An open international competition has been launched to masterplan a new £25 million sports and cultural quarter surrounding the Daugava Stadium in Riga, Latvia
Backed by the stadium’s owners, the contest seeks proposals for regenerating the ageing athletics venue along with neighbouring buildings including an ice rink and several other sports facilities.
The phased 10.4ha project is part of Latvian government-backed plans to create a modern and recognisable centre for sports and culture in Riga, and promote renewal in the city centre Grīziņkalns neighbourhood.
According to the brief: ‘With the aim to revitalise the degraded neighbourhood of Grīziņkalns by 2022, it is intended to create a modern publicly accessible multifunctional culture and sports quarter around Daugava Stadium.
‘The concept must comprise masterplan solutions for development of the entire area, as well as functional and architectural solutions for the objects and zones of the culture and sports quarter. The sketch design will be used as a basis for elaboration of the construction design.’
The Daugava Stadium first opened in 1958 and, in its heyday, hosted a range of football, athletics and music events, but it has received little investment in recent years. Its seating capacity was halved to just 5,000 after one of the stands was deemed unsafe and pulled down more than a decade ago.
Eight years ago, to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Latvia’s independence in 1918, 3,807 athletes set a new Guinness World Record by running a 24-hour 100m relay in the stadium.
It is hoped the stadium, which remains a popular concert venue, will be redeveloped in time for the national Latvian Song and Dance festival in 2018.
Planned new facilities for the wider sports and cultural quarter include an athletics arena, football pitch, bobsled starting platform, shooting range, cycling track, basketball hall, gym, training area and ice arena alongside a hotel, retail and offices.
The site is next to Grīziņkalns Park, also known as ‘Freedom Park’, which is home to a large skate park and also hosts the Ghetto Games – an international alternative urban sports event.
Last month, Denmark-based PLH Arkitekter was named winner of a contest to overhaul and expand Riga’s main railway station, create a new railway bridge and regenerate a 59ha surrounding area.
Shortlisted teams selected by the jury will be invited to make tender proposals to the project’s procurement committee and bid for the design contract. Jury members include architects from the Netherlands, Germany, Lithuania and Latvia along with representatives from Riga City Council and Construction Board, the Latvian Sports Federation Council and the Ministry of Education and Science.
The total stage one prize fund is around £13,000 and finalist teams will compete for the design development and construction oversight contract which is included in the project’s overall £25 million budget.
The deadline for submissions is 20 March.
How to apply
VSIA Kultūras un sporta centrs Daugavas stadions
Tel: +371 67844802