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ZUZEUM, a multifunctional art centre

ZUZEUM, a multifunctional art centre

Zuzeum, a new, multifunctional art center design by Annvil has been opened in Riga. Reconstruction, territory development plans, facilities, and interior of the historical building has a significant contribution to the Baltic`s art infrastructure. Zuzeum’s development is an important step in advancing the entire city of Riga and an industrial neighborhood of Zuzeum.

“An influx of energy is being encouraged that will attract people and help revitalize this part of the city. This is a very important moment for the city, and it also encourages new discussion – to go beyond just preserving existing buildings and to instead evaluate the possibilities of adaptive reuse by injecting these buildings with new functions and, consequently, bringing new life into them,” says Anna Bates (née Butele), the author of the project.

Zuzeum is housed in a former cork factory designed and built in 1910. Located in between the historical centre of Riga, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the upcoming Rail Baltica railway integrating Helsinki, Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius, and Warsaw into the European rail network. The building was designed in a cosmopolitan, multilingual, and dynamic period in the history of Riga, it has survived wars and crises, and now it is being reopened to continue the conversation about the city and art.

“With the opening of Zuzeum, Riga has acquired a new and unused public outdoor space, that is a significant investment in the physical, social, economic, symbolic and aesthetic development of the city. Zuzeum outdoor space is made as a purposeful meeting place where different social groups interact, form relationships, and strengthen a sense of community. With this concept, we are offering a new communal space in the city, where private and public coalesce – meet, share, debate, converge, relax, make friends, and discoveries,” explains Annvil’s founder.

Zuzeum invites everyone to experience art in 4,000 m2, spread over two galleries, a sculpture garden, workshop area, cafe, roof terrace, and an art shop. “The multifunctional approach increases the occupancy of the building and provides effective use of the building throughout the day,” emphasizes designer.

When designing the interior, the designer has thought about the values that the art center wants to pass on to visitors and how space will affect the people who will visit it. “The purpose of the interior is to curate an interaction between people,” she explains.

The orange color is one of the most important elements of the interior and whole identity of the Zuzeum. Orange embodies strength, power and energy that directly affects the soul of this place, the present and the future of Zuzeum. Orange stimulates the appetite for communication and promotes dialogue. At the same time, orange stimulates physical and mental processes that trigger the flow of thoughts and human actions. Orange is the color of adventure and social interaction. It provides emotional power in difficult situations. Orange brings spontaneity, positive motivation and encourages to look on the bright side of life.

Founded in 2017 by Dina and Jānis Zuzāns, prominent collectors of Latvian, Russian, and international art, Zuzeum is a new addition to the arts infrastructure of the Baltic Sea region, providing a unique space for debate and cultural exchange, and public access to the growing Zuzāns Collection. Zuzeum`s inaugural programme includes the exhibition We Aim to Live.

  • project type: reconstruction / territory development plans / facilities /interior
  • client: Zuzeum
  • area: 4000 m2
  • designer: Anna Bates (née Butele)
  • team: Ilze Rukmane- Poča, Rihards Bebris, Juris Sarmons, Reinis Sokolovs, Didzis Vilks, Italo Armone, Jēkabs Šmits
  • status: completed
  • photo credits: Norbert Tukaj
  • year: 2020
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