KAROSTA'S VENUE
GHOST TOWN CHALLENGE

/LOCATION: Karosta, Liepaja, Latvia


/ABOUT CONTEST

Project was created for international competition Karosta - Ghost town challenge, in Latvia, where the main issue was to create a cultural center in the middle of empty district to bring it back to life.

New contemporary centre is an exciting and ambitious project that would have a significant impact not only on the role of contemporary art in Liepaja (Latvia), to educate and exchange ideas, but also on the regeneration of a rich and diverse area which Karosta is.
The Venue provides a remarkable opportunity for integrating a wide range of activities, events and disciplines in a simple complex and creates a flexible podium from which people can explore, discover, experiment, and share ideas; the essence and birthplace of culture (art, film, music, theatre, dance, education and exhibition of information) under one creative roof.

It was necessary to keep the identity of the place but also to design a strong urban and iconic present. The courageous idea of the proposal was to keep soviet apartments buildings which are planned to be demolished, leave them for possible future refurbishment and instead of building a new highway through the area, open the site towards to city of Liepaja, make a strong connection for pedestrians and bicycles, while the main road is leading behind and the new cultural centre is creating a boundary between the rush traffic and calm public square. New road creates a city circuit connected to the Liepaja.

New pedestrian venue symbolizes a physical and symbolic connection with the history of the area and creates a delicate line between the preservation of the past and the creation of contemporary identity. Public street is leading you through the building. It's inviting, easy to understand and identify with. Suddenly you appear on the unknown public place, a balcony which is confidently connected with its surroundings, while at the same time is making building standing out and taking its place as an important dominant. The view to the soviet history, beautiful and ugly at the same time, is opening in front of you. What a poetic place, which Karosta residents, as well as tourists and Venue users will readily adopt as their own.

Relationship between new architecture, place and art will enrich the visitor experience. The Karosta's Venue has a potential to be the beating heart of the city; a place of stimulation, adventure and refreshment reaching out beyond the confines of its walls to inspire everyone.