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New Apartment Building in UNESCO World Heritage Site in Riga by United Riga Architects

Apartments UNESCO Riga

The always innovative United Riga Architects shares with us their proposal design, for the New Apartment Building in UNESCO World Heritage Site in Riga, Latvia. More images and architects’ description after the break.

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From the Architects:

The proposal combines maximum space and neighborhood scale, 7 floors and a good insolation, eaves level of 12.1 meters and the total building height of 21.9 meters. Benefits of the proposal: maximum possible useful area; the insolation of nearby buildings is not deteriorated; the scale of the new building is in line with the scale of the street and the neighborhood (floors 6-7 are not visible from the street); the size of the building fits in the place; the use of bay windows and turrets is typical for the center of Riga and coincides with the identity and the context of the place; the car parking spaces of the 1st floor cannot be seen from the street and are well ventilated; the problem of 12m eaves and the 24m ridge has been successfully solved – the bridge has been built with terraces and “stalactites”; a large offer of private outdoor space – terraces and balconies – with great views. The problem of the already existing single storey garage building is solved by the access to it through the entrance of the new garage (any redundant meters are used; there is no conflict with the owner of another garage; the new building is also adapted for the demolition of the other garage). Insolation: the form of the new 7-storey house has been specially modeled in order not to deteriorate the insolation of the nearest building. As a result the volume of “V4 Rezidence” does not negatively influence the buildings in Veru street 1, 3 and 5. Also the insolation of the buildings in V?landes street 13, 15 and 17 is not deteriorated: the new building creates additional 1 hour shade for approximately 5% of the neighboring courtyard facades, while the same shade is made by the currently growing trees. Therefore, we conclude that “V4 Rezidence” will not do any harm to the insolation of the buildings in V?landes street. All the apartments in the new building and the one under reconstruction have adequate insolation. Still, there is an exception of 2 apartments of historical scale on the floors 1-2 (keeping the historical scale also the historical insolation is retained). They are designed to be so-called service apartments. Reconstruction: the proposal does not only save the historical building SITE but also reconstructs the building without any appreciable changes. The new building and the reconstructed building are combined with a soaring 3-storey volume. The urban planning characteristics: by analyzing the aspects of maximum building size and street site a balance was made: only the 4 lowest floors can be seen from Veru street since they fit in the 12,1m level of the eave. The 7th floor cannot be seen from any point on the street. The 5th and the 6th floors can be seen only from one point on the street (at the end of the street). As a result the 7 floors do actually look like 4 floors. It was managed by making a 45 DEDGREE offset from the red line for the over-steep floors. The idea of bay windows coincides with the eclectic bay windows of the building in Veru street 1. On the 4th floor some of the bays “turn into” turrets. The interaction of bays and corner turrets anchors with the historical identity of the city center of Riga. Observance of regulations and terms: the area of the regulatory yard is 186m2, it is 8.6m wide; bay windows are set 0.9m above the pavement and constitute less than 50% of the projection of the pavement; the proportion of vertical accents (turrets) is under 7%; the level of bay windows is at least 3.0m above the pavement level; the area of bay windows is under 30% of the total facade area; the building is separated from the neighboring land from one side with a fire-resistant wall; the yard entrance meets the fire regulations; the street ledge is 12.1m; total height of the building – 21.9m. Architectural description: natural inspiration – STALACTITES – is the base of the composition. The cubic stalactite-like form is made by the articulation of bay windows and turrets. The building itself embodies the principles of ECO-MINIMALISM: simple structures, economic constructions, a large proportion of wood and other natural material, democratic design elements, energy efficiency. The trend of eco-minimalism has become very expressive in the post-crisis architecture therefore, there is a belief that “V4 Rezidence” will gain popularity among both the residents of the quiet center and the potential apartment buyers. Technical information: Decoration of the reconstructed building: high-quality limestone-colored rendering. Decoration of the new building: limestone/ceramic composite panels for the floors 1-4, copper finish for the facades of the floors 5-7 and roofs, wood and glass finish for bay windows and turrets, wooden flooring for terraces. A large proportion of wood – as a memory on the trees that are currently growing on the land. The combination of copper, wood and innovative limestone composites creates a symphony – modern, unusual and still – characteristic for Riga. The load-bearing structures of the building are planned to be monolithic concrete walls and columns. Taking into account the complex geology of the territory, piles will be used for the foundation system of the building. Sliding glass systems will be used for consoled bay windows.

Project: New Apartment Building in UNESCO World Heritage Site
Designed by United Riga Architects
Location: Riga, Latvia

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