An open international competition has been launched to masterplan a new €29 million sports and cultural quarter surrounding the Daugava Stadium in Riga, Latvia (Deadline: 20 March)
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.
Source: Image by Dmitrij M
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 €15,000 and finalist teams will compete for the design development and construction oversight contract which is included in the project’s overall €29 million budget.
How to apply
The deadline for submissions is 20 March.
VSIA Kultūras un sporta centrs Daugavas stadions
Tel: +371 67844802
Hazza bin Zayed stadium case study: Q&A with Philip Stone
The director at Broadway Malyan discusses lessons learned designing a new stadium and surrounding mixed-use quarter in Al Ain, UAE
How did your project create a new stadium for Al Ain FC as part of a wider mixed-use city quarter?
For this project, the stadium was the catalyst and driver for the surrounding mixed-use scheme rather than vice–versa. This gave us the opportunity to create a vibrant new quarter in Al Ain, the UAE’s third city, and provide much-needed leisure and entertainment activities, which are an ideal complement to the stadium use. The stadium provides a visually striking focal point to the overall community masterplan, with local cultural and environmental references shaping its form and aesthetic responses.
Al Ain, UAE
Which architectural, material and other considerations are important when masterplanning an integrated stadium and mixed-use development?
The siting, accessibility, proximity to transportation and visibility of the stadium itself within the overall scheme are the most important considerations. The public-realm design plays an important role, delivering a comprehensive and coherent context for the overall development. It not only provides clear routes and large assembly spaces for the significant number of stadium users, but also offers more intimate seclusion and privacy for the hospitality, leisure, entertainment and residential amenity requirements.
Al Ain, UAE
What advice would you have to participants on designing a new sport and cultural quarter for Riga?
We would advise any client to analyse and validate the design brief carefully prior to establishing any budgetary or programme goals. Many global sports projects are designed to accommodate scenarios that may never happen. This comes at a cost and can compromise some of the benefits of a more focused, purpose-orientated scheme. Key stakeholder engagement and endorsement throughout the design process is also an essential component to any successful project.
Al Ain, UAE