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The LMCA's architectural competition to be organised by MRC

November 22, 2015

The Foundation of the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art has completed work on the development of the museum concept, in accordance with which it has now commenced the next phase of the museum’s establishment, i.e. the selection of a team of architects. The architectural competition will be organised by London-based Malcolm Reading Consultants, which this summer successfully organised the challenging Guggenheim Helsinki Museum architectural competition in Finland.

The Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art’s vision is to become the most visited art museum in the Baltic States, as well as a cultural and arts centre of interregional significance, whose exhibitions are regularly included in the programmes of museums in other countries, thanks to its unique collection spanning art and visual culture in Latvia and the Baltic Sea region from the 1960s and its ability to arrange the loan of collections from private collectors.

The vision outlined in the museum’s concept envisages that the museum building should become an excellent example of outstanding architecture and one of Riga’s premiere points of interest for visitors to the city. The building must be built using environmentally sustainable solutions that attract international interest and acclaim. In order to achieve these goals, the organising of the competition has been entrusted to Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC).

“We are honoured to undertake this project of such great importance to Latvia. The objective of the architectural competition is to choose a team of architects and the museum’s architectural concept design. We estimate that this process could take up to six months, bearing in mind that we are going to approach architects of international standing. The prerequisite for our collaboration stipulated by the Foundation of the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art is to involve Latvian architects in drafting the competition offers and in subsequent work with the winning team of architects. I have no doubt that architects will be interested, because this project will give them the opportunity to establish a building in what is not yet a densely built-up area, but which at the same time happens to be in the very heart of the capital. Right now, as far as European capital cities are concerned, this is a rare opportunity,” said MRC Chairman Malcolm Reading commenting on this collaboration.

MRC specialises in organising high-level international architectural competitions for the construction of new buildings of national importance all over the world and has clients in Finland, the Czech Republic, Russia, India, Qatar, Taiwan and elsewhere. In London, MRC clients in the field of culture include the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Natural History Museum and White Cube, etc. The UK Pavilion at the universal exposition Milan Expo 2015, whose architectonic solution was chosen in a competition run by MRC, has just won the exhibition’s ‘Best in Show’ prize, as well as nine other awards, including the Italian Association of Architects award for ‘Best Pavilion Architecture’.

The Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art

The Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art’s mission is as follows: by making attractive and alluring use of the myriad interactions between art and visual culture in everyday life, to make the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art a popular public meeting place, where people gravitate to be inspired and provoked; to pause for thought or to share ideas and experiences. The museum’s goal is to be a place where people genuinely feel at home, welcomed by its open-mindedness, creative vibe and love of intellectual play ignited by contemporary art.

The goal chosen as the most appropriate focus of the museum’s creative operations is the reflection of the interactions of contemporary art and visual culture in Latvia and, more broadly, the Baltic Sea region. The geographical boundaries of this playground have been chosen in accordance with the museum’s long-term operating strategy, in order to ensure its international renown and active place within regional collaboration networks, and that its operating programme receives widespread support among its local audience.

It is envisaged that the museum will be devised as a “distributed museum” or “new genre museum”, which presents itself not only as an archive, but also as a generator of knowledge, whose visitors are not merely passive consumers, but active content-providers within this incubator of knowledge. Its main operating directions will be comprised of its exhibition programme, the formation and exhibiting of its collection, research, and implementation of its education and social condenser programmes and activities.

The Foundation of the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art 

With the objective of founding the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art, the ABLV Charitable Foundation and the Boris and Inara Teterev Foundation have established the Foundation of the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art. Drawing on the founders’ funds and other financing from private individuals and in partnership with the Republic of Latvia’s Government and the Ministry of Culture, the Foundation’s goal is to build the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art, ensure the museum’s operation and governance, including the formation, maintenance and researching of the museum’s collection of contemporary art. Private initiative is of great importance to the development of society. Therefore, the founders of the new foundation hope that this step will provide a powerful boost to the development of contemporary arts processes in Latvia, encouraging the formation of an integrated cultural space and making Riga a well-known and special tourism destination.

On 30 October 2014, the Latvian Ministry of Culture and the Foundation of the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art signed a memorandum of intent regarding the building and development of the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art. It was signed on the basis of the successful long-term collaboration between the Ministry of Culture, the ABLV Charitable Foundation and the Boris and Inara Teterev Foundation, as notable benefactors in the realm of Latvian contemporary art, and ABLV Bank as the principal supporter of the formation of the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art’s collection.

The memorandum of intent envisages that the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art will be located within the territory of the business and leisure centre New Hanza City (NHC). NHC is being developed across an area of 24.5 hectares in the location of the former Riga railway goods stations, in the quarter between Hanzas iela, Pulkveža Brieža iela, Skanstes iela and Sporta iela. It is planned that the Foundation’s founders will provide financing in the amount of at least EUR 30 million for the construction of the museum.

The Foundation of the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art plans to open the museum building on 18 November 2021. After it enters service, the museum’s operations will be organised in accordance with the Republic of Latvia’s Museums Law, so that in conformity with the operating principles of a private accredited museum, the museum will be accessible to the general public and its collection will be included in the National Museum Collection Catalogue.

The Boris and Inara Teterev Foundation

In 2010, the philanthropists Boris and Inara Teterev established a family charitable foundation to encourage the development of culture, art and higher education, as well as to provide support in the social realm to community development organisations and animal welfare initiatives. The results of projects supported by the Foundation have touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of members of Latvia’s population, as well as the inhabitants of 10 other countries in almost every continent of the world. For more information, please visit: www.teterevufonds.lv

Boris and Inara Teterev’s TÊTE-À-TÊTE arts programme is one of the ways in which the Boris and Inara Teterev Foundation encourages the development and facilitates the accessibility of culture and art in Latvia. The programme was launched in 2013, at which time it reached a public audience of 75,000 people. In its second year, its audience grew significantly, reaching over 250,000 members of the population. With each passing year, TÊTE-À-TÊTE is becoming bigger and more diverse, offering the general public contemporary cultural and arts events on a European scale, whose execution in Latvia would be unfeasible without the Foundation’s support. For more information, please visit: www.tat.lv

In turn, permanent contemporary art objects in the urban environment are created under the auspices of the Foundation’s art programme “Art in Public Space”. The programme’s leitmotif is THE JOY OF THOUGHT, accenting the pleasant surprises, paradoxes, global spirit and thinking that contemporary art can bring to the urban environment. For more information, please visit: www.artinpublicspace.lv

Boris and Inara Teterev have been awarded the Latvian State’s highest honour — the Order of the Three Stars, in addition to which both philanthropists have been named Rigans of the Year, while the State Inspectorate for Heritage Protection, UNESCO Latvian National Commission and ICOMOS Latvia have awarded the Boris and Inara Teterev Foundation the Special Award for Philanthropy under the auspices of the Annual Cultural Heritage Award. In 2015, both philanthropists were appointed Goodwill Ambassadors of the European Year for Development 2015.

The ABLV Charitable Foundation

In signing a collaboration agreement with the LR Ministry of Culture in 2005, ABLV Bank became the most significant supporter of the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art project, allocating EUR 1.442,872 million for the formation of the museum’s collection by the year 2021. Currently, the bank’s funds have been used to acquire works worth EUR 720,000 for the museum’s collection.

Established in 2006 by ABLV Bank’s biggest shareholders Ernests Bernis and Oļegs Fiļs, the ABLV Charitable Foundation’s operating goal is to encourage the corporate sector and society as a whole to take responsibility for their fellow citizens and the environment. The Foundation primarily focuses on supporting contemporary art, children and adolescents, education and the upgrading of the urban environment. The ABLV Charitable Foundation will soon celebrate the 10th anniversary of its founding, in the intervening period having become one of the biggest and most effective charitable foundations in Latvia. To date, it has attracted EUR 4.3 million in donations and gifts, mainly from ABLV Bank, its employees, clients and business partners, and has successfully implemented about 270 projects, allocating them funding in the amount of EUR 2 million.

In wishing to offer particular support to contemporary art in Latvia, the ABLV Charitable Foundation organises grant competitions for artists and arts institutions, offering support for the realisation of the art exhibitions, as well as educational programmes run within the art exhibitions supported by the Foundation. ABLV Charitable Foundation also supports projects in the realm of cultural journalism. The Foundation has a long-term collaboration with the Art Academy of Latvia, supporting its postgraduates in their work on their graduation shows. In 2015, the Foundation was the Lead Supporter of the Latvian Pavilion at the 56th Venice Art Biennale. For more information, please visit: www.ablv.org

Līva Jēgere
MRS grupa
+371 26151344

Competition Media Enquiries
Catherine Reading
+44 (0)20 7831 2998

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