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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Commercial and entertainment center “Riga Plaza” in Riga, Latvia by Architectural Practice ARHIS

September 11th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Architectural Practice ARHIS

The main functions of the building are commercial center, entertainment complex with the following main functional groups of the building:

ñ  Different size and assortment commercial areas
ñ  Supermarket
ñ  Entertainment complex
ñ  Multiplex cinema
ñ  Catering complex
ñ  Multi-storey parking lot

South facade entrance at night (Image Courtesy Indrikis Sturmanis)

  • Architects: Architectural Practice ARHIS
  • Project: Commercial and entertainment center “Riga Plaza”
  • Location: Riga, Latvia
  • Designer: Ltd. Architectural Practice ARHIS (
  • Photographer: Indrikis Sturmanis
  • Completion date:Design: 2002 – 2006, construction: 2007 – 2009
  • Site area:Total area of the land plots m2: 80 310
  • Construction area: Total construction area m2: 89 968

Interior Comercial gallery (Image Courtesy Indrikis Sturmanis)


  • First prize in competition “The best building of 2009” nomination “plumbing works and electric installation” with collaboration partner “J. Kalnins Engineerinig Office”;
  • First prize in competition “Design Award 2010” nomination “Environmental design”;
  • Participation in European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture Mies van der Rohe Award 2011

Interior Comercial street (Image Courtesy Indrikis Sturmanis)

The design has been worked out by “Architectural Practice ARHIS” Ltd.

The architectural part of the design was worked out by the following architects: Andris Kronbergs, Dace Gravere, Brigita Bula, Baiba Liepina, Vilnis Uzors, with involvement of arch. techn. Uldis Jaunsubrens, Kristaps Sulcs, Eriks Mikelsons.

Detail of facade illuminated stripe (Image Courtesy Indrikis Sturmanis)

The following design offices have participated in the development of engineering solutions: Celmina construction office, J. Kalnins Engineering Office, Jensen Consult and ARHIS Engineers, Efiko, Voleks, Arttec, E. Danisevskis Office, Buki Zucker designers & architects, David Engineers Ltd., Kedmor Offir Ltd., Kotschy BT Ltd., ARHIS Consultants.

Illuminated facade fragment (Image Courtesy Indrikis Sturmanis)

Description of the current situation

The land plot is located on the left bank of Daugava river besides one of the main streets of the city. The land plot relief is plain.

West facade (Image Courtesy Indrikis Sturmanis)

Site plan solution

Two-storey building volume forming a sharp angle in the plan occupies North-Northeast part of the land plot. The visitor parking lots are located on the ground level on South-Southwest sides of the building. Multi-storey parking lot is located on Southwest part. Delivery and household year is formed on the Northern side of the building.

The main entrances to the building are formed at three most significant points of the building – corner part of the building that faces towards the main street; corner part of the building that faces the main access road to the territory; the building area which is close to multi-storey parking lot.

South facade entrance (Image Courtesy Indrikis Sturmanis)

Commonly active elements with decorative-informative purpose are places in the areas next to main entrances – flag poles, information signs, advertising stands, benches, bicycle parking stands, as well as taxi parking lots and special parking lots for vehicles of disabled people.

All territory is greened and landscaped.

Site plan


Spatial solution

The spatial solution foresees creation of a two-storey building volume with horizontal roof and facade in a single dynamically bent ribbon-like form. The active facade image expresses the dynamic nature of the spot (direct proximity to Island bridge and transport sections) and it is basically perceived from distant and dynamic points of perception. The dynamics of the building façade are reinforced by use of multi-coloured metal clusters. The roof form has a special meaning being easily perceived from distant viewing points.

The multi-storey parking takes a form of a 3-storey building body with reinforced concrete facade.


Functional solution

The commercial and entertainment complex is formed as a single building volume on two stories with internal two-level shopping street along the longitudinal direction. Commercial, recreational and entertainment objects of different nature and area are adjacent to the main axis – “the central street”.  Direct connection to the multi-storey parking lot is made at level +6.000.  The largest functional object – hypermarket – is located at the North end of the building. Multiplex cinema is located above the hypermarket.  On the second floor of the Eastern part of the building there is an entertainment complex. The first and the second floors are interconnected by elevators, escalators and stairs.


Facade solutions

Basically the facade is made as a single architectural form based on the idea of a national waist-belt. On the whole the facade forms a common ribbon-like composition around the building volume, which is seemingly elevated at the places of main entrances thus forming the three main entrance sections. The facade finishing is made out of dense and perforated multi-colour cassette-type panels aligned into bands, increasing the building dynamics on the whole. During the dark time of the day these dynamics are reinforced by the luminaries placed behind the perforated panels.

The entrance door areas within the façade are formed as glazed facade systems with sliding and revolving entrance doors.


Main interior principles

The interior is based on 4 main elements:

ñ  The floor of the public area is made like a natural or artificial stone plate layer with special pattern.
ñ  The ceilings of the public area form a special atmosphere of the room together with the natural overhead light.
ñ  The location of glazed commercial facades of the stores and advertising sign areas.
ñ  The location of the stair and opening aisles within the steel and glass structures.

Concept of facade

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Categories: Commercial Building, Entertainment Centre

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