SKETCH DESIGN COMPETITION: DEVELOPMENT OF AN OFFICE BUILDING COMPLEX IN RIGA, IN THE QUARTER AMID ELIZABETES, ERNESTA BIRZNIEKA-UPĪŠA, DZIRNAVU AND SATEKLES STREETS
- COMPETITION RESULT: 2nd place
- YEAR: 2021
- CLIENT: SIA “Linstow Baltic”
- LOCATION: Riga, in the quarter amid Elizabetes, Ernesta Birznieka-Upīša, Dzirnavu and Satekles streets
Architecture: SIA “MARK ARHITEKTI”
Landscape architects: ALPS ainavu darbnīca – Mētra Augškāpa, Ilze Rukšāne, Kristīna Kuraša
Vizualizations: Santa Matule
Our vision is to develop Elizabetes Corner as a manifesto for the role of the office in the digital age, to provide the city with a space that helps create social connections and a new iconic architectural magnet.
This means designing the space a desirable, relaxed, flexible space for work and play, deeply integrated with nature with the help of an inner yard, a ‘sunken plaza’, designed as a rich green oasis, roof terraces and ample, premium, multi-purpose office space.
We also aim to capitalise on the central location of the complex by making it one of the liveliest pedestrian transit areas in the city.
With deep appreciation for the existing architecture that tells the story of Riga’s development from the 19th century to the present day we plan to add a new regional landmark – an office building that captures the elusive, ethereal side of Latvia with warm tones of wood, patinated aluminium and ceramics shining through, while providing the city with a new powerful, internationally significant business and social hub.
The concept of public space development has been based on:
1. Contemporary development principles for corporative/office outdoor spaces – a “series” of human scale outdoor spaces for office buildings that meet dynamic urban business requirements, but at the same time highlights human scale, social values of the future biophilic and healing cities, respecting the city intensity around.
2. Contemporary mobility and ecology principles – integrating existing and future efficient and balanced mobility in the spatial structure of the surrounding and nearby quarters, reducing the emotional and visual impact of car flow by creating a green plaza in street-level where sustainable rainwater solutions are integrated. Green plaza in street-level also connects both Satekles street and E.Birznieka Upisa street public transport stops for transit pedestrians.
Green “sunken plaza” created in the lower level with additional public functions as café, bakery, etc. also serves as the secondary entrance for offices leading to the atrium. This structure with an increased greenery level besides functionality creates a very special feeling. Sunken plaza has 3 access points – from the building, from street level both by stairs and by ramp – providing site accessibility according to universal design principles.
Contemporary cities, in terms of public health and the associated increased economic efficiency, are characterized by an environment close to nature with its green space characteristic to its origins. That is why the principles of a biophilic city have been implemented in the public space development of the office centre – which reminds those who are busy with intensive work about the importance of nature in our daily lives. The quality of the environment in which we grow up determines our thinking and attitude towards nature in later life – including our professional life.
The inner yard – ‘sunken plaza’ is designed as a rich green oasis with a variety of greenery. To ensure the most efficient and balanced collection and accumulation of rainwater and infiltration at street level, bio-wool / rain gardens with their characteristic vegetation are created.