Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Design Competition: concepts showcased in online gallery


Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Design Competition: concepts showcased in online gallery

An online gallery showcasing the seven shortlisted design concepts for the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Design Competition was launched today [June 6, 2016] by the competition’s organisers, Malcolm Reading Consultants, in association with the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art.

Images and design boards for the proposals for this new national museum in Riga, Latvia, are now available to view digitally at the competition’s online site.

Dace Melbārde, Minister for Culture of the Republic of Latvia:

‘It is a source of pride that we can experience the first example in Latvia’s history of cultural patronage on such a scale. The new museum building is becoming a catalyst for changes in Latvia. It is an affirmation of the power of private public partnership and the ability to significantly influence our cultural environment. The ambitiousness of the project proves that, by involving the private sector, it is possible to embark on the construction of large scale, nationally important infrastructure. The creation of the museum is also a huge investment in the shaping of Latvia’s international image. I am glad that this project has already made creative partnerships between the world’s top class and Latvian architects’ offices.’

Romans Surnacovs, Chair of the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation, said:

“There was great excitement in the Foundation when we saw the submissions. We were so thrilled with these and we wanted the general public to see them too –  these seven proposals have come out of a hugely creative collaboration between international architectural practices and Latvian architects.

“We would like to thank all the teams for participating in the competition and allowing us to present their design concepts for the forthcoming contemporary art museum not only to the competition jury, but also to the general public, architectural professionals and students, and the art community,”

Malcolm Reading, Competition Director, said:

“We are delighted to publish these submissions. The teams have created a vivid and intense set of design proposals illustrating the potential for this building to become a modern landmark for Riga. The teams of international and local partners have produced work of the highest quality and, today, the jury begins its work to determine a winner.”

Announced in early 2016, the shortlisted teams – international practices working in collaboration with Latvian architects – are:

  • Adjaye Associates (UK) and AB3D
  • 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

The competition jury, chaired by David Bickle, Director of Design, Exhibitions and FuturePlan, at London’s V&A museum, will meet on June 6 and 7, and the winner announcement is scheduled for mid-June.

Other members of the jury include, 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; Elīna Vikmane, Board Member, Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation.  Malcolm Reading, Competition Director, will advise the jury.

Set to become a cultural and arts centre of interregional as well as national significance, the forthcoming Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art benefits from a strategic site in the centre of Riga, the capital 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 new €30 million museum building is a private and public collaboration; funded by the Boris and Inara Teterev Foundation and the ABLV Charitable Foundation, the initiative is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia.

In 2015 the Foundation commissioned a high-profile invited design competition from leading competition specialists, Malcolm Reading Consultants, to identify the best architectural talent available for the project. Twenty-five international practices were asked to participate in the first stage of the competition.

Notes to editors

Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art

With the objective of founding the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art (LMCA), 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.

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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.

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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:

The 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 million 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, sponsors 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 Lead Sponsor of the Latvian Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale.

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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 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.