Schaller Architekten win bid for development of a major block in the center of Riga (LV)

The bid for tenders on the development of a multifunctional financial and lifestyle centre in the Hanza Street region of Riga, "New Hanza City", has been completed, and the tender has been won by the architectural firm Schaller Architekten. Second place went to the VLA architectural firm from Denmark, while third place was received by Broadway Malyan from the UK.

Downtown Riga, Latvia

Schaller Architekten is an international architecture and design company. It is headquartered in Stuttgart and Zurich. The company split off from Behnisch, Behnisch & Partner, which is probably best known for its design of the 1972 Olympic Games village in Munich, in 2006. Schaller Architekten works on individual architecture and design projects, always focusing in particular on ecological sustainability. The office is already involved in several major projects in Latvia.

"On behalf of the city, I would like to say that the terms for the bid for tenders were well prepared, and I believe that this is why all of the architectural firms were disciplined in their proposals and monitored the developmental trends, which the city has planned for this territory," says the chief architect of the city of Riga, Janis Dripe. "I would particularly like to emphasise the sense of the 'texture' of the city. Several bidders offered a continuation of the type of construction that is typical in Rîga. The winning firm did so. The idea was also very evident in the work of the architect Uldis Luksevics. Schaller Architekten differed from the other bidders with its ambitious and sculptural bank building and its reticent and Nordic elegance in the other vertical accents in the architectural design. The design was simple and functionally clear in its basics and elegant in its details. I must say that the entire bid for tenders was of a very high level of quality, and the discussion about the top three companies, and particularly the top two – Schaller Architekten and VLA – was creatively interesting, but by no means easy. I think that this serves the interests of the clients, the city of Rîga and the people of the city. It will be a major architectural event in Riga, and the architectonic ambitions of this project may well improve the quality of the urban environment."

"The philosophy of this project is a balance between a high-quality working environment and a place to relax, dine or shop," says Mihails Morozov, managing partner for Colliers International in the Baltic States and Belarus. "In future, a new city park will develop here. This is a new approach in Riga, but global trends show that this kind of synergy among various functions is the cornerstone for sustainable urban development. I am convinced that in four or five years' time, this will be one of the favourite locations for the city's residents and its guests. I am very pleased that this was a bid for tenders in which we could truly select the best of the best. The decision on the winner was difficult, because all of the participants were professional in offering us interesting solutions and attractive ideas."

During the Middle Ages, Riga was one of the most powerful cities in the Hanseatic League. The name of the project, "New Hanza City",

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