“Esplanade 2014” Nominated for Prestigious Architecture Award

“Esplanade 2014” Nominated for Prestigious Architecture Award
Kaspars Garda, Riga 2014
Culture chalet “Esplanade 2014”, designed by architect and designer group “Mailītis A.I.I.M.”, has been nominated for the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award 2015.

The award signifies international recognition of outstanding contemporary architectural designs in Europe, emphasises professionals’ contribution to the development of new ideas and technologies – and architecture as an important part of culture.

The award is presented every two years. The nominations are selected by a jury and group of experts. All of the works nominated for the award are published in a biennial anthology and showcased in a travelling exhibition. The prize was created at the end of the 1980s, it became the European Union’s official prize for contemporary architecture in 2001. So far, the award has been presented to such noteworthy buildings as the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet in Oslo (2009), Contemporary Art Museum MUSAC in León, Spain (2007), “Neues Museum” in Berlin (2011). Last year the prestigious award went to the concert hall “Harpa” in Reykjavik.

“The nomination is a wonderful recognition. The award, on the other hand, means recognition on the European and world level, which, of course, brings much higher popularity and therefore many more opportunities and greater responsibility. Multiple projects are nominated for the award, mostly from the European Union Member States, and competition is tough. This year, as well as in the previous editions, projects by other Latvian designers have also been nominated for the award,” says architect Austris Mailītis.

He goes on to say that the nomination is a great source of inspiration that will prompt him to strive for ever more and create special, quality architecture and environment in Latvia and beyond.

“We wish to thank the people in Latvia and Europe for recognising and nominating our work for the award, and we wish every success to our colleagues whose works have also been nominated!”

The “Esplanade 2014” culture chalet was designed by “Mailītis A.I.I.M.” – Austris Mailītis, Jānis Ielejs, Simone Riccomi (Italy), Andra Odumāne and Dina Suhanova.

The culture chalet “Esplanade 2014” opened on the 27th of June, 2013, when Austris Mailītis declared it to be public cultural space open to everybody, a place that would become part of the relaxing, and at the same time busy, atmosphere in the Esplanade Park.

Shortly before the “Esplanade 2014” opened, the architect said in an interview with the “Riga 2014” culture portal that his idea was to create a transparent and changing space that would fulfil the role of a cultural events background. Besides, the space needs to be as open as possible, flowing together with a surrounding park and the atmosphere.

“The space will be growing and changing as nature itself and always on move, similarly as culture.”

Read the entire interview with Austris Mailītis here!

“Esplanade 2014” was open for two seasons, during the summer of 2013 and 2014, becoming the information centre for the European Capital of Culture, a venue for various cultural events, and a recreational area for a large number of residents and guests of Riga.

The culture chalet housed outdoor cinema screenings and concerts, it was a place to grow tomatoes and pumpkins, there was also a café and a free Wi-Fi hotspot at “Esplanade 2014”. During the World Choir Games, it offered the stage for multiple friendship concerts, books for the new Latvian National Library building were brought to the chalet, it also was the venue for “The Ladies’ Paradise” performances, and hosted many other activities.

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