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historic latvian cargo warehouse revived as cultural center, encased in glass and steel shell

Sudraba Arhitektura unveils hanzas perons

 

From 20th-century railway warehouse to modern events space, Hanzas Perons sits in the heart of Riga as a fusion of the Latvian capital’s industrial history and bustling cultural present. Leaving the majority of the abandoned structure untouched, Sudraba Arhitektura has restored its historic patina and enveloped it in a delicate glass structure complemented by contemporary steel details. Today, the structure enlivens the city as a multipurpose space hosting concerts, exhibitions, banquets and more within an emblem of its rich history.

 

Inside, the original brickwork and wooden structure has been celebrated and preserved, confronted in poetic harmony by modern materials such as terrazzo flooring, concrete, and steel. The refined new details express modest references to the railway aesthetics, while preserved platforms embodied in concrete and a railway track runs through through the building to honor the memory of the place. 

historic latvian cargo warehouse by sudraba arhitektura revived as cultural center, encased in glass and steel shell
south facade | all images courtesy of Sudraba Arhitektura

 

 

preserving historic memory with modern construction

 

Following the recent surge of architectural projects in Riga which have seen the regeneration of heritage structures into innovative, modern venues, Sudraba Arhitektura has taken on Hanzas Perons which was previously part of a large freight railway station. Present day, it sits almost untouched as the last surviving of 15 warehouses that stood by the historic tracks, boasting exposed brick walls, wooden beams, and sophisticated sliding doors and gates. With their new design, the architects combine old and new elements for a harmonious fusion of heritage and innovation, ‘where respect for history is reflected in elaborate modern solutions, giving new life to the old.’

historic latvian cargo warehouse by sudraba arhitektura revived as cultural center, encased in glass and steel shell
west facade

 

 

from railway warehouse to cultural events space 

 

Upon beginning the project, despite its well-preserved condition the structure had been deemed structurally unsound by engineers. As such, Sudraba Arhitektura preserved as much of its original identity as possible while reviving its functionality to make it the largest private cultural building in Latvia. Instead of implementing new pillars and supporting elements to reinforce the existing structure, an external load-bearing steel frame was built to encase the historic building. Consequently, additional service spaces and technical premises were resolved in a clear visual language and circulation.

 

Hanzas Perons’ biggest spatial value — a large column free hall — sits at the centre of the warehouse measuring 15 meters wide and 80 meters long. It has been preserved in its entirety and repurposed to host various concerts and exhibitions. It can be divided in three separate spaces, allowing noteworthy flexibility.

historic latvian cargo warehouse by sudraba arhitektura revived as cultural center, encased in glass and steel shell
north facade

 

 

The original roof of the warehouse, forming wide canopies on either side, initially covered the logistics platforms where freight wagons approached on one side and trucks on the other. Sudraba Arhitektura instead embraces this feature and transforms the sheltered platforms into elegant glamorous lobbies. At Hanzas Perons’ southern end, a new double-height space brings the structure closer to the street to serve as the main entrance lobby.

 

By night, the new building acquires a new appearance along the streetfront as the transparent lobbies become illuminated from within and the old structure becomes visible from the outside as a noteworthy silhouette. 

hanzas-persons-sudraba-architecktura-designboom-3

historic latvian cargo warehouse by sudraba arhitektura revived as cultural center, encased in glass and steel shell
ghost train structure

historic latvian cargo warehouse by sudraba arhitektura revived as cultural center, encased in glass and steel shell
west platform

hanzas-persons-sudraba-architecktura-designboom-4

hanzas perons warehouse transformation into cultural venue 5
column free event hall

hanzas perons warehouse transformation into cultural venue 6
entrance hall and basement

 

 

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historic latvian cargo warehouse revived as cultural center, encased in glass and steel shell
 
historic latvian cargo warehouse revived as cultural center, encased in glass and steel shell
 

project info:

 

name: Hanzas Perons

location: Latvia
architecture: Sudraba Arhitektura

lead architect: Reinis Liepins

original text: Artis Zvirgzdins

 

 

designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: ravail khan | designboom

ARCHITECTURE IN LATVIA (16)

BRICK ARCHITECTURE (239)

GLASS ART AND DESIGN (124)

RENOVATION ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN (454)

STEEL (125)

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