastructure. Employed to transform and utilize the water edge, it is engineered to break the wave before the wave breaks what is behind it. It is designed to protect the water routes, the harbors, the artificial islands and lighthouses. In the case of Bolderāja, it protects the delta of the River Daugava from being filled with sand so that large ships can continue entering the Freeport of Riga. At the same time its prime location on the waterfront and its relationship to human scale creates a curious other function for the locals.
People in the dunes
The areas of Bolderāja and Daugavgrīva hold significant historical importance for the city of Riga; however, that importance has decreased and they have swiftly turned into neglected peripheries with remarkable swiftness.For many centuries the only road that connected Riga to the whole region of Kurzeme ran through these dune territories. The Daugavgrīva Fortress which is located on the eastern part of the island next to the estuary of Daugava was erected to protect Riga from enemy ships. The Fortress remained of military importance right up to the First World War when new military technologies were introduced that made fortresses somewhat useless.Several fishing villages were located near the Fortress; shortly before the First World War the inhabitants of Riga followed the trends of the time and summer houses started to appear in the region.The Second World War brought dramatic change. When it ended, Daugavgrīva became a closed territory used by the Soviet Naval Forces—the fishing shacks were replaced by high-rise buildings and gardening and garage cooperatives were introduced in the rich bottomlands of Buļļupe.Years have passed since Latvia restored its independence and the Soviet Army has left, but the areas have not yet recovered. Their predominantly Russian-speaking inhabitants remain stuck somewhere between the Soviet past and the ever-changing present. Bolderāja has one of the closest beaches to the Baltic Sea and yet most of Riga’s inhabitants choose to ignore it and search for resorts, sanatoriums and plots of land for their summer houses elsewhere. Text: Pauls Bankovskis
Riga Central Multimodal Public Transport Hub
The AECOM preliminary design integrates the Rail Baltica route with Riga’s city center. A new pair of 1,435mm wide tracks runs adjacent to the existing 1,520mm wide railway infrastructure. Significant alterations include a new railway bridge, the excavation of an existing embankment forming a new elevated track, and a new multimodal passenger station. Additionally, this redevelopment project presents the opportunity to rethink the entire public transport node of the city in terms of mobility, accessibility, connectivity, and public space. Final spatial and tectonic solutions will be refined via a design competition in 2016.
Riga Multimodal Terminal 
Stepping down from the ambition for iconic architecture, this project looks back at the lost historical evidence, focusing on the endangered modernist monument—the bus station building— while recognizing qualities in projects developed previously. Visions of a city train by another architecture studio, a waterfront park from a successful diploma project and Rail Baltica —back then still only a vision.Lack of continuity is one of the main reasons for significant urban problems in Riga. Although the proposal did not result in a commision and construction process, it has served as the basis for the Rail Baltica project development and to some extent for the historical decision to finally, after 100 years, eliminate the railway embankment dividing the city.Text: Outofbox
Riga Airport development strategies
This feasibility diagram captures perhaps one of the most daring infrastructural ambitions of Riga International airport in 2008, moments before the economic crisis. Three 3km runways are arranged to be served by three 3-level terminals, encircled by a new railway loop, altogether designed to accommodate a passenger flow of 50 million people per year. Needless to say, Riga airport did not opt for this scenario, but the very existence of it and many more alike proves the strategic regional importance of this transport node also in relation to the newly planned Riga airport connection of the Rail Baltica railway line.
Between Monumentality and Fragmentation
3+1 architects won the Rail Baltica Tallinn terminal architectural competition in 2014. This provided the architects with the opportunity to be in real-time contact with the most monumental recent spatial changes in Estonia—our connection with the European railway network.They will get first-hand experience of the process that a relatively small terminal with a gross floor area of 2000m2 can initiate beside, below and above itself and also the spatial, economic, political and socio-cultural changes it can generate on a wider scene and larger scale.Architects have collected all of the archival fragments from the past two years that are either directly or indirectly related to the terminal: the so-called linear park between the terminal and airport, the tramline between the railway station, airport and city center, the new entrances to the airport, the plan of the bus station, various versions of Ülemiste “Smart City”, the new cultural center, and the discussions around the identity of the present and future shopping center in the context of the changing public space. They found ourselves surrounded by a world of various fragments that all have a strong impact on the terminal before we had even begun to design it.
Quantum Strider
“Quantum Strider” transforms all of the capital cities in the Baltics together with Helsinki into the so-called Finno-Ugric-Baltic network with a population of 11.6 million people. A new underground connection between Tallinn and Helsinki will become vital. Finland is like an isolated sea island looking from the perspective of Europe and Tallinn is potentially the closest link between them. Why not close up those gaps by creating a fast and efficient hub that will teleport passengers from Helsinki to Tallinn in twenty minutes?Furthermore, reduced travel time allows for a so far non-existent synergy. We are not only discussing that this fast hub will enabling us to travel quickly from Tallinn to Helsinki, we are also pointing out that from now on it is possible to define Helsinki and Tallinn as one. The “Talsinki Finno-Ugric metropol” holds great potential and real attraction for the Baltics States, a challenge for St. Petersburg, a rival for Stockholm, and the real destination for Rail Baltica. 
Quantum Strider
“Quantum Strider” transforms all of the capital cities in the Baltics together with Helsinki into the so-called Finno-Ugric-Baltic network with a population of 11.6 million people. A new underground connection between Tallinn and Helsinki will become vital. Finland is like an isolated sea island looking from the perspective of Europe and Tallinn is potentially the closest link between them. Why not close up those gaps by creating a fast and efficient hub that will teleport passengers from Helsinki to Tallinn in twenty minutes?Furthermore, reduced travel time allows for a so far non-existent synergy. We are not only discussing that this fast hub will enabling us to travel quickly from Tallinn to Helsinki, we are also pointing out that from now on it is possible to define Helsinki and Tallinn as one. The “Talsinki Finno-Ugric metropol” holds great potential and real attraction for the Baltics States, a challenge for St. Petersburg, a rival for Stockholm, and the real destination for Rail Baltica. 
Bipolar of Vilnius and Kaunas 
The bipole vision marks the shift from the tantamount distribution urbanization of the region established in Soviet Lithuania to new concentrated urban agglomeration in country’s central region. Project aspires for bipolar-metropolis that would meet the requirements for a competitiveness in wider EU free market region and formal Eurocity standards.Soviet demographic expansionism into newly integrated regions (ex. Baltic states) was followed by russification taking advantage of newly established industrial agglomerations. In contrast doctrines in Soviet Lithuania in 60’s–70’s fostered the development of the small and medium size towns and equalized industrialisation – and altogether served as a buffer to reduce forced demographic integration into the Soviet Union. The inherited logic of region is at the moment overlaid with EU integration processes.In the new political light during the first years of independence the lithuanian engineer, architect, urbanist PhD Jurgis Vanagas starts developing the concept of bipolar urbanised region encompassing two biggest Lithuanian cities within the distance of 80km. North – South and West–East European transport corridors crossing near Kaunas, are marked by Rail Baltica and Via Baltica projects. Karaliaucius District – Russia link is of major logistical importance in this geographical nod. The negotiated addition to the Rail Baltic project that would connect Vilnius to Kaunas works as a central spine and the strategic base for the Bipolar conglomeration.The new agendas were being reformulated in the project preparing proposals for general plan of Vilnius in 1995. And the concept became a part of strategic territorial general plans of Lithuania that were validated by the parliament in 2003 and stays as a political strategy that is waiting is for more detailed implementations in the regional plans.
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
This set of documents assesses the envisioned pan-baltic railway “Rail Baltica” spanning 265 km across Latvia. The Environmental Impact Assessment is an exemplar of a widely popular documentary technology composed of “texts” and “public discussions”, which evaluate the impact of large infrastructural projects upon environment. While these documentary practices are indispensable to data acquisition, analysis and legislation, they also present a challenge to the wider public, since an increasing degree of technological expertise is necessary to navigate and negotiate their contents appropriately.Text: Viesturs Celmiņš
Rail Baltic/a Poker
A classic card deck consisting of fifty two cards was put forward to make the fatigued format of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) more vivid and accessible for the public. Values assigned to constituents signify surprising combinations which might ensue during the planning and building of the railway across the state. Simplified operative images presented on the cards, in turn, convey the reciprocal relationship between flora, fauna, humans as well as modern transport technologies coexisting all along the projected timeline.Joker: The new Rail Baltica railway may run adjacent to the near-surface radioactive waste repository "Radons" and despite extensive safety measures to be taken, its impact upon the storage elicits worries among the local population.Aces: The Rail Baltica project advents an unprecedented degree of infrastructural integration among the three countries and considerably shortens the travel times between the largest cities in the region.King: While the benefits for passenger commuters are stellar, the opportunities presented for cargo are believed to be the driving force behind the project.Queen: In addition to higher train speeds, the shift from 1,532mm (the Russian gauge) to 1,435mm (the European gauge) train track warrants a symbolic integration into the European transport networks.Jack: The "RB Rail AS", a unique three-state joint venture, has been established to manage the colossal task of procuring planning, construction, communication and business development of the Rail Baltica project.10: Construction and operation of the track presents considerable risk to bird migration, feeding and nesting sites.9: State of the art infrastructure for fauna envisages animal passages, underpasses and overpasses to enable a safer migration of wildlife across man made barriers.8: Noise emission and acoustic pollution from construction and operation of railway traffic will have to be countered with rail noise abatement measures.7: Drainage systems will have to protect water basins and wetlands from contamination as well as provide passages for amphibians and reptiles.6: Complex negotiation, land acquisition as well as the resettlement of residents predates construction of the railway throughout the region.5: Riga International Airport (RIX) will boast a high speed railway connection to the city of Riga.4: The route of the track was adjusted several times to limit its impact upon Natura 2000, the network of protected areas including marshes, biotopes, wetlands and habitats. 3: Construction of the track posits a significant risk to local historical heritage and natural landscape.2: While the train junction will only have four stops in the region, there are plans to adapt the network to spur the cargo traffic and local passenger transportation.Text: Viesturs Celmiņš
Joules of the Arctic
The Arctic is undergoing rapid and detrimental change. Increased accessibility as a result of diminishing sea ice combined with the dynamics of the global oil industry have transformed the region from a frontier of primarily scientific inquiry into a site of contested international politics. In opposition to common conceptions, the transformations that are taking place are not a mere consequence of climate change, but a direct result of almost half a century of slow regulatory restructuring and implementation of legal architecture inflicted by the fluctuating price of oil. The natural resources of the region have been the critical component in the energy strategies of the Arctic countries since the early 1970s. Multiple shifts within the global oil market have elevated the Arctic as a critical hydrocarbon province, only to marginalize it later when the oil shocks declined.In 2008, US Geological Survey issued a highly publicized—and highly misreported—hydrocarbon assessment of the Arctic indicating that as much as thirteen percent of the world’s undiscovered oil resources and thirty percent of the world’s undiscovered natural gas resources lie in the region. Anxious to secure access to undiscovered hydrocarbon resources, Arctic countries are maintaining a strategic presence in the High North. While it is fair to say that the region is free of military conflict, the stakeholders are showing increasingly aggressive territorial attitudes. Joules of the Arctic explores the changing conditions of the Arctic and uses animation techniques as a device to chronologically build up layers of geospatial data. It also explores the relationship between two kinds of processes—crude oil price oscillations and a gradual accumulation of infrastructure in the Arctic, accommodated through the intensification of land use and connectivity over the warmer months of the year.Text: Grga Basic
Gravity´s Infinite Range
Gravity´s Infinite Range is a project about material and informational trade flows and their escapes. The systems used would seem weird at first sight—for example, why are most merchant ships registered in Panama or Liberia? This question will also be key to the work. I´m collecting and comparing information in various forms to grasp at least some boundaries of fluid geography and its limits.The interdependence between information and material is central in Gravity´s Infinite Range
Tender Salute
Tender Salute is a digital representation of the sea and maritime transport. The work was created in cooperation with the Simulation Centre of Estonian Maritime Academy, which carried out the scenario and choreography of the ships I chose. The work questions the constant growth of world trade, of which 90% travels through the sea.On the one hand the material is based on fully functional simulation, where every parameter—speed, mass and properties of the ship and sea—are computed to exactly coincide with the real information. On the other hand, the chosen scenario does not happen in “real life” and is a representation. To add another layer I'm using direct filming from the screen, which adds some visual “errors” like flicker to create additional distance.
Free Zone
Free Zone is a visual and conceptual analysis of three different free zones in Estonia, located in Sillamäe, Paldiski and Muuga. Free Zones are economic instruments, which connect direct geographical and national territory to the global free flow of goods. "Free zones are special areas within the customs territory of the Community. Goods placed within these areas are free of import duties, VAT and other import charges. Non-Community goods stored in the zone are considered as not yet imported to the customs territory of the Community" European Customs Law
FACE-TO-FACE: The Story of the Baltic Exchange
This installation is based on “FACE-TO-FACE: The Story of The Baltic Exchange”, a monumental kinetic piece by Maarja Kask and Ralf Lõoke of Salto Architects and artist Neeme Külm, exhibited this spring at the Museum of Estonian Architecture in Tallinn.Together with the accompanying publication it tells the story of the Baltic Exchange which was deprived of its site in the City of London and thus also its context as a result of an IRA terrorist attack in 1992. For various reasons, the plan to restore the building did not materialise. The building was dismantled, its fragments were auctioned and subsequently bought by Estonian businessmen. In addition to its physical relocation to Estonia, many design projects have been produced regarding where and how to place the deconstructed building. Its integration in a new environment has failed, causing the fragments to lay waiting in shipping containers for the last decade.Having addressed the issues of site-specificity before, the authors were intrigued by the unusual story of the Exchange building. They transformed one of the most conspicuous elements of the building’s facade into a kinetic installation at the the Museum of Estonian Architecture. In the process, they were faced with a series of new questions such as: What happens to a building that loses its original site? Who is to pass judgement on the value of a piece of architecture? What value is there in salvaging a building? What role does architecture play as a means of exerting influence in society and politics?
Riga Port City: Five zines on Design research, Landscape, Structure and Visual impact analysis
Riga’s port is one of the last dockland areas in Europe still waiting to be developed. The rapid growth of Riga means that an overly detailed elaboration of the city environment development may be risky. The plan of Riga Port City is mainly a tool, which does not dictate and does not create a predictable and explicit aggregate of applications. The concept is reminiscent of a guessing game— predicting possible future options. The objectives of the plan relate to the prediction of what is expected to happen in part of the City of Riga, however the plan does not have to necessarily include the shape, appearance or functions of buildings. It should make one sufficiently convinced about the features of a newly developed element, in order to arouse the interest of the target audience. The main goal is that the plan should simultaneously be indefinite and definite. The concept should provide for various scenarios, as Latvia, and particularly Riga, is now going through dynamic growth. Long-term economic growth and the preservation of a real estate bubble should be taken into consideration. However, one should also take into account the possibility that the market may become oversaturated, the demand for real estate may stabilize or even decrease.If the development context is not foreseen, the plan should provide for the system of territory organization basic principles. The area of development in the planning is divided into three bands and make up six different zones.© SIA “Jaunrīgas attīstības uzņēmums”
Riga Port City Master Plan
The master plan of Riga Port City sets forth several scenarios of development of Andrejsala and Eksportosta, and demonstrates the maximum development opportunities of this place. The concept provides relatively specific data on the properties of the new district of the city, its spatial composition and town-planning principles. The district of Andrejsala and Eksportosta is divided into three bands and includes six various zones. Each of the zones is planned with its own identity, atmosphere and main buildings (e.g. the ContemporaryArt Museum, conference centres, a design school etc.), as well as the landscape formed for a purpose. The area development process envisages successive phases. The total area of development is expected to be 2,700,000 square metres, of which Andrejsala’s share shall be 700,000 square metres.(© SIA „Jaunrīgas attīstības uzņēmums”)
This photographic series depicts cruise ships that traverse the Baltic sea between Tallinn, Helsinki and Stockholm. For Estonians these routes bear multiple important meanings. Their first trip to western countries, the catastrophe of the cruise ship "Estonia", weekly migrating workers going to Finland and back to work. The photographs have been captured in the rare moments between trips, when the ships are empty, and allow us to suddenly see how the background is visible.
Riga Metropolitain: competition for underground station design
The Riga Metro was a planned metro system devised during the time of the Soviet Union. Three lines with a total of thirty-three stations were planned to be built by 2021, however in the late 1980s, during the independence movement, the whole project was put on permanent hold. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the possible construction of a metro system has still not been publicly discussed.The main reason for public opposition concerned how the metro was to be built, with a belief that the construction could adversely affect the architecture of the old town and historical center of Riga. Discussions also focused on the ecological and social aspects of the project and its impact on unfavorable national arrangement. There was concern regarding a new wave of migrant workers from the Soviet Union, which would be an inevitable consequence of the subway construction. Strong public opposition led to the fact that the city and the Soviet republic would lose even more control of their territories, as Riga would be developed into a disproportionately large regional center for the region’s scale.
Riga Metropolitain geological analysis
In the middle of the 1970s in Riga, the capital of Latvia, a geological exploration for a subway project was carried out—ten years later it was stopped. In the period between 1979 and 1988 hundreds of geological and hydrogeological wells were made with a depth of exploration reaching 50 meters. A large amount of research material is still available at the State Geology Fund today providing knowledge of Riga’s geology up to the present day such as the “Report on the geological exploration of metropolitan of Riga – technical project” exceeding 1000 pages and with close to 200 graphic attachments, as well as overviews of seismic and ultrasound research in Riga’s subway route.
In 1994, news was circulating in the architecture circles in Estonia, that a delegation of Japanese businessmen were on their way to visit the newly independent Republic of Estonia seeking new business and investment opportunities. Using a Canon NP-3225 copy machine, the artist and designer Tõnis Vint put together a booklet of simple black and white prints on bright colored paper to attract interest in potential investors for what, at that time, had already been a five-year obsession about a fantastic special economic zone in the former closed military zone on the island of Naissaar (Estonian for Woman’s island). In traditional Japanese binding, he presented a wide scope of his work and references from others, most of them re-drawn in classic oriental dotted technique, ranging from Yakov Chernikhov inspired constructivist megastructures appropriated with Estonian flags to studies on traditional craftsmanship and comparisons of Japan and Estonia to mappings of Feng-Shui axis and energy flows. In addition he provided an overview of the contemporary architects of Estonia—many of which had just opened up their own first offices in the new and exciting free market economy.
Fourteen Objects From Kulttuurisauna
Fourteen Objects From Kulttuurisauna: Five Kiuas Stones, An Axehead, A Portrait, Four Enamel Plates, A Concrete Housing Tower, A Bronze Pillar, An Open Letter, A Song, Tuomas Toivonen, Nene Tsuboy, Åbäke, 2013–2016
Vilnius Notebook 1
Vilnius Notebook 1, Mindaugas Navakas, 1977–1988, courtesy: Romanas Raulynaitis private collection, Mindaugas Navakas private collection. This sculpture series started in 1977 and evolved into a twelve page cahier of collages that formed an artist’s publication printed in eighty copies in 1988. The works comment on found cityscapes, recognising the expressions of large objects and spatial formulations. The collages of installations create situations ordering things in the space of the city according to meaning and proposed logic. The sculptural comments offer variety of dialogues and possible solutions.
Lithuanian Pavilion, Expo 2000, Hanover
“This is MMD (Micro-Macro Disc) house compilation project” states young Lithuanian architects Valdas Ozarinskas and Aida Čeponytė while describing Lithuanian Pavilion project for Hanover Expo 2000 in Baltic architecture exposition in Paris, La Galerie d’Architecture.Evolved from the ideas confronting manipulative „retro-utopian“ visions of Lithuania and it’s “imprisoning into the slow modernity” effect, Hanover expo introduces the new “possible” into the inert local architectural fabric. The contradictory competition process related to the recently implemented public procurement law, and controversial moves towards unlocking hermetic understanding of the style brings the newly established non-formal lithuanian group “Private Ideology” on board.Exposed in the “Boulevard of Europe” highly acknowledged lightweight steel structure first time participant in Expo Lithuanian Pavilion marks the turn century as aerodynamic and within “cosmopolitical“ forms, transfiguring into another.1. Nordic - Baltic Architectural Triennale in Tallinn. Authors: Private Ideology group: Audrius Bučas, Marina Bučienė, Valdas Ozarinskas, Aida Čeponytė, Gintaras Kuginys, 1999, Gintaras Kuginys photograph.2. Four architectures Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden. La Galerie d'Architecture . Authors: Private Ideology group : Audrius Bučas, Marina Bučienė, Valdas Ozarinskas, Aida Čeponytė, Gintaras Kuginys, 2000. Courtesy: Valdas Ozarinskas.3. Explanatory statement for the Lithuanian Hanover Expo 2000 architectural competition. Authors: Valdas Ozarinskas, Aida Čeponytė, 1998 Courtesy: Valdas Ozarinskas.
House of blue lagoon or blue bay, proposal for Daugava left coast development in Riga. Unrealised project.
This two-part panel drawing was presented at the Young Architects Independent Proposal exhibition under the open call "Nature-human habitation" in 1984. The poetic narrative of the proposal can be read as a love letter to Laurie Anderson that, alongside Joseph Beuys, was the strongest source of inspiration for Hardijs Lediņšl—the Latvian media art, experimental music and performance genre pioneer of the 1980s.The panel was accompanied by lyrics of the song Blue Lagoon from Anderson’s album Mister Heartbreak, 1983. All of the houses drawn on the panel—House of Clouds, House of Wind, House of Meteor, House of Moon, House of Blue Bay, House of Migrant Birds, House of Lightning, House of Rain, House of Press and above all House of Rainbow—mark the Daugava left coast development as a vision of a dreamy lover. Most remarkable of the ten houses is the one resembling the water tower—House of Blue Bay. Under the dome of its roof rests an island with three significant elements—a toilet, a kiosk and a lift. And a few palm trees. A sunken ship along the bay. A flow of musical associations in the form of utopian architecture. The project can be perceived not so much as being close to reality but rather as an architectural metaphor—an ideal "island", living place, environment or personal Arcadia, which already at that time, in 1984, indicates the significance and presence of the ecological thinking in architecture.The project is a strong example of the so called "paper architecture" that particularly flourished in the Soviet Union—infeasible, often visionary and utopic projects that responded to the problematic and depleted architectural environment. It is both a graphic form of architectural criticism and a visual commentary on how the imagination can "improve" the social and physical reality in which we live.
Proposal for reconstruction of Gas storage towers in Riga
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.
Geological core sample borehole map of the Baltics
Magnetic field anomaly map hand drawing by Nijolė Gedvilaitė 1976, maps published by USSR Ministry of Geology, 1963, geological sample boreholes location data: Lithuanian Geological Survey, Estonian Land Board, Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.Measurements in the magnetic field are varying in different locations due to the composition and structure of the Earth's crust. Magnetic field anomaly maps were used for further geological surveys and geophysical modeling that determined locations for borehole drilling to extract core samples in geological surveys for mineral resources. The Magnetic field anomaly maps edited by Nijolė Gedvilaitė and maps published by USSR Ministry of Geology are overlaid with core sample location data highlighting the relationship between the measurements and interventions to acquire geophysical data and research approximating mineral resources.
Geological core samples

Kretinga-7, inventory number 24674, box 3, depth 1924.0-1927,8 m, year 1998
Sandstone core sample saturated with oil. Fifteen small oil fields have been found in Lithuania so far. High quality oil resources in western Lithuania's subsurface are approximately 22 millions tons.

Aukštupiai-1, inventory number 5903, box 7, depth 1784,8-1800,6 m, year 1978

Dispersed hydrocarbons accumulated in the shale—little core samples recently cut out of it by the Chevron company and used in shale gas resources evaluation.

Syderiai-2R, inventory number 52766, box 1, depth 1576–1580,5 m, year 1991.

Layer of porous sandstone with good reservoir properties is covered with layers of gas-impermeable rock allowing for the safe and economically effective storage of natural gas.

Varėna-982, inventory number 15915, box 26, depth 664.2-674.9 m, year 1986

Valuable natural building and decorative materials—marble and granitel. Nowadays very desirable ""Terre rare"" (rare earth) minerals are associated with crystalline basement rocks in the south of Lithuania.

Dzūkija-20171, inventory number 20171, box 64, depth 642.8-652.3 m, year 1991

High quality iron ore starts at a depth of 360 meters and extends at least to 1100 meters. Resources—734 millions tonnes, but exploitation of them is ecologically sensible due to the proximity of Dzukija National Park.

Pagiriai-07-09, inventory number 2027, box 46, depth 327,8-334,9 m, year 2009

In the south Lithuania widespread anhydrite rocks could be used as interior decoration cladding as well in the production of cement, fertilizers, sulfuric acid.

Pasvalys-34162, inventory number 34162, depth 22,7-27,8 m, year 2004

Dolomite layers that are harder and have a more beautiful texture are used to manufacture facade plates to finish buildings and structures. It was traditionally used to build manor houses, bridges, stock-raising buildings, roads.

Vendian/Cambrian, Ordovician Stratigraphical Column of Lithuania
Forecast Map of the Hard Combustible and Non-metallic Mineral Resources of the Soviet Baltic Republics
In 1989 Baltic geologists completed a collaborative work on a joint Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian mineral resource forecast map up to depths of fifty meters below ground. The work involved a quantitative evaluation of anticipated hard combustible and non-metallic mineral resource deposits (e.g. sand-gravel, clay, dolomite, gypsum and others).The key factor that guides the general relationship of perspective field placement is the thickness of waste mineral layers that cover the valuable strata. For determining the specific field boundaries, an extensive set of fact material was used—medium and large scale geological mapping data, results of mining attempts and research work as well as borehole sections that were made for the purpose of water distribution systems, without obtaining any core samples. Materials were summarized on a large and medium scale topographic base depending on how thoroughly the specific territory was researched. Perspective field boundaries are natural because they contain mineral layers of uniform content and are, most commonly, simple, horizontally embedded structures. For indication of fields, the relationship of covering mineral layers and valuable mineral layers (cover-layer coefficient) is not greater than one, but for most prospective fields—not greater than 0.5. In determination of perspective field boundaries, apart from geological and technical conditions of mining, nature preservation factors were taken into account: green zones of cities and inhabited areas, natural parks and naturally preserved territories. Buffer corridors along roads and rivers were not included in the perspective fields making the data of this work significantly differ from results of previous works.All deposit forecasts of valuable resources were divided into categories P1, P2 and P3 according to their geological reasoning, employing a productivity coefficient. The fields of category P1 were assessed and they can be recommended for expanding the mineral resource repository in the future. The forecast category P2 in most of the cases has the potential to expand the already existing mineral resource repository. The fields with category P3 resource forecast have the potential to discover new valuable resource mines. The range of valuable mineral resources suitable for open mining differs across the three Baltic states as it is dependent on the properties of the geological structure of the territory. There is significant potential for discovering new mines for oil shale and limestone in Estonia and anhydrites as well as sand-gravel in Lithuania, while in the case of Latvia, there is potential for the mining of dolomite, clay and gypsum.Text: Vija Hodireva
The Phosphorite Debate
In the 1980s, the environmental protests both rejected the mass-industrialization of local resources and galvanized the Estonian independence movement. Analyzing the historical precedent as a starting point, the focus of the discussion shifts to contemporary developments. The statements on two opposing video screens will inquire into a range of issues enabling connections between politics, civic processes, technological developments and built infrastructures in order to establish an understanding of the complex phenomena as space for architectural interventions to deal with its consequences.The Baltic Pavilion's curatorial team summoned a public forum for two days in February 2016. With invited designers, planners, paleoecologists, environmental activists, geologists and representatives of the mining industry the focus was on society’s relationship to mining—how Estonia and the Baltic region relates to its mineral resources and industries involved. The round table discussions traced the ideas relating society to its material space and resources. Both extremes of this debate—the condition of mining and not-mining—consist of their inherent material and immaterial infrastructures, technologies and strategic argumentation where visionary thinking meets provisionary control of the environment, while creating complex material, bureaucratic, political, civic conditions to enable or disable the process.The result renders out as an operative image or a diagram charting those two opposites, the conditions of mining and not mining with the aim to understand their interrelations as specific parameters for possible further formulations of architectural agendas and ideas on modes of intervention possible in the region.
Vernacular Geology
Michel Foucault applied archaeology to knowledge. Robert Smithson wrote about a sedimentation of the mind. And currently, the concept of Anthropocene suggests that geology can no longer be only a natural science. But what is the archaeology of geological categories themselves, and how can archaeology and geology approach the condition of a public science? We propose the method of vernacular geology, which traces geological records across different domains of life. Such practice is in part an everyday aesthetics of geological meanings and in part a geology of earthly materials as we experience them in their habitual forms, taking seriously rocks, statements and images. Vernacular geology is concerned with geological knowledge, but it also explores how this knowledge informs the sedimentation of perceptions and imaginaries. Practising such mode of inquiry, the exhibit is built around a triple typology that makes up the geology of the Baltic Sea's eastern shores: the stratigraphic layers of the Cambrian-Ordovician limestones and sandstones, the glacial drift of granite boulders left from the last ice age and the unstable grid of "brick pebbles" and anthropogenic conglomerates. We pay attention to how rocks are used and abused and how they become ideological carriers and relics: national symbols and economic resources, romantic objects and obstacles of urban development, cladding materials and ruins of gentrification. The underlying conviction is that geology can speak to politics, economy and architecture without necessarily recoursing to an expert language. Vernacular geology is the becoming-public of geology, whereby rocks, statements and images are related to the matters of public concern.
At first glance ordinary gray stone is explored by Viktorija Rybakova while consulting Professor Vytautas Narbutas a specialist of Devonian geologic system. The sensibility to gray matter gets augmented with discoveries of dolomite metaphorical and analogical qualities. Slight deviations in colour and consistency of dolomite used as facade cladding for buildings unfold as set of references, quotes from stratigraphy leading to numerous sites, quarries and stories.
Inčukalns gas storage facility utilising Ordovician dome
The Inčukalns Underground Gas Storage facility is situated in the central part of Latvia (Riga District). The structure is of great practical importance, because it has stored natural gas since 1968. 200 wells reaching the reservoir were drilled in the territory of the facility and extensive seismic prospecting was carried out there. The reservoir consists of porous and permeable sandstone which is overlaid by a clay. According to calculations made in 1968, the total volume of the Inčukalns underground gas storage was evaluated at 5.7 billion m3. At the State Geology Fund are over fifteen geological, hydrogeological and seismic research review materials from the period 1960 to 1994.
Liquefied natural gas vessel "Independence" or Floating Storage Regasification Unit
The arrival of the 170,000 m3 FSRU “Independence” marks the completion of the main infrastructure of the Klaipėda Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal in Lithuania. This was the first strategic project under the European Energy Security Strategy successfully implemented in the Baltic region and has been dubbed “the Game Changer”. The LNG project is a historic milestone for the Baltic states energy sector since for the first time it unlocks the energy island from dependency on the Russian energy market—unchaining the bonds inherited after the Soviet Union. Regional Importance:– Access to the Baltic countries, the natural gas market, including the Inčukalnis underground gas storage facility;– The Finnish market will be available after completion of the gas pipeline Balticconnector;– The Polish market will be available after completion of the gas pipeline GIPL;– The Ukrainian market is accessible to an agreement on transit through Belarus;– Guaranteed natural gas security of supply and the availability of gas in the global market from the selected supplier (-s);– Development of LNG distribution market in the Baltic Sea region.The LNG terminal together with onshore small-scale (under development) LNG reloading station aims to become the LNG hub for the Baltic Sea, fully open for third party access. In the future, the capacity of the terminal can grow to meet the full combined natural gas demand in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
National Library of Latvia
The pyramidal structure which rises sixty-eight meters high is a place of cognition equipped with state-of-the-art technology. It has been the most significant investment in cultural infrastructure since the establishment of the Latvian state and is one of the largest cultural buildings in Northern Europe in the 21st century. The 40,455 m2 library holds 6.5 million books and can serve simultaneously 1,000 visitors. A 400-seat concert hall/auditorium and transformable meeting rooms of various sizes are suitable venues for conferences, congresses and concerts. Taking advantage of modern technology, the National Library of Latvia and nearly 900 other libraries in Latvia are interlinked within the Network of Light a single network of digital resources available on the internet throughout the country, which was set up with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Collection of libraries within the "Network of Light"
From 2006 to 2008, using a grant awarded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and a co-financing from the national and municipal budget, a library development project was carried out in Latvia to provide more than 800 of the country’s municipal public libraries with broadband wireless internet and connect them to a united network called the Network of Light.This collage consists of 393 selected photographs of those municipal public libraries to give an overall impression of what the Network of Light looks like in real life and its physical manifestation.A whole range spanning vast city libraries to tiny ones in the countryside are represented. There are buildings solely used as libraries but in most cases they share a space with the municipality, a school or a recreation centre, a supermarket or sometimes even a flat in a multistorey building.All of the photographs in the selection are taken from the state-owned database of cultural institutions and are used only for informational purposes. It is evident that most photographs have been taken by the librarians themselves thus adding an additional dose of charm and warmth to them.Visual material compiled by Ansis Starks.
Antenna tower
SAF Integra is a next generation all-outdoor integrated microwave radio, designed for large scale wireless data transmission, delivering up to 1Gbps. The integration of next generation microwave radio with high and super high performance antennas into a single unit translates into a lower total cost of ownership, and better link reliability even in densely served areas. Its body is made from an EMC-compliant plastic material ensuring complete corrosion resistance. The system has a green control diode that determines whether the radio is receiving power as well as if the signal is interrupted (blinking). Because of this microwave radios are used for internet services, mobile data networks as well as in any location that requires stable wireless data transmission. Integra is employed by mobile operators, internet providers, mineral resource industries, oil and gas companies, where offshore platforms need to ensure stable data transmission from the sea to the data centers on the coast. SAF is currently in 130 countries, including Cuba and Antarctica, and some of the biggest clients are AT&T, Verizon, Boeing, Shell, Petronas, Tele2 Russia, TESSCO, Chevron, China Mobile, Siemens, Level (3), Telefonica, BSNL India, F1, etc. A pair of radios has also operated in the stratosphere in the last couple of years.
The Estonian National Museum, Tartu
During the nineteenth century Estonia experienced an “age of awakening” with the spread of a national consciousness and the establishment of Estonian-language literature, theater and professional music, as well as the formation of the Estonian national identity. Estonia initially gained its independence from Russian rule in the 1920s, only for its parliament to be disbanded in 1938. During World War II, Estonia was occupied and annexed first by the Soviet Union and subsequently by the Third Reich, only to be re-occupied by the Soviet Union in 1944. War losses in Estonia, at around 25% of population, were among the highest in Europe and an estimated 90,000 Estonians died. Estonia regained its independence on 20 August 1991 and joined the European Union in 2004. It has since embarked on a rapid programme of social and economic reform. The creation of the new Estonian National Museum, to be located in the city of Tartu, is testament to the quest for reawakening a pride in national identity and a unique cultural history. The international competition for the design and execution of the 34,000 m² building, housing a collection of 140,000 objects, was launched in 2005. The architects’ proposal for this museum challenged the competition brief. Instead of locating the building on the proposed site, they chose to re-appropriate a nearby former Soviet military base as the setting for the museum—a physically present “ruin” of a painful history. They believed that the new museum should play an essential role in the regeneration of the area and to do so it had to start by dealing with this heavily charged and spatially unique place. With a sensitive implementation on this site, the National Museum becomes a continuation of the airfield—its roof lifting and expanding towards “infinite space”— inviting the visitor to enter into the landscape and into the heart of the museum. Their design creates an open house for public activities— exhibition, performance, learning—a place of gathering and interaction, bringing people together to celebrate a rich, if sometimes painful, history.
Reconstruction of the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania 
Rebuilding renaissance palace in contemporary materialsThe Palace of the Grand Dukes built in the fifteenth century for the rulers of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania laterwas the administrative and cultural center at the time of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Following warcampaigns in the seventeenth century and being abandoned in 1801 Tsarist Russian officials decided to demolish thelower part of the Vilnius castle complex.
The Aidu Pyramids
In ancient times, people of power realized huge constructions purely by exploiting their unthinkable divine power: they simply told their underlings to organize their wishes, by forcing ordinary people and slaves to erect huge monuments, like say, a pyramid. And they did not overemphasize the fact that sometimes thousands of people died because of an almost inhuman effort. They knew that a pyramid or any other kind of monument, a temple for example, had to be made for it was the word of God. These kinds of edifices remain to this day, not only admirable, but also somewhat dark and morbid objects of culture and history. There is really nothing much to actually do in these places anymore, but they still tell us so much about the ancient past of humanity. Today we have another problem: no-one will think of forcing people to die by constructing some kind of monumental complex and neither does any decent person want people to die because of a polluted environment. In Aidu in North-Eastern Estonia we witness a complex and simple situation where the in-built human drive to create something huge, almost divine, comes together with natural, almost inevitable resources from the Earth's surface. In this ground lies a vast area of oil shale mines, set to produce just enough natural waste-material to create an architectural environment instead of just piling the mass of earth up on a high stack. Text: Urmas Oja
series "Aidu pyramids"
In parallel to a commission to design the world’s tallest pyramid, in the series “Aidu Pyramids”, the architects create a seemingly disconnected universe of potential speculations on different contexts that would be triggered by this archetypical megastructure. By simply tzzdepositing mining waste in natural piles in a planned way, an urban park landscape reshapes the empty large-scale land-formations caused by the Aidu quarry (active between 1972 and 2012). The storyboard of the world’s tallest pyramid is woven together with global political, societal and environmental realities, to provoke discussion on the potential fate of Eastern European widespread industrial landscapes in relation to a wider geopolitical context already at play in the worlds biggest metropolitan areas.
series "Macrorayon"
In the series “Macrorayon”, Kadarik and Tüür follow up on the ongoing debate about the future developments of socialist housing blocks using Lasnamäe in Tallinn, Estonia as a case study. Using digital collage and high-end rendering aesthetics borrowed from commercial architecture they render out speculative futures of the utopias realized in the Soviet time for free plan districts. The dramatic scenery illustrates the blocks as self-sufficient local macro-habitats. The storyboard is woven together with global political, societal and environmental realities, to provoke discussion on the potential fate of Eastern European widespread modernist housing districts in relation to a wider geopolitical context. 

In Sudas Zviedru bog obtained Ground-penetrating radar profile

Peat block and material samples
Peat forms when plant material, usually in wet areas, is inhibited from decaying fully by acidic and anaerobic conditions. It is composed mainly of wetland vegetation: bog plants including mosses, sedges, and shrubs. Approximately ninety five percent of the moss peat volume is pores. Smaller pores are filled with water, while the larger ones are filled with air. Peat deposits are between six to twelve thousand years old and accumulate slowly, at the rate of about one millimeter per year. Extracting and treating peat in a specific way, it is possible to obtain a wide range of innovative materials—paints, fillers as well as composite materials.
Peat dataset of the Baltic region
Peatlands are one of the main feature of the Baltic landscape, covering around 22 000 km2 (twelve percent) of overall territory. Peat bogs are considered an important environmental resource and are responsible for huge biodiversity in the region. Large areas of peatlands fall within the Natura 2000 network in order to protect sensitive habitats. The average depth of the swamps found in the Baltics are two to five meters, but can reach more than twelve meters in depth. One of the main properties is its capacity to store more carbon dioxide than that of the forests. The history of using peat in the Baltics dates back several hundred years, when peat was used in agriculture and as a fuel. The most extraction of peat was witnessed during Soviet times, by comparison in 1973 Latvia extracted two million tonnes extracted, but by 1990 that amount had fallen to just 300,000 tons, and in recent years extraction has decreased by four to five times. Today most of the peat is consumed by heat plants, briquetting plants and households, the latter being responsible for the most consumption of peat in the Baltics. Peat is considered a slow renewable resource, which can be used in many different ways, however peatlands in the Baltics are highly regulated and only a small amount of total peat covered territories allow industrial scale extraction, in order to preserve the precious habitat. Around thirty percent of Estonian peatland is considered untouched, but approximately half of it has been affected by drainage during Soviet times and continues emitting greenhouse gases, with similar statistics in Latvia and Lithuania. 
Composite Countryside
Composite Countryside has picked out six spaces as found in the Estonian countryside. These are; Soviet Ruin, Medieval Wall, Manor House Grounds, Timberland, Shop On Wheels and Shed. Although light on built structures, the countryside is heavy on constructed environments that manifest themselves in mental and physical landscapes. Composite Countryside calls for investigating the countryside with a focus on everyday processes that shape it. The Estonian countryside is increasingly subjected to political processes directed towards maximum productivity and taking place on a grand scale. In parallel, however, there is a rich layer of informality shaping the landscapes. The vernacular entails a pragmatic adoption of current circumstances and is an outcome of local custom. Although not necessarily reaching the high level of design and formal intelligence present in political solutions, it responds in various ways to its immediate situation. The vernacular can be considered to be weak and it is seldom taken seriously. However, Composite Countryside celebrates it as a first-hand reflection of the contemporary condition.
Resource—the forest—in calculable form: four steres, 1,600 kg, 780 logs, 6,976 kWh, three months of a warm hearth. But how can you measure a holiday, berry-picking, ski trails, mushroom rounds, foraged food, a habitat, a sense of security, or fresh air? What is the forest’s value as a spatial resource? More than half of Estonia is forested. In our over-civilized world, this is a value in and of itself. The importance of wooded space is illustrated by the exceptional lexicon we have to describe it. The Estonian language has many commonly-known words describing forests either by environment types, such as: alvar forests, mesotrophic forests; or by tree species: pine forest, birch wood, aspen wood, spruce wood etc; or classifications according to function: home forests, state forests, blueberry-picking forests, harvestable forests, protected forests and so on. Forests are at the core of this region’s identity. Forests and timber hold an important economic significance in Estonia. Half of private homes here are still wood-heated. Wood is an easily-acquirable, renewable resource; it guarantees people’s economic independence; it doesn’t hinge upon politics, distances, or connection fees; and it is suited for any location—even places, to which central heating or natural gas lines do not extend. Wood is furthermore one of Estonia’s main export articles, and the lumber industry is a chief source of employment. At the same time, Estonia’s government is currently entrenched in a heated debate over how much of the country’s forest may be cut down annually. The forest is Estonia’s greatest spatial potential.Resource—the forest—in calculable form: four steres, 1,600 kg, 780 logs, 6,976 kWh, three months of a warm hearth. But how can you measure a holiday, berry-picking, ski trails, mushroom rounds, foraged food, a habitat, a sense of security, or fresh air? What is the forest’s value as a spatial resource?
Forest cover dynamics
After the fall of the USSR in 1991, one of the most significant and rapid changes in land use appeared during history of humankind. The population that previously inhabited rural areas fled the countryside, following a trend of rapid urbanization in major regional centers of the Baltics. The change from state-owned agricultural fields to private ownership, caused large areas of previously cultivated farmland to become abandoned. Creating largest artificially made carbon sink by abandoned farmland landscapes of former USSR, marking the end of the Stalin’s applied collective farming system. Copernicus is a European system for monitoring the Earth, its pan-European component, coordinated by the European Environment Agency, has produced CORINE Land Cover (CLC) datasets from the period between 1990 and 2012. CLC is used to illustrate agricultural land use changes after 1990. Another tendency in land use changes in the Baltic states can be seen in forest cover. While overall former soviet countries are witnessing forest growth over abandoned territories, supporting carbon sink in locking and storing carbon dioxide, The Baltic states have the opposite phenomena of forest cover decrease since 1991. By new markets opening demand for timber products has radically increased, resulting in logging activities that have increased 3 fold for Estonia and even 4 fold for Latvia, compare to Soviet period. Very clearly this tendency can be seen in the period between 2006 and 2012, during which global economical crisis occurred, during which timber logging was reducing for most of the countries except the Baltics states.
In Vicinity
In Vicinity depicts new suburban development areas near Tallinn, Estonia.The series documents the results of the vast change from former agriculturalfarming lands used by the local kolkhoz to new housing developments in themid ­2000s. The photographs were shot within a five­ kilometer radius of wherethe artist grew up.
Water towers in pre-fabricated structures
The collectivisation process changed the rural landscape of Latvia. One of the symbols of this form of management was the construction of villages with a centralized infrastructure and their vertical symbol—the water tower. Several water towers based on a design Juris Skalbergs developed in the 1980s still mark the rural landscape.
Last Summer of a Solitary Homestead 
During the Soviet industrialization of Lithuanian rural countryside, following the nationalization of private ownership of land, the dispersed solitary homesteads were resettled to the centralized Kolkhoz villages. The documentary by Robertas Verba shows the Ukmegė district, Salomėja Nėris Kolkhoz celebrating the last family being moved from an ancient wooden house into a newly built home in the village of Sardokai. The film, being an official Soviet documentary, through double meaning critically explores newly constructed life by contrasting it with the world of the solitary homestead, full of memories all erased in the process of melioration turning the land into industrial, centrally governed territory.
Kolkhoz projects
The mass collectivisation of Lithuania’s territory started in 1947, four years after the second occupation in 1944 in the midst of famine in Ukraine and Russia. Dekulakization measures forced the peasants to sign away their land property rights and join collective farms. All the bigger landowners and political opponents to the new regime were sent to labour camps in Siberia. At the time the 250 000 farmsteads that were spread in the territory with houses built on plots of private land in non-centralised manner formed a significant challenge for the Soviet occupation, making them uncontrollable in the midst of partisan resistance. Straightforward collectivisation processes made about 7000 villages disappear, peasants were forced to abandon individual farmsteads and move into newly planned villages formed around the collective farms were they worked since. The centralised and concentrated villages required less military and administrative resources to be controlled and thus presented less threat to the Soviet government.
Pašilaičiai, Vilnius
In 1986 Lithuanian photographer Algimantas Kunčius spends weekends in the construction site of Pašilaičiai – one of the last soviet centrally planned district in Vilnius and Lithuania. Observing stop motion of the process he created series of photo documentaries directing his camera to emerging forms of prefabricated concrete panel housing blocks – concerned with the parameters that would shape the next. While looking into condition of the constructions this subjective inquiry uncovers machine of auto–destructive qualities in the last years of Soviet regime in Lithuania. Series of images bring into focus the processes through details and elements revealing insights into the state of a collapsing empire, bankrupt ideology, and insufficiencies of centrally planned mass architecture production. Photo–documentary walk through Pašilaiciai district construction site happens parallel to Chernobyl catastrophe in 1986. Images of newly laid foundations and repetitive structural elements of new the housing district bare a feeling of ruins itself. 
Lazdynai, Vilnius
The Lazdynai residential district—the most important site of Lithuanian modernist urbanism where architects used Western, not Moscow models. Designers clearly declared the influence of French, Swedish, and Finnish urban planning, especially emphasizing Toulouse Le Mirail, designed by George Candilis, Tapiola in Helsinki, as well as the Vällingby and Farsta suburbs in Stockholm, Sweden. The entire district, which was comprised of four microrayons, was built in the hilly terrain with lots of greenery and pine trees, surrounded by the circle road, while within the district pedestrian paths were designed. Each microrayon had its own local shopping centre, a school, and a couple of kindergartens all surrounded by five-, nine- or twelve-storey standard houses. 
Another step forward by Lithuanian architects was called “overcoming the standard Soviet five-storey residential block”, which, for good reason become known as “the brick”, as it was one of the most monotonous edifices. Innovations were very moderately applied in Lazdynai and, of course, were met with tremendous enthusiasm and considered as a great event in the Soviet residential design. I am talking about the terrace-like five- and nine-storey buildings, those of broken configuration and the twelve-storey tower blocks. The biggest obstacle while implementing those new house designs was the approval of the designs by the producer at the Industrial Enterprise of Housing Construction. Directors of such enterprises were stagnant, and according to many architects of the time, only with the help of informal relationships was it possible to persuade them to launch innovation in the production line.Planning and, of course, construction of the buildings were always implemented with some delays. For Lazdynai there was one special solution that was planned but never realized. It was the main commercial and leisure center, which was innovatively designed above the highway (compared to the similar district center built over the subway line in Vällingby). According to the architect Česlovas Mazūras, the reason for the failure was the usual one—lack of funds. Although approved with delays and huge criticism due to its innovative solutions, Lazdynai was not only implemented, but also eventually awarded the Lenin prize in 1974. It was the first award of such high rank granted to an residential area design in the Soviet Union. Lazdynai not only became the epitome of Soviet urban planning, but also an example for the entire socialist bloc.Text: Marija Drėmaitė and Vaidas Petrulis 
Musicologist Vytautas Landzbergis
In 1983, long before becoming a leader of the Lithuanian pro independence movement Sąjūdis, musicology Professor Vytautas Landsbergis was submerged in the Soviet condition. A black and white film clip by Algimantas Kunčius presents a standard room in one of the thousands of precast concrete homes built in Lithuania. It is a sunny summer day and the camera wanders across a table and pans out to the balcony, sliding along cracks in the precast concrete panels to show the common reality of industrially built housing. Landsbergis works in his study on the publication Čiurlionis Music. The symbolist artist and musician Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis work is so sensitive to Baltic nature and spirituality was a key motivation and inspiration while formulating ideas that later galvanized the independence movement. 
Human in the living environment. Video action.
Many like-minded contemporaries contributed to the making of this video work, who went on to evolve in the field of performance art—the musicians Dace Šēnberga and Aigars Sparāns; Latvian tape art pioneer Roberts Gobziņš (known as Eastbam); camera operator Gvido Zvaigzne; the photographers Gvido Kajons and Imants Žodžiks; and others. The video is based on Lediņš’ and Žodžiks’ idea of a staged photo series, which focuses on portraying residents from new multi-storey residential micro districts. The project spontaneously evolved into the form of videos. It should be noted that 1986 also marks the beginning of the Latvian video era, when the first video cameras were available to a few individuals. The work was commissioned by the Latvian Institute of Scientific Research and Experimental Technology of Construction and the film was screened at the conference of Latvian Association of Architects and Scientific Research Institute of Construction on April 21, 1986. It is a visually poetic and critical portrayal of Riga’s residential neighborhoods. While moving the camera through residential areas of Riga, the filmmakers document, investigate, implement acts and performances and question the residents, forcing viewers to think about the efficiency and suitability of the environment according to their everyday needs.Effective and picturesque frames are complemented by Hardijs Lediņš’ historically theoretical excursus on the interaction of modernist and postmodernist architecture.
The City of the Living – The City of the Dead
Leonhard Lapin’s The City of the Living, the City of the Dead—exhibited for the first time in 1978—proposed inserting a cemetery into a public courtyard in one of the Soviet-period prefabricated residential districts in Tallinn. Lapin suggested reconstructing garages to function as tombs and bodies to be buried in cars, whereas the graves’ monuments could also have functioned as playground elements for children. (“In this way, people would take better care of the area and parents would not allow their children to vandalize its equipment”, as one reviewer mockingly put it). This grotesque scene, executed in the style of pop art, satirized the idea of a new urban micro-district that would provide everything necessary for daily life. As Lapin himself put it, this addition would enable the area to be self-sufficient and the “inhabitants [would] be able to remain in their neighborhoods forever without ever needing to cross a single thoroughfare”. The project referred to the courtyard visible from the living-room window of the apartment in which Lapin lived with his then-wife, artist Sirje Runge. In Lapin’s design, several members of the architectural establishment had been buried in the courtyard—their names are shown on gravestones—and a corner of the courtyard has been set aside for the common grave of members of the Architects’ Union. In this way, Lapin commented on the changed conditions of architects’ work; in the context of mass-produced dwellings the role of the architect had faded, leaving him or her only to follow obediently the many restrictive building laws and regulations.Text: Andres Kurg
Five pleasures
Five pleasures displays five ways to enjoy free plan areas (the outcome of mass housing production during Soviet times) as a living environment. Each proto-project hints at how to articulate currently homogeneous space and create spaces with varying degrees of privacy and publicity. Simple and at the same time twisted interventions manifest realistic developments for free plan areas and should function as triggers for inhabitants' imagination. The provocative poster format can also be read as a dislocated dialogue between soviet propaganda posters and capitalistic consumerism. Are there ways to talk about "enjoying the space" without becoming purely consumerist? In the context of free plan areas we never speak in terms of pleasure, can contemplation and being in space be the only source of pleasure?
Anamorphosis is one of the winning competition entries to the 2013 Tallinn Architecture Biennale Vision Competition tackling the future of the socialist housing district of Väike-Õismäe in Tallinn. The district was completed in the late 1970s and the architects Mart Port and Malle Meelak were awarded the state prize of the Soviet Union in 1986. The point of departure for change was the transformation from a soviet to a neoliberal society after Estonia regained its independence in 1992. The brief of the speculative competition asked for visions on what to do with an ideal idea manifested in the circular plan of the district? Should totality be attacked with totality? Can geometric order be enjoyable to live in? What is there to recycle for today’s life and new utopias of the future? 
Winter Garden City: Õismäe Collective Space
Physiologically humans are essentially tropical mammals, in their naked selves physically ill-equipped for withstanding the frigid climates modern man inhabits. Thus, the relationship between our body and the world is necessarily mediated through the technologies of clothing and shelter. Zoos for animals and greenhouses for plant life replicate the exact same process as the construction of houses and cities does for humanity: a simulation of the climate the organisms inside are adapted to and able to thrive in.Neither consumption nor being social requires the homeostatically taxing act of leaving the comfort of one’s home; neither does going to work, because, either there isn’t work (and we haven’t even witnessed the full effects of automatization and its corollary technological unemployment yet), or there is no physical office or factory to go to anymore.By encapsulating unused and underdeveloped parts of cities in light greenhouse-like structures, we can part by part reclaim the street from the indifferent violence of weather into a public, climatized realm. Eventually: vast interior agoras; malls with nothing to buy, with no other purpose than providing a hospitable climate to human endeavor; a co-working space for entreflâneurs at the scale of a gigafactory; an unconditional conditioned space; a non-assuming standard greenhouse structure for a poorer one; the city after the internet happened.
A Patchwork of Ownership / Purvciems, Riga
Latvia has undergone an array of regime changes. During Soviet rule, all privately owned land was appropriated, and mass-produced housing districts were built without regard to previous ownership conditions. After the collapse of the USSR, original land ownership was restored through an ill-considered process of privatization. In Riga, this patchwork of entangled ownership has now resulted in a standoff between plot owners and residents, which has left the municipality no choice other than to ban all development. To untie this knot, there is a need for the architect to enter into the role of a mediator, aligning these often opposing interests.
Building with sixty apartments, 1-464-LI series, Lazdynai, Vilnius
Building with sixty apartments, 1-464-LI series, Lazdynai, Vilnius, Architects: Bronislovas Krūminis, Vidas Sargelis, engineer: Vaclovas Zubrus, 1967, courtesy: Lithuanian National Museum
Typical Renovation Materials for Multi-Apartment Buildings
Sixty percent of all of the residential space in the Baltic states is made up of multi-apartment buildings constructed during Soviet industrialization, approximately: 20,000 in Lithuania, 18,000 in Latvia and 17,000 in Estonia.Supported by the European Union through the financial instrument JESSICA (Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas) renovation models conceived by the governments of the Baltic states have attempted to extend the life cycle of the multi-apartment buildings and most importantly reduce the amount of energy imported solving geopolitical dependency.Renovation models provide financing schemes that channel the flow of money paid for energy resource imports towards repayments against loans for renovation materials, thus stimulating the building industry while reducing the outflow of capital from the country and softening geopolitical tensions. The renovation strategies offer budget solutions for uniform insulation over bare large concrete panel housing on a regional scale. Strategies are efficiently simplified making them adaptable to every individual scenario of each multi-apartment building. The smallest actor in the renovation process is a single multi-apartment building. The renovation strategy descends the understanding of “community” from above implicating the private owners to address the existing arrangement of their housing collectively—communities that do not necessarily have many things in common.Three facades:Ventilated facade: Mineral wool PAROC Extra, Mineral wool PAROC Cortex (windward), Aluminum profiles, Fiber cement panels, Rivets, Plastic pins. A ventilated system is the most popular facade due to the wide range of fiber cement panels on offer and the possibility to replace parts in case of damage.Non-ventilated facade: Polystyrene foam, Cement, Reinforcement net, White stucco, Paint. Non-ventilated system is significantly less expensive, but harder to install, wears quickly while being difficult to repair. Foundation insulation: Styrofoam, Hydro Insulation, Drainage board, Aluminum studs.
Hologram pyramid presenting panel housing renovation
Soviet mass housing territories raised mostly between 60’ and 80’ are in a state of critical physical condition in Baltic states today. Most of the precast building structures were planned to sustain not more that approximately 50 year life span. After the ideological bankruptcy and the economical collapse of the Soviet empire the region inherited the aging low quality massive housing sector and urban framework dedicated for the centrally planned society. Currently the districts have to be adapted to the new needs of the capitalist society and new free market agendas that came together with the integration to EU processes. Hologram pyramid was presented in the interactive booth of Vilnius City Municipality in 22nd International Exhibition of Construction and Renovation RESTA 2015 - the main annual event of construction business in the Baltic countries. Exhibit reveals panel housing renovation strategy with the focus on the insulation and material update of the facades and balconies aiming reshape the Soviet urban super structure for the new state of the society.
Aerial thermography maps of Riga and Vilnius. Spectrum 8-14 µm
Almost all surfaces with temperatures above absolute zero emit energy. The wavelength depends on the surface temperature. An incandescent bulb emits high frequency energy in the form of visible light, while cooler surfaces like the pavement or a roof emit lower frequency energy known as thermal radiation. A visualisation in the form of a thermal map in bright colors is just one way to make it more readable. In practice each pixel represents a radiant temperature measurement. Thermal mapping is widely used in the Baltics to help operators of district heating systems make better decisions about the renovation of underground heat pipelines. Analysts apply quantitative and qualitative interpretation methods to identify underground hot water leaks, damage or deterioration of pipeline insulation. Cost effective aerial 3D modeling of external building envelopes, machine learning methods in analysis, and effective integration in Building Information Modeling will provide benefits in building construction, renovation and maintenance.
Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant, Unit 1 turbine hall operative diagram
This diagram was produced for the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1 control room and was used as operating instructions until the the unit was shut down in 2004.Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (INPP) became even more important for the national energy system after the restitution of Lithuania’s independence. Due to a surge in fossil fuels prices that are imported mainly from Russia, electricity generation costs at the nuclear power plant were almost two times lower than in other plants. INPP produced sixty percent of Lithuanian electricity in 1991. In 1993 INPP produced a record amount—eighty eight percent of electricity necessary for the state. This figure was recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest contribution to common electricity production in the world’s nuclear history.After Lithuania took over its jurisdiction of INPP in 1991, it became the 31st state in the world using nuclear energy for electricity generation.As INPP had an RBMK type reactor similar to the failed Chernobyl one, INPP has undergone a number of international studies and extensive safety analysis. It can be argued that the probability of the accident at Ignalina NPP and the overall level of safety were similar to the western nuclear safety standards. However, unlike other types of modern NPP, RBMK-type reactors have no protective shield that might contain radioactive material during an accident. For this reason western policy makers and organizations agree that RBMK-type reactors operating risks cannot be reduced to the extent that they are safe to operate permanently.The Decommissioning Service was founded in 2000 which is the newest division of INPP. The Decommissioning Service is subordinate to the General Director of the INPP and its activity is financed by the Ignalina NPP Decommissioning Fund.Following the resolutions taken by the Government INPP Unit 1 was shut down at the end of December 2004 and Unit 2 was closed on 31 December 2009. During the suspension of Unit 1 there were 3,517 employees at INPP and during the closure of Unit 2 there were 2,354 employees.The construction of INPP necessitated the construction of 142 km of roads, 50 km of railway, 390 km of communication lines, 334 km of electricity lines, 133 km of sewerage lines, and 164 km of thermal lines. 3 544,000 m3 of concrete and reinforced concrete and 76,480 tons of reinforcement was used for the construction.
Section of Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant model 
This model section of the decommissioned Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant (INPP) uncovers the structure of the two largest Russian reactors of the RBMK type, that were hosted in the region by Lithuania. The reactors were the largest in the world at the time they were implemented and the design of the INPP nuclear facility is one of the most advanced among those employing the RBMK reactors which reveals a major power statement of Soviet expansionism through infrastructural integration in the occupied regions. INPP was implemented as an integral part of the Soviet Union energy network in 1983.Originally the Ignalina plant was designed to provide power not only for Lithuania but also for the Soviet Union’s North-West power system needs. In 1989, forty-two percent of the power was exported and it had been generating seventy percent of Lithuanian electricity. INPP became even more important for the national energy system after the restitution of Lithuania’s independence when the country took back its jurisdiction in 1991. At the end of 2009 electricity was a major export.Following the Chernobyl accident, INPP and its similar type of reactors has undergone a number of international studies and extensive safety analysis and was forced to be decommissioned by EU government as a condition of Lithuania’s accession to Europe in 2009. The juxtaposition of commissioning and decommissioning processes reveals forces of two integration processes that were projected on the region.
Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant archival photos
1. Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant Unit Panel, A. Karasev, 1984–1989.2. Ignalina nuclear power plant in the third block construction. Rising power station chimneys, the reactor building. Vaclovas Kisielius, ~1985. 3. Ignalina nuclear power plant turbine hall. Author unknown, 1984–1989.4. In the background of old house rises the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant. Author unknown, ~1985.5. Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant. Visible I and II blocks. Author unknown, 1984–1989.6. Sniečkus (now Visaginas) city center. Author unknown, ~1983 7. High-voltage switchgear next to being built Ignalina nuclear power plant. Author unknown, ~1983.8. Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant Unit Panel. Working dispatchers. Author unknown, 1984-1989.9. Symbolic pole in the future Ignalina nuclear power plant construction site. The entry in the other side of the photo "Here is the Ignalina NPP. 1970.VI.4. Author unknown, 1970.
Energy Island
The materiality of infrastructure space that relates to production and supply of energy resources in the Baltic States is explored through five material assemblies. The film is composed as sedimentary process reading through the layers of material space that is defining condition of the Baltic States as Energy Island within European Union. Tied to networks supplying energy resources from the east the Baltic States are currently altering their energy dependency by intervening into this inert material space by building new and dismantling old structures, changing existing networks with projects that synchronise efforts by all the countries in the region. 
Energy Island
Locations: Litgrid AB, Geoterma, Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant, Lithuanian Museum of Geology, Klaipėda LNG FSRU Independence
LitPol Link, NordBalt Electricity Connections
Next step: the Baltic countries as fully-fledged members of the European power systemAfter two new power links with the West were installed, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia remained as the isolated energy island of the EU in the sense of system control and operational work. The top priority of the Baltic countries is to change the rules for how the 50 Hz frequency of power system is controlled. At present the Baltic countries’ power systems operate in the IPS/UPS synchronous area with a principal dispatcher center based in Moscow, within the power ring of Belarus, Russia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania (BRELL). Reorienting the power systems of the Baltic countries to working with the networks of Western Europe will create new opportunities for competition in the power markets. In light of the geopolitical situation east of the EU synchronization will strengthen the security of power supply. The common goal of the Baltic countries is to control their power systems in accordance with uniform and transparent European rules.
The Druzba Project
The Druzba Project explores the cultural, political, and geographical territories that unfold in a fictional journey along the Druzba, the world’s longest pipeline. Launched in 2003, the project performs a psycho-geographic reading of an infrastructure revealing mechanisms of power and submission that rightfully belong to the past but which still persist even today.
The project Ground is an exploration of landscapes of the Baltic States visited during three trips to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in early spring of 2015 and 2016. ____"This form of mediation between the territory, its scars, its drains, the waste sites, side-effects and residues of production, and the almost direct transportation of its substances into a new, though reflective production for yet another infrastructural project—that of cultural understanding and collaboration of sites—is to be taken both metaphorically and literally. We are looking at matter, at the end of a chain of processes, waste materials, remnants of faster, but still moving industrial processes that have turned matter into energy, data and dust. Chemical leaks, residues of industrial processes, colored earth turned over and carved out are the remains of social, economic and chemical events and processes that are historically past, but whose afterlife represents the burden and duty of care for this new Baltic Sea region.""The Baltic Atlas Project", Ines Weizman, The Baltic Atlas, page 224, Sternberg Press, 2016
David Grandorge
The Baltic Pavilion
The horizon of artifacts cannot be observed in its entirety—a special installation interferes and obstructs its field of vision. A piece of lightweight, translucent, levitating 2000 square meter fabric restructures the hull of the Palasport to articulate relations between exhibits, visually fragmenting the space. The fabric plateau has special openings, creating a range of layered cavities. It functions as an optical device, allowing visitors to see the Palasport itself in a way that serves to highlight the ethical dimension of its architectural form. This fabric installation does not interfere with the surfaces or structures of the building’s concrete interior, rather, it is suspended and locked at select points a couple of meters above the ground, and is designed so that it can be lifted to accommodate a girls gymnastics competition in June, as well as other activities run by local Venetians during the summer months. 
The Baltic Atlas
This atlas is a gradient between two questions. The first: "what is possible to imagine?" focuses on interpretations, fictional stories, analyses, and reflections on the ongoing processes, and proposes future projections. The second: "what is possible?" is an inquiry into the methods, resources, and parameters that define space.All texts have been specially written for this publication. Parallel discourses are positioned next to each other—overlaid in an atlas that works in range of different modes. An atlas is a medium that unravels multiple ways of seeing the region of the Baltic States as an intensification of networks, agendas, and ideas that are relevant on a global scale. Along with the Baltic Pavilion exhibition, this publication offers a sense of an open-ended ecology of practices—a forum on what is to come.Book contributors: Åbäke, Indrek Allmann, Reinis Āzis, Viesturs Celmiņš, Nancy Couling, Tom Crosshill, Muriz Djurdjevic, Leonidas Donskis, Jānis Dripe, Keller Easterling, David Grandorge, Felix Hummel, Gustav Kalm, Karolis Kaupinis, Maroš Krivý, Jonathan Lovekin, Carl-Dag Lige, Laura Linsi, Agata Marzecova, Timothy Morton, Kaja Pae, Thomas Paturet, Ljeta Putāne, Eglė Rindzevičiūtė, Markus Schaefer, Jack Self, Nasrine Seraji, Tuomas Toivonen, Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas, Jānis Ušča, Aro Velmet, Ines Weizman.Copy editor: Jennifer Boyd Proofreader: Gemma Lloyd Design: Åbäke, Vytautas Volbekas Printed by Petit Lublin, Poland ISBN 978–3–95679–248–9 Publisher: Sternberg PressThe Baltic Atlas and the Baltic Pavilion are projects by Kārlis Bērziņš, Jurga Daubaraitė, Petras Išora, Ona Lozuraitytė, Niklāvs Paegle, Dagnija Smilga, Johan Tali, Laila Zariņa, Jonas Žukauskas .
Credits: Story

Curators: Kārlis Bērziņš, Jurga Daubaraitė, Petras Išora, Ona Lozuraitytė, Niklāvs Paegle, Dagnija Smilga, Johan Tali, Laila Zariņa, Jonas Žukauskas

Commissioners: Raul Järg (EE), Jānis Dripe (LV), Ona Lozuraitytė (LT), Jonas Žukauskas (LT)

Project Manager: Karin Kahre

Producers: Architecture Fund, Estonian Centre of Architecture

Supporters: The Ministry of Culture of Republic of Estonia, Estonian Cultural Endowment, The Ministry of Culture of Republic of Latvia, The Ministry of Culture of Republic of Lithuania, The Lithuanian Council for Culture, The Lithuanian Culture Institute, Estonian Embassy in Rome, Lithuanian Embassy in Rome

Partners: Center for Contemporary Arts, Estonia, The Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art, Contemporary Art Centre, Lithuania

Graphic design: Kārlis Krecers, Laura Pappa


Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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