SHL Architects appointed to develop historic Kimmel Quarter in Latvian capital, the site of an abandoned brewery
Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects (SHL) has won the competition to design and development the historic Kimmel Quarter in Riga, Latvia. The Danish architectural firm will see the transformation of the quarter – a once thriving 19th century brewery – into a vibrant new commercial hub. Presently, the site is mostly occupied by abandoned buildings that, the firm says, will remain as untouched as possible, allowing the area to retain its authentic character.
"The resulting architecture is distinctly modern, but in a rewarding dialogue with the old restored buildings," said Rasmus Kierkegaard, Associate Partner at SHL. "We have designed a new Kimmel Quarter in which history and the future are bound by timeless architecture."
The design concept centres around a main 30,000sqm office building and hotel that will open onto courtyards and terraces, creating a central, vibrant plaza for the community.
The new office building’s ground floor is inspired by the arches of the brewery, and with the use of recycled bricks from the site, its material is traced back to history.
The new office building’s rectangular grid facades are designed to allow maximum daylight deep into the building and secure great views to the surrounding city, while making the interior life of the building visible from outside. In order to avoid overheating and to reduce the need for cooling the exterior, lamellas provide shading from a substantial amount of direct sunlight. In addition, the amount of glass in each panel is adjusted according to the orientation of the facade, so the north side is almost fully open and the south side more closed.