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Caruso St John and Adjaye Associates' Latvian museum designs revealed

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Designs by Caruso St John, Adjaye Associates and the five other finalists vying for the new Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art have been released today (6 June)

The Brits are up against Denmark’s Henning Larsen Architects, Lahdelma & Mahlamäki from Finland, Dutch firm Neutelings Riedijk Architects, Germany’s Sauerbruch Hutton and wHY from the US in the contest, which has been organised by Malcolm Reading Consulants.

The finalists, who have all paired with local practices, saw off competition from 25 international firms who were invited to submit entries for the art gallery and museum contest.

Shortlist in full

Funded by the Boris and Inara Teterev Foundation and the ABLV Charitable Foundation, the €30 million new museum will sit in the centre of Latvia’s capital Riga and plans to become the ‘most-visited art museum in the Baltic states’.

Chair of the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation, Romans Surnačovs, 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.’

Competition organiser Malcolm Reading commented: ‘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.’

The competition jury, chaired by David Bickle from London’s V&A museum, meets today and tomorrow. A winner is expected to be named later this month with the gallery set to open in November 2021.

The jury

David Bickle (chair) director of design, exhibitions and FuturePlan at the V&A 
Uldis Balodis, architect, representing the Latvian Ministry of Culture
Gianni Botsford, founder of Gianni Botsford Architects
Jānis Dripe, architect, representing the Latvia Ministry of Culture
Reinier de Graaf, partner at Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA)
Luke Jerram, visual artist and director of Luke Jerram 
Ieva Valtere, executive director of Pillar Management, SIA
Elīna Vikmane, board member of the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation
Malcolm Reading, competition director, will advise the jury.


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.’ 

Read more about the competition here.

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