Seminar: Architecture as a Dialogue. New Approaches towards Transformation of the Architectural Heritage between Riga and Tallinn

TAB Club, Kultuurikatel, Põhja pst 27a

Start Date:

Start Time:

17.sept 16:00-21:00 @ TAB-Club, Kultuurikatel, Põhja pst 27a
As part of Tallinn Architecture Biennale (TAB), the seminar aims to discuss the architecture as a process and as an outcome of complex and multilayered economic, social, cultural and political dialogue due to the impact of different regulations and restrictions, as well as other important circumstances.
The seminar will end with an informal part accompanying sound perfomance by Rachael Melanson (UK).
Participation is free of charge.
See more information below, on Facebook or TAB webpage.
The cities within the Baltic Sea Region are currently undergoing large scale changes, which are mainly related to economic growth, immigration and emigration, ecological and environmental issues, mass tourism, threat of war and economic sanctions among neighboring counties, etc. It is important to ascertain how contemporary architecture and built environment can help us to facilitate and accommodate these changes and how these changes affect historical urban environment and architecture.
Cultural, economic and social ‘regeneration’ have become key words, especially after the global financial crisis, which severely affected the economy of the Baltic States. Due to the financial crisis, the transformation of urban environment and architecture has experienced various new trends. When it comes to Riga, after the financial crisis a large number of residential buildings, office complexes and former factories remain vacant. These are the main conditions which determine the need of contemporary architects to shift from the construction of new buildings to the adaption of existing buildings and complexes of the urban environment, taking into account the new functions of the buildings, as well as the needs of the users.
It is exactly the work on historical development and cultural heritage which has helped contemporary Latvian and Estonian architects to earn recognition on a regional level. The large number of projects carried out counts as proof that new architecture can be combined with old architecture in very different ways. Such projects reveal the differences between the Estonian and Latvian attitude and approach towards both the historical and contemporary substance.
Both – Riga and Tallinn – share a lot in common. For example, the same geopolitical situation, political history or the status of a small-nation capital, etc. At the same time when it comes to their mentality, building traditions or even the origins of foreign investment, these capitals can be considered as very different.
The main aim of the seminar is to outline the different approaches in the design of contemporary architecture and the diverse attitudes towards the architectural heritage in Riga and Tallinn, as well as to distinguish the causes and preconditions of such differences. The discussion will attempt to reveal the connection between the contemporary architecture and the historic urban environment. Special emphasis will be put on the policy of the conservation of cultural heritage as well as building regulations which determine the formation and development of contemporary architecture.
Inga Karlštrēma (Latvian Academy of Fine Arts, “New urban typologies- Unesco World heritage zone- Riga city centre” (Exhibition 9 Conditions of Riga))
Viesturs Celmiņš (social anthropologist, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Latvia), “Modernist Architecture and Imaginative Presencing.”
Jaanus Juss (“Transformation of former industrial sites- Telliskivi Creative City”)
Maroš Krivy (Urban Studies at the Faculty of Architecture, Estonian Academy of Arts)- “From factory to culture factory (and back):demolition, preservation, regeneration, maintenance.”)
Artis Zvirgzdiņš (architecture blog “Upcycling in Riga”)
Dagmar Jäger (Tallinn University of Technology, “Reuse of Difficult Heritage sites. Modernist heritage in former GDR”)
Oskars Redbergs is a Latvian architect, educator and curator. His main research focus is on the transformations of urban landscape of post socialist cities. He studied Architecture and Urban planning at the Riga Technical University (Latvia), Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS), The Royal Danish Academy of Fine arts – School of Architecture (Denmark), The Staatliche Hochschule der bildenden Künste (Staedelschule) Frankfurt’s Architecture Class (Germany).
Oskars Redbergs is a founder of The Riga School of Architecture and for the last 5 years he has been a Dean and a Lecturer of Faculty of Architecture and Design at RISEBA University in Riga.
Since 2009 he has been closely collaborating with the Swedish Institute and Fargfabriken in Stockholm. Currently he is working on his doctoral research at Brandenburgische Technische Universität, Germany.
He is a member of the board of the Latvian Association of Architects, MT15 forum and Megaphone Publishers. He is a curator of European Cultural Days of the European Central Bank (ECB) – Latvia, 2013. He is an author of various articles as well as editor of books “Mūsdienu kultūras stāvokļi / Conditions for Contemporary Culture. Riga” and “9 Conditions of Riga: Regeneration and Transformation of the City – Urban Environment and Architecture”.
Embassy of Latvia in Estonia; State Culture Capital Foundation (SCCF); LIVE RIGA (The Riga Tourism Development Bureau Foundation); Riga Municipal Agency “Riga City Architect’s Office”; The Association of Culture Institutions of Riga City Council; Megaphone Publishers; mT15. Foundation for Interdisciplinary Cooperation
Curator: Oskars Redbergs
Project coordinator: Inga Karlštrēma
Concept: mT15. Foundation for Interdisciplinary Cooperation
Implementation: Megaphone Publishers
The seminar is jointly organized by the mT15. Foundation for Interdisciplinary Cooperation and Riga City Architect’s Office. For more information please contact Inga Karlštrēma (inga.karlstrema(at), + 371 26364044 and Oskars Redbergs (redbergs(at), + 371 29581841
His Excellency ambassador Juris Bone (Embassy of Latvia in Estonia); Zenta Ļakša (DHM, Counsellor); Agita Ikauniece (Latvian Cultural days of ECB); Zanda Ķergalve (The Association of Culture Institutions of Riga City Council); Marten Kaevats (TAB15); Rebecca Kontus (TAB15); Maria Derlõš (TAB CLUB15); Solveig Jahnke (Estonian Academy of Arts); Tauri Tuvikene (Tallinn University)
The discussion forum “RIGA TALKS” is an integral part of the exhibition „9 Conditions of Riga” and along with the exhibition offers a series of seminars that brings together thinkers and makers in order to discuss challenges and opportunities, which the cities of the Baltic Sea Region are facing today. Earlier in 2013, two seminars were organized in Frankfurt am Main: “Re-industrialization and Urban Regeneration in Europe between Riga, Frankfurt and Warsaw” (Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM)) and “Riga until 1914 as a Role Model for the Contemporary European Urban Culture of 21st Century” (Goethe University, House of Finance).
The contribution for this year’s Tallinn’s Architecture Biennale (TAB CLUB) programme is a seminar “Architecture as a Dialogue. New Approaches towards Transformation of the Architectural Heritage between Riga and Tallinn”.

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Posted by Solveig Jahnke

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