Riga cruise terminal

Organisd by the Latvian Association of Architects on behalf of Riga Ropax Terminal – the anonymous competition seeks sketch proposals for a new passenger and roll-on/roll-off cargo terminal on a prominent waterfront site close to the city centre.

The €97 million project will deliver a new ‘modern and sustainable’ facility that will allow the Latvian capital to double the number of cruise ships arriving every year. Estonia’s Osaühing R-KONSULT, ALA Architects of Finland and USA’s Berenblum Busch Architects have all been pre-invited to participate in the contest.

According to the brief: ‘A new passenger terminal would put Riga on the map of European cruise ports, provide modern and environmentally friendly ferry passenger services in Riga, and create new opportunities for developing the ro-ro cargo segment.

‘The new terminal will be located in the southern part of Exportosta, reducing traffic in the city center of Riga and reducing sound and air pollution. The task of the competition is to determine the best proposal for the vision of spatial development of the territory of the Riga Ropax Terminal.’

Riga, originally founded as a Viking trading post during the second century, is Latvia’s capital city with more than 640,000 inhabitants. Its 438ha historic centre features many Baroque and Art Nouveau structures. It was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage zone 21 years ago and designated a 1,574ha ‘buffer zone’ to protect its surroundings.

In December, local firms MARK arhitekti, LABIE KOKI projekti and Mailītis AIIM won a competition to convert the Brutalist 1981 Riga Congress Centre into a new concert hall within the historic Boulevard Circle area of the Latvian capital’s UNESCO World Heritage Zone.

An international competition was launched in 2016 to overhaul and expand Riga’s main railway station. The contest for the £156 million regeneration project – which is part of the Rail Baltica programme linking Warsaw and Tallinn – was won by Denmark-based PLH Arkitekter.

Lithuanian developer DG31 held a competition to regenerate a large brownfield site between Daugavgrīvas Street and the Zunda Canal close to Riga’s International Exhibition Centre two years ago.

The latest competition focusses on transforming a former warehouse on the right back of the Daugava River into a new cruise terminal capable of handling around 150 cruise ships, 360 passenger ferries and 180 ro-ro ships a year – reducing congestion and pollution in the historic centre of Riga.

Once complete, the retrofitted 7,242m² complex will feature terminal facilities along with boat servicing areas and cafes and restaurants for local people. New cultural spaces, retail areas, sports facilities, transport infrastructure and offices will also be delivered on the site.

Judges will Jūlija Bērziņa, chair of Riga Ropax Terminal; Edgars Zalāns, leading architect and planner at Riga Port City; and the architect Uldis Lukševics and urban planner Māra Kalvāne who have both been selected for the jury by the Latvian Architects’ Association.

The competition languages are English and Latvian. Round one applications may feature A1 sized display boards featuring masterplan and architectural images along with a bound A3 document featuring a written description of the project.

Submissions will be judged 30 per cent on layout and passenger flows, 20 per cent on functional layout in response to the building programme, 30 per cent on originality and architectural solution, and 20 per cent on landscaping and public open space.

The overall winner – to be announced in early May – will receive a €18,000 prize and the right to negotiate the design contract. A second prize of €10,000 and third prize of €7,000 will also be awarded.

Competition details

Client Riga Ropax Terminal
Contract value Tbc
First round deadline 25 March 2024
Restrictions Participants must be registered in the Commercial Register of Latvia or in an equivalent register in a foreign country if the laws of the country in question so provide. Participant’s average financial turnover in the area of designing in three years (2022, 2021, 2020) must be at least EUR 500,000 (excluding VAT). Applicants must also have experience in the development of a construction design for at least one object of similar importance and size, which has a status of a public building
More information https://rrt.metukonkurss.lv/en/