Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects has won the competition to design an 11,500-square-meter area in Riga's Central District. The project, which will redevelop the city's historic Kimmel Quarter, is aimed at transforming an old brewery site by converting it into a mixed-use development featuring an office building, a hotel, and public facilities such as a public gym, a child care center, café, spa, food court and convenience store.
The proposal involves "restoring facades and strengthening the inherent spatial qualities while shaping the building volumes in a composition that respects the urban scale of the area." Centered around the 30,000-square-meter office building, the masterplan creates courtyards and plazas that turn the former industrial site into a revitalized plaza. The project will keep existing buildings as unaltered as possible and will use recycled bricks from site, adding lush landscaping, brick and timber benches, and "mirroring water elements fed with water from the roofs."
The project fits within the larger ambitions of the city to reach the European Union's 2020 climate & energy package goals. According to the firm, "Kimmel Quarter will become a leader in applying these measures from day one, resulting in a sustainably performing development. Moreover, having an unflinching sustainability strategy with BREEAM as the driving force, Kimmel Quarter has the potential to become an example for future development of the city of Riga over the next 20 years and beyond."
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