The meeting place cannot be changed. "Esplanāde 2014"

The meeting place cannot be changed.
Kaspsrs Garda, Rīga 2014
19-06-2013 A+ A-
"What happens in Esplanāde right now, has a great symbolic meaning on everything we do for "Rīga 2014"," joyfully says Diāna Čivle, head of "Rīga 2014" foundation. It's a day when reaching of "Esplanāde 2014" roof is celebrated, therefore, a creative and information space for Riga, The European Capital of Culture, is nearly open for visitors. Meantime, Gvido Princis, director of Office of The Riga City Architect, evaluates the new construction as a great example of a creative cooperation within the client and construction company.

During the period of 2012 to 2014, Esplanāde is going to be the central location where visitors can find out more about The European Capital of Culture. Also everyone is invited to participate in various related activities. The idea of the architect Austris Mailītis was to create a transparent space flowing with the park environment. Therefore, this space will serve as an open space of "Rīga 2014" also used for information exhange and cultural activities. This time, construction stagings of the space are fully integrated in a creative and functional manner. So, those are not just some temporary stagings usually used for a historical or new building renovation.

"Of course, we could complain that The Latvian National Museum of Art is now enclosed by some operating platforms. But we are also glad that one more culture building is being renovated. Even more, if we see those platforms around other culture buildings, it means something great is happening for a longer time," the idea of an upcoming creative space explains Čivle.

"Esplanāde currently presents this upcoming creative environment. Everything leads to it, the idea of Austris Mailītis, surrounding atmosphere we already feel in there. When we had to choose the right location, we realized there are many places in Riga living a dynamic life, developing new ideas, inviting everyone to look at their city with eyes wide open, noticing things worth to improve, just enjoying. Esplanāde turned out to be the bets place for us," remembers Čivle.

Similar creative and information spaces are built in Marseille (France) and Kosice (Slovakia), this year's European Capitals of Culture. A very expensive and great building is formed in the centre of Marseille. It's a large, Scandinavian-style complex where activities are held on several floors including the underground level. It might be something similar to Riga Art Space. Kosice building, in its turn, seems quite resembling to Riga example, at least, in an artistic context.

Firstly, this information centre is for everyone who wishes to find out about "Rīga 2014" activities next year when all the events will fully go on.

This summer, we'll se if the construction opens next year, as well. It depends on the atmosphere, building exploitation works and general attitude from Riga residents. If everything goes well, why shouldn't we open the space next year?" says Čivle.

Architect thinks Esplanāde space should be eternally changing and developing, just like culture itself. There are new ideas going on right now, therefore, several new things might come up in addition to the programme.

"Ideas are sparkling. For instance, I am not even sure how the construction might look like in the night. Evenings will be longer after Midsumer's Eve. We have to think about the lighting. In this case, several participants from "Staro Rīga" Festival have applied. It's a part when the construction "says" what should be done, what ideas should be developed," tells Čivle.

Princis, in his turn, evaluates achievements reached by the architect, engineers and the client. He thinks a solution for this space is dynamic and fits well within surroundings. Construction workers have acted carefully while working in such a complex park environment. They have tried to find compromises succesfully.

This is a perfect example of how to find a solution in a complex environment proving that it's possible. The only thing is to found a good cooperation between the client and construction company. Then we'll definitely get lucky.

"I am really delighted. The flow of events is the most important in this case, as Austris Mailītis said. Then, things would happen, people would come here in order to meet each other. I might find the time to visit some events, as well," adds Princis.

"Esplanāde 2014", creative and information space of "Esplanāde 2014" will be open from 27 June operating to the middle of September. Information centre will be available during Latvian Song and Dance Festival. Everyone is invited to visit the broadcast of the closing concert shown on big screens. Meantime, "Rīga 2014" will offer a diverse range of theatre, cinema, dance and music performances, etc.

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