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June 15, 2016

The Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation (LMoCAF) announced today [16.06.16] that the competition jury has selected Adjaye Associates – working with the Latvian team AB3D – as the winner of the invited international competition to design a new contemporary art museum for the centre of Riga. The jury reached their decision following a through deliberation process that was informed by a panel of experts, and which included public presentations and individual interviews with the designers.

The Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art (LMoCA) will be the first major public-private cultural initiative in Latvia and is set to be a cultural institution of interregional significance, shaping international perceptions of Riga and Latvia. The museum will support the nation’s growing artistic community and give Riga and the Baltic Region an attraction which speaks to new audiences as well as art lovers.

The new circa €30 million museum benefits from a strategic site in New Hanza City (NHC), a commercial and residential development next to the Art Nouveau district of the historical centre of Riga. The museum is funded by the Boris and Ināra Teterev Foundation and the ABLV Charitable Foundation, and supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia. Its unique collection will span art and visual culture in Latvia and the Baltic Sea region from the 1960s to the present day.

The selection of Adjaye Associates + AB3D was the culmination of the high-profile invited design competition created by leading competition specialists, Malcolm Reading Consultants. An outstanding shortlist of seven top-flight international practices was encouraged to form creative partnerships with Latvian architects during the second stage of the competition. A jury of architects and museum specialists met in Riga from June 6 to 7, 2016 to interview the teams and appraise the schemes.

Dace Melbārde, Minister for Culture of the Republic of Latvia, said:
"With the excellence of international architecture and Latvia’s significant contribution, we are a major step closer to the long awaited building of the Museum of Contemporary Art. My thanks to all for their hard work so far – the patrons, competition organisers, the architects and the jury. The selected project has the potential to supplement the map of landmarks of Northern European architecture with the shapes and use of materials characteristic of Latvia."

David Bickle, Jury Chair, and Director of Design, Exhibitions and FuturePlan at the V&A, said:
"The winning proposal is a beautiful and poetic response to the challenge of the design brief but above all it is specific to Riga. The team thoroughly understood the effect of soft northern light in experiencing and creating art and this insight was the inspiration for their scheme.

Through the use of wood and form, the concept design subtly references Latvian architecture, proposing a very animated structure with a lively entrance that will enable the museum to create architectural presence in a new and emerging district. The design is very welcoming and porous – it has the potential to be loved."

David Adjaye, Principal of Adjaye Associates, said:
"I am honoured to have been selected for this ambitious and much-needed project. This museum will be a beacon that both celebrates Latvia’s incredible artistic legacy and meaningfully links the country to the international art community. The entire process - from collaborating with AB3D to cultivate a design that both understands and enhances its context, to the transparent nature of the competition – has been a pleasure, and stands as a testament to Latvia’s profound commitment to the importance of contemporary art to its cultural life."

Romans Surnačovs, Chair of the LMoCAF, said:
"First of all, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to all the teams for their committed and enthusiastic work on the design proposals for the very first museum of contemporary art in Latvia. We are glad to announce that the competition is successfully completed and we want to highlight the strength of all of the design proposals, which represented different approaches towards the realisation of the museum’s concept.

The museum will be the first of its kind: the first purpose-built centre for a combined national collection of contemporary art; the first newly commissioned museum in Latvia since independence; the first museum to be dedicated to international partnerships and institutional collaboration with other museums as a way of facilitating sustained cultural growth;and the very first museum to highlight the regenerative potential of world-class contemporary architecture in Riga.

We still have a long way to go, but today our dream is ever closer as we reveal the museum’s concept visualisation."

The winning design is characterised by a highly-animated tilting roof geometry which is designed to capture soft northern light and bring this into every gallery. The Adjaye-led team conceived the museum as a social condenser, bringing people together through a variety of formal and serendipitous interactions.

The jury (see full list below) considered the museum’s distinctive silhouette to be compelling, giving the new museum real presence within the context of the surrounding commercial and residential developments of the forthcoming New Hanza City. Overall, the building was felt to be welcoming and porous, creating many opportunities for public gathering and events; it showed sensitivity and awareness of regional architecture and cultural context.

Adjaye Associates is increasingly seen as a rising practice on the cusp of global success, their Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington D.C, is due to open in September and the practice is currently on the shortlist for the Obama Library in Chicago. Other museum projects by the studio include the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Colorado, USA, the Studio Museum Harlem, New York, USA and the Marian Goodman Gallery, London, UK.

Tanzanian-born, London-educated Adjaye is currently the John C. Portman Design Critic in Architecture at Harvard, and has also held professorships at Princeton University, Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, and London’s Royal College of Art, where he studied.

Local Latvian team AB3D was a finalist for the Latvian Architecture Award 2015 for its design of the Rezekne University Department of Engineering. The practice has also won a number of local and international prizes for their residential architecture.

The jury congratulated all of the shortlisted teams for the considerable thought and effort revealed in their respective design proposals.

The six other finalists (in alphabetical order) were:
• Caruso St John Architects (UK) and Arhitektu birojs Jaunromāns un Ābele
• Henning Larsen Architects (Denmark) and MARK arhitekti
• Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Architects (Finland) and MADE arhitekti
• Neutelings Riedijk Architects (Netherlands) and Brigita Bula arhitekte
• Sauerbruch Hutton (Germany) and Arhitekts Ingurds Lazdiņš
• wHY (US), OUTOFBOX Architecture and ALPS

In particular the jury acknowledged the work of Henning Larsen Architects and MARK arhitekti and Sauerbruch Hutton and Arhitekts Ingurds Lazdiņš.

Despite functional concerns, the design concept by Sauerbruch Hutton and Arhitekts Ingurds Lazdiņš was awarded an honourable mention for its modest beauty and anti-icon rationale.

All the design concepts created by the shortlisted teams can be viewed in an online gallery at https://competitions.malcolmreading.co.uk/lmoca/

The competition jury comprised: David Bickle, Jury Chair, Director of Design, Exhibitions and FuturePlan, Victoria and Albert Museum; Uldis Balodis, Architect, representing the Ministry of Culture; Gianni Botsford, Director & Head of Design, Gianni Botsford Architects; Jānis Dripe, Architect, representing the Ministry of Culture; Reinier de Graaf, Partner, Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), and Director of AMO (OMA’s think-tank); Luke Jerram, Visual artist and Director of Luke Jerram Ltd; Ieva Valtere, Executive Director, Pillar Management, SIA; and Elīna Vikmane, Board Member, Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation. Malcolm Reading, Competition Director, advised the jury.


Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art
With the objective of founding the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art (LMoCA), the ABLV Charitable Foundation and the Boris and Ināra Teterev Foundation have founded the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation. Drawing on the founders’ funds and other financing from private individuals and in partnership with the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, the Foundation’s goal is to build the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art, ensure the museum’s operation and governance, including the formation, maintenance and researching of the museum’s collection of contemporary art.

Believing that private initiative is of great importance to the development of society, the founders of the new foundation hope that this step will provide a powerful boost to the development of contemporary arts processes in Latvia, encouraging the formation of an integrated cultural space and making Riga a well-known and distinctive tourism destination.

On 30 October 2014, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia and the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation signed a memorandum of intent regarding the building and development of the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art. It was signed on the basis of the successful long-term collaboration between the Ministry of Culture, the ABLV Charitable Foundation and the Boris and Ināra Teterev Foundation, as notable benefactors in the realm of Latvian contemporary art, and ABLV Bank as the principal supporter of the formation of the Museum of Contemporary Art’s collection.

The memorandum of intent envisages that the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art will be located within the territory of the business and leisure centre New Hanza City (NHC). NHC is being developed across an area of 24.5 hectares in the location of the former Riga railway goods station, in the quarter between Hanzas iela, Pulkveža Brieža iela, Skanstes iela and Sporta iela. The museum will be adjoined by a number of office buildings, including the headquarters of ABLV Bank, a hotel, conference centre, exclusive apartment district, a pre-school educational facility, as well as an urban garden with spacious and verdant grounds for recreation at the heart of the territory. It is agreed that the Foundation’s founders will provide financing in the amount of at least €30 million for the development of the museum.

The Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation plans to open the museum building on 18 November 2021. After it enters service, the museum’s operations will be organised in accordance with the Republic of Latvia’s Museums Law, so that in conformity with the operating principles of a private accredited museum, the museum will be accessible to the general public and its collection will be included in the National Museum Collection Catalogue.

The Boris and Ināra Teterev Foundation
In 2010, the philanthropists Boris and Ināra Teterev founded a family charitable foundation to encourage the development of culture, art and higher education, as well as to provide support in the social realm to community development organisations and animal welfare initiatives. The results of projects supported by the Foundation have touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of members of Latvia’s population, as well as the inhabitants of 10 other countries in almost every continent of the world.

For more information, please visit: http://www.teterevufonds.lv

Boris and Ināra Teterev’s TÊTE-À-TÊTE arts programme is one of the ways in which the Boris and Ināra Teterev Foundation encourages the development and facilitates the accessibility of culture and art in Latvia. The programme was launched in 2013, offering the general public contemporary cultural and arts events on a European scale, whose execution in Latvia would be unfeasible without the Foundation’s support.

For more information, please visit: http://www.tat.lv

In turn, permanent contemporary art objects in the urban environment are created under the auspices of the Foundation’s art programme “Art in Public Space”. The programme’s leitmotif is THE JOY OF THOUGHT, accenting the pleasant surprises, paradoxes, global spirit and thinking that contemporary art can bring to the urban environment.

For more information, please visit: http://www.artinpublicspace.lv

ABLV Charitable Foundation
In signing its collaboration agreement with the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia in 2005, ABLV Bank became the most significant supporter of the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art project, allocating €1,422,872 for the formation of the museum’s collection by the year 2021. Currently, the bank’s funds have been used to acquire works worth €720,000 for the museum’s collection.

Founded in 2006 by ABLV Bank’s biggest shareholders Ernests Bernis and Oļegs Fiļs, ABLV Charitable Foundation’s operating goal is to encourage the corporate sector and society as a whole to take responsibility for their fellow citizens and the environment. The Foundation primarily focuses on supporting contemporary art, children and adolescents, education and the upgrading of the urban environment. The ABLV Charitable Foundation will soon be able to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its founding, in the intervening period having become one of the biggest and most effective charitable foundations in Latvia. To date, it has attracted €4.3 million in donations and gifts, mainly from ABLV Bank, its employees, clients and business partners, and has successfully implemented about 270 projects, allocating them funding in the region of €2 million.

In wishing to offer particular support to contemporary art in Latvia, the ABLV Charitable Foundation organises grant competitions for artists and arts organisations, supports arts institutions, educational programmes run by arts institutions, as well as projects in the realm of cultural journalism. The Foundation enjoys a long-term collaboration with the Art Academy of Latvia, supporting its postgraduates in their work on their graduation shows. In 2015, the Foundation was the main supporter of the Latvian Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale.

For more information, please visit: http://www.ablv.org

Adjaye Associates (UK)
Adjaye Associates was established in June 2000 by founder and principal architect, David Adjaye OBE. Receiving ever-increasing worldwide attention, Adjaye Associates believes that architecture presents opportunities for transformation – materially, conceptually and sociologically. Driven by the desire to enrich and improve daily life, the practice’s buildings are designed to meet the diverse needs of the communities they serve. Inspiration is drawn from many influences around the world and their work clearly articulates this enthusiasm for issues of place and identity.

Adjaye Associates has designed a number of museums and cultural buildings, which are unified by their shared sense of civic presence and strong social resonance. These are qualities that are at the heart of the practice’s work. As a civic building, the role of the museum is increasingly not only to exhibit the collection, but to provide access to a collective consciousness while offering the chance for dialogue between different generations and social groupings.

The interpretation of identity, history and memory in Adjaye Associates’ buildings is rooted in research. The starting point is always to gain an understanding of exactly these qualities and to use them as the essential drivers for the form and the materiality of the building.

Principal, David Adjaye has taught at the Royal College of Art, where he had previously studied, and at the Architectural Association School in London, and has held distinguished professorships at the universities of Pennsylvania, Yale and Princeton. He is currently the John C. Portman Design Critic in Architecture at Harvard. He was awarded the OBE for services to architecture in 2007 by Queen Elizabeth II, received the Design Miami/ Year of the Artist title in 2011, the Wall Street Journal Innovator Award in 2013 and the W.E.B. Du Bois medal from Harvard University.

For more information, please visit: http://www.adjaye.com

Juris Mitenbergs, the founder of AB3D, is one of the leading architects of his generation who has received recognition in Latvia as well as abroad. Mitenbergs is one of the 40 architects who received the prestigious EUROPE 40 UNDER 40 award (2009) that celebrates the Europe’s emerging young
architects and designers. He set up his office AB3D Ltd in 2000. His practice strives to define the space with both a minimalist and expressive techniques, while respecting the environment, where the architectural solution melts with it or contrasts it. His company AB3D is interested in revitalizing the emotions in architecture using simple shapes or the opportunities given by arrangement of shapes. Mitenbergs and the architects of AB3D view the process as a new quest in arrangement of lines, rhythm, materials, forms and proportions.

AB3D’s residential complex Čiekurkrasti was awarded a number of Latvian and International prizes including the Architectural Review MIPIM Future Projects Award (Residential Buildings) and the Architizer A+ Awards (Jury and People’s prize for Multi Unit Housing-Low Rise).

For more information, please visit: http://www.ab3d.lv/

Malcolm Reading Consultants
Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC) is a strategic architectural consultancy specialising in the selection of contemporary designers. MRC believes in the power of design to create new perceptions and act as an inspiration – either at the local level, or internationally.

The consultancy offers a service to find the very best designers for clients with new building projects, whether through open-international, or private-invited competitions. Recent work in this area includes competitions for the Museum of London, Tintagel Castle Bridge, the Guggenheim Helsinki, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park’s Culture & Education Quarter, the Mumbai City Museum, the Natural History Museum, the UK Pavilion at Milan Expo 2015, New College, Oxford, Art Mill, Qatar, the Victoria & Albert Museum’s Exhibition Road project, the UK Pavilion for the Shanghai Expo and the Glasgow School of Art.

For more information, please visit: https://www.malcolmreading.co.uk

Competition media enquiries
Please contact Jayne Broomhall
E: jayne.broomhall@malcolmreading.co.uk
T: +44 (0)20 7831 2998

Photo: MRC/Adjaye Associates and AB3D

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