Linking Old and New
The challenge for the architect Andris Vitols was to preserve the old facade of the original building situated one kilometer north of the Daugava River in central Riga. A bold contrast has been created with this sleek modern addition inserted above a traditional timber-clad facade.
This project is featured in the Swisspearl Architecture #28. Subscribe to our magazine to get the printed issue.
Situated on a street with continuous adjoining masonry facades, this office and residential building creates a striking contrast with its pop-up addition clad in white Swisspearl panels. While the lower two levels are constructed in off-shutter concrete clad in timber boards, the upper three levels are constructed in concrete brickwork and clad in white Swisspearl panels assembled vertically and horizontally.
The strong contrast is established in numerous ways: first, the striking color contrast – dark brown and white – second, the material and textural contrast – fine-grained timber board cladding juxtaposed with smooth Swisspearl panels – aesthetically and architecturally – fenestration and detailing referring to the old, historic architecture below and a strongly modern design with wrap-around window above.
A set back to the street on the fourth and fifth levels creates a deep balcony and reduces the scale of the facade to Bruninieku Street.
To the rear of the site, the building reads in a completely different way. Here, one is unaware of the old building facing the street; the full five-story building rises tower-like to the sky in a single architectural expression. The entire facade is clad in white Swisspearl panels that wrap around the old building, increasing the depth of the original building by a couple of meters.
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Office and Residential Building
Andris Vitols, Riga, Latvia
Baltimex, SIA, Riga, Latvia
Meraner & Hauser OHG/SNC, Bolzano, Italy
2017 – 2019
Swisspearl Largo Carat Onyx 7099
PDF project sheet
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Read more – Swisspearl Architecture magazine
Find more stories in our Swisspearl Architecture #28. Subscribe to our magazine to get the printed issue.