In 2016, the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation recruited Malcolm Reading Consultants as an experienced organiser of successful international competitions and launched an architectural conceptual design competition. Seven international teams of architects took part. Latvian architects were invited to apply as partners, because the competition model envisaged that the museum’s architectural design would be created through collaboration between overseas and Latvian architecte firms, combining their respective experience to attain the best possible result.
In February 2016, the foreign architects made a two day visit to Riga, during which they were introduced to the overall development of the Skanste neighbourhood and to the development plans for the museum’s location, New Hanza City. The foreign architects met the Foundation’s representatives, the LR Minister for Culture’s advisor on architectural matters Jānis Dripe, the City of Riga’s architect Gvido Princis and representatives of 29 Latvian architecture, urban planning and design firms that had applied as partners, as well as other representatives of the architectural community, including some from the Latvian Association of Architects. In accordance with the terms and conditions of the competition, the international architecture practices could collaborate with one or more Latvian firms, at least one of which had to be certified to develop conceptual designs for the future museum of contemporary art.
Announced in early 2016, the shortlisted teams – international practices working in collaboration with Latvian architects – are:
- Adjaye Associates (UK) and AB3D (Latvia)
- Caruso St John Architects (UK) and Arhitektu birojs Jaunromāns un Ābele (Latvia)
- Henning Larsen Architects (Denmark) and MARK arhitekti (Latvija)
- Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Architects (Finland) and MADE arhitekti (Latvia)
- Neutelings Riedijk Architects (Netherlands) and Brigita Bula arhitekte (Latvia)
- Sauerbruch Hutton (Germany) and Arhitekts Ingurds Lazdiņš (Latvia)
- wHY (US), OUTOFBOX Architecture and ALPS (Latvia)
On 6 June 2016, at a public event at Riga Technical University’s Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, seven teams of international architecture firms and Latvian architects presented their LMoCA conceptual design competition works to the jury. The public presentation was attended by the LR Minister for Culture, LMoCAF Council Members, representatives of the founders’ foundations, architecture professionals and students, journalists, artists and art lovers both in person and via a live internet broadcast.
The conceptual design competition jury deemed the most appropriate proposal for the design of the future museum to be the work created in tandem by the British architecture firm Adjaye Associates and their Latvian partner AB3D.