The Grand Prix of Latvian Architecture Award 2022 was awarded to the support centre Pērle in Cēsis and its authors — architecture studio Ēter and architecture office Rīgers. The jury awards also went to Rem Pro and Konvents, the authors of the Daugavpils Fortress Engineering Arsenal and Powder Warehouse restoration and infrastructure improvement project, as well as studio Sampling for the restoration project of Manufaktūra brewery.
Support centre Pērle is a pilot project for deinstitutionalisation in Cēsis district with the aim of helping people with various disabilities integrate into society. Spaces — workshops, therapy and sensory rooms, and a multi-purpose hall — are organised in a single-story wooden structure building under a single triangular roof. The compact building is located on a scenic slope, but the interior creates a feeling of lightness and spaciousness. The southern facade with large windows facing the landscape is extended into outdoor terraces shaded by a pergola.
The international jury noted that the building of the support centre is a modern Gesamtkunstwerk (total work of art) and has a unique spirit. «There is always a little mystery in a good story, and this is low-budget architecture with a mystery. At the same time, this building is created for people and it is well-furnished,» architect Kaja Pae, a member of the jury, described the architecture of Pērle.
The support centre Pērle was designed by architecture studio Ēter in cooperation with architecture office Rīgers. The team of authors — Dagnija Smilga, Kārlis Bērziņš, Niklāvs Paegle, Emīls Garančs, Līga Ganiņa, Toms Ūdris, and Juris Paegle.
The Engineering Arsenal in Daugavpils is a huge building with a granite staircase that occupies an entire block. During the renovation, the old herringbone brick floor was preserved in places, and the vestibule with groin vaults was carefully restored. In the past, machinery was repaired here, and even now the first floor is reserved for machines. The spacious courtyard is now yet another place for cultural life. The renovation of the ramp was a difficult task. However, the construction company Rem Pro handled it elegantly. The restoration solutions were developed by architect Pēteris Blums (Konvents).
Manufaktūra brewery is located in a historical production building, adapted to the needs of a brewery and a bar. The concept by the architecture and design studio Sampling is based on the desire to highlight the long life and reconstructions of this humble building. The result aestheticises different construction approaches and techniques, adding a new layering that re-applies the building to a different function. The visual image of the building is conceived as a manifestation of sustainability and reuse. Also, the design of the premises includes both already used furniture, as well as furniture made from materials found on the territory.
A special mention from the jury was given to the project Ziedlejas by OpenAD and Landshape. The sauna and wellness complex is being developed as a place to regain peace. By combining the spiritual traditions of Latvia with interpretations inspired by the wellness movement and world-wide experience, Ziedlejas shows the positive aspects of globalisation.
The transformation of Āgenskalns Market and its authors Liene Griezīte Studio, Kārlis Vilkaušs, Jānis Pelsis, Roberts Koļcovs and the company Kalnciema iela were also recognised by the jury. Āgenskalns Market is a building of the end of the 19th century, which has preserved its character until today. During the implementation of the project, the constructions were put in order and the majesty of the space was returned. The red brick of the pavilion’s facades, the openwork metal structures and the ambitious layout composition with wide galleries are the original architectural values that have been given a new life.
The Latvian Architecture Award not only accentuates outstanding achievements in Latvian architecture and encourages the development of the industry, but also promotes public awareness of architecture. The works presented at the Latvian Architecture Award reflect on current Latvian architectural environment, major trends, and processes. The award has been recognised as a nationally important event, and the prize itself is the highest appreciation in the Latvian architecture scene.