Client: Riga International Exhibition Centre
Location: Riga, Latvia
Area: 5.6 ha site surface | 11,000 sqm project surface + 23,400 sqm parking surface (770 car lots on 9 floors)
Project Year: 2017
Program: new exhibition and research centre
Tasks: Concept Design
Credits: Images © 3C+t Capolei Cavalli Architetti Associati

The Kip Island Auditorium project aims to re-establish bonds between the Riga Expo Centre site and the city, users and local inhabitants. The proposed architecture is a carefully targeted response to a very specific setting, weaving relations between the existing structures, the old town and the Daugava river. The Riga Expo Centre will become an open system extending to the city through open spaces, transparencies and new visual relations. The proposal starts from an homogenization process of the existing structures, resulting in the generation – on the eastern side of the site – of two new volumes where the architectural program takes place. A vast public plaza is formed between these, entrance of the newly designed Auditorium, to be used also for special events. A perforated metal skin wraps the buildings, giving uniformity to the facades and precisely controlling light. In morphological terms, the volumes generate from simple geometries and their orientation is studied to create visual relations from the plaza to the newly designed lobby, guiding the visitors to the entrance. While the northern volume houses the car park, in the southern one – the Auditorium – all the other activities are coherently arranged: here the programs are organized vertically to retain all required adjacencies in a compact volume, with the auditorium as a core. This core consists in a clearly discernible ‘black box’ containing the functional essence of the whole project – the conference rooms and exhibition space at the ground floor, and the auditorium halls at the first floor -, enclosed in a thick ‘wall’ housing all the technical features, such as restrooms, storage, lifts, security exits and service staircases. The whole volume is then contained into a glass box wrapped with the perforated metal skin, permitting the view from the ambulatories running all around the core at each level of the building. The roof is transformed into a vast terraced area to be used not only as a belvedere with a wonderful view on the river and the city, but also as an open air theatre for concerts and events.