Following initial feasibility work, the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation will now search for an outstanding architectural team to design its new circa €30m museum. The architectural competition will be run by London-based Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC), which successfully organised the recent Guggenheim Helsinki architectural competition.

The Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art’s ambition 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. Its unique collection spans art and visual culture in Latvia and the Baltic Sea region from the 1960s, and the Foundation’s connections enable it 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 architectural tour de force and one of Riga’s leading visitor attractions. The building must be built using environmentally-sustainable solutions that attract international interest and acclaim. In order to achieve these goals, the organisation of the competition has been entrusted to Malcolm Reading Consultants.

“We are honoured to undertake this project of such great importance to Latvia.” said MRC chairman, Malcolm Reading, commenting on this collaboration.

“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 and the prerequisite for our collaboration – stipulated by the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art Foundation – whereby Latvian architects shall be involved in drafting the competition offers, as well as in subsequent work with the winning team of architects.

“This project gives architects the opportunity to design a building on an exceptional site within easy reach of the very heart of the capital. Right now, as far as European capital cities are concerned, this is a rare opportunity.” continued Mr Reading.

MRC specialises in organising high-level international architectural competitions for clients who are commissioning new buildings or refurbishing and conserving existing ones. It has clients in Finland, the Czech Republic, Russia, India, Qatar, Taiwan and elsewhere. In London, MRC’s clients have included the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Natural History Museum and White Cube. 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’.

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