Photo by Ansis Starks

Only two days — March 26 and 27 — left to visit the exhibition «Together and Apart», which looks at apartment buildings in Latvia. The show represents a part of the Latvian national contribution to the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2018.

Stories Editorial March 25, 2019

«The housing question is where architecture most directly intersects with political, social, and economic concerns. This is especially notable in apartment buildings. On the one hand, an individual apartment offers isolation from the outside world. On the other hand, it implies interdependence within a larger structure, be it a building, a utility infrastructure, a residential community, or a governing framework. Latvia is one of the most sparsely populated regions of Europe, yet it has the highest share of population residing in apartment buildings — 66%. Perhaps this unusual situation should be seen as a new starting point for a discussion on the role of residential architecture in the context of current demographic, environmental and policy challenges,» suggest the curators Matīss Groskaufmanis, Gundega Laiviņa, Evelīna Ozola and Anda Skrējāne.

The exhibition features a photography series by Reinis Hofmanis, depicting apartment buildings found in Latvia’s urban and rural landscapes, alongside four conceptual architecture models that visualise processes hidden to the eye yet with a large impact on housing. The models are created by artist Daria Melnikova, sculptor Ivars Drulle, designer Dita Pāne, architect Mārtiņš Dušelis, and scenographer Charlotte Spichalsky.

A new book is published alongside the exhibition — «Kopā un atsevišķi: daudzdzīvokļu namu arhitektūra Latvijas ekonomiskajā, politiskajā un sociālajā ainavā» («Together and Apart: The Architecture of Apartment Buildings in the Economic, Political, and Social Landscape of Latvia» — in Latvian), edited by architects Evelīna Ozola and Matīss Groskaufmanis. The illustrated volume looks at the role of the apartment in the complex relationship between an individual, the state, and the market in various historical periods, today, and in the foreseeable future. The book is available at the ISSP Gallery, bookstores «Mr. Page» and «Valters un Rapa», gallery «Istaba», as well as the online stores of «Valters un Rapa» and ISSP. An earlier publication in English, «The Architecture of Together and Apart», is also available in the aforementioned stores.

The ISSP Gallery will be open from 12.00 to 18.00 on March 26, and from 12.00 to 20.00 on March 27.