Illustration by Evelīna Ozola

We are now accepting applications for the International Summer School of architecture, urban planning and design in Cesis. The theme for 2015 is «Arcadia».

Editorial Fold February 26, 2015

At the Summer School organised by FOLD and Riga Technical University, everything is real: the town’s engagement and support, the site with its conditions, building materials and tools, work and its outcome, which is immediately tested by the public. In these two weeks the participants can accomplish and learn more than in a whole semester, working side by side with young, dedicated tutors each day. This is a Summer School that always exceeds expectations.


The Summer School has found a home in Cesis —  a town located within the Gauja National Park, which is the largest protected natural area in Latvia. Being close to nature is an essential part of the town’s identity. Participants of the Summer School are going to decode the obvious and hidden qualities of the landscape, place them within a larger ecosystem and the collective memory, suggest strategies and design structures for public use.

Within two weeks, from July 25 to August 8, 2015, an international team of tutors will guide the participants through a complete project cycle — from first sketches to communication of complex data, construction of spatial structures in public domain and seeing their work being tested by local residents. The lecture programme with talks by international and local speakers, as well as project presentations by the participants will be open to the public.

In 2014, participants of the RTU International Summer School explored the topic of well–being by building a miniature sanatorium with a fully functional sauna and an infinity pool, as well as a park pavilion for play and relaxation. They also published a newspaper «The Naturalist» which addresses living in the countryside. This year, a site of particular interest is the valley of Pirtsupite, a small tributary of the river Gauja. It stretches through Cesis, being both a divide in the urban fabric and a green connector between neighbourhoods.

This year, the tutors team will include the Latvian architects Niklāvs Paegle and Matīss Groskaufmanis, the Brits Theodore Molloy and Thomas Randall–Page, as well as architect and urbanist Błażej Czuba from Poland.


Call for applications is open until May 3, 2015 for students and young professionals of spatial disciplines. Applicants should have completed at least one year of studies by the beginning of the course, be fluent in English and keen to work in groups. The fee including registration, tuition, accommodation, meals and social programme is € 675, and a limited number of full and partial scholarships are available. The application form can be found on the Summer School’s website.

RTU International Summer School is organised by FOLD in collaboration with Riga Technical University Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning. The course is supported by State Education Development Agency and Cesis Local Municipality.

More information and the application form can be found on the Summer School’s website, regular updates — on its Facebook page. For additional information and questions write to

Video of the 2014 Summer School «Get Well City»