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Wednesday 20.06.2018 | Name days: Rasa, Rasma, Maira
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Exterior of the Castle of light criticized

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The building of the Latvian National Library (commonly called the Castle of light) did not always look as it does now. The initial idea of the project that was first compiled by architect Gunārs Birkerts some quarter of a century ago. During the drafting period of the building, a lot was altered.

At least from its exterior, the impressive structure is nearly finished. Even the spire of the roof now has a peculiar formation to it, which did not look the same way during its initial presentation, the Neatkarīgā Rīta Avīze (Independent Morning Newspaper) notes.

While the building and its surroundings are not fully complete, architects are being evasive when commenting the look on Daugava River’s left riverbank. They do admit that the exterior of the Castle of light will not be altered any further, at least not significantly.

Architect Jānis Krastiņš doesn’t even try to hide his criticism – says that the expected top of the hill resembles a cockscomb on the library’s roof. «There is nothing there. A concrete overlay, a glass cage that is entered through a hatch,»- the architect describes. «Our foreign colleagues keep asking me to show it to them [the library] and it seems humorous every time,»- he says. The architect says that the library is being built in the right place, but its exterior and interior are not what they should be. «An amateurish solution indoors as well. The public will be offered a book’s imitation behind an inaccessible glass wall. It’s hard to say what it is,»- Krastiņš spares no words.

According to Jānis Lejnieks, PhD in architecture, says that the library’s interior is what actually counts. «That cockscomb is the least that worries me. I’m more interested in the cock’s feet – the infrastructure. Will the sate build a secondary building across Akmens Street? Is there enough money for that? These questions should be resolved,»- says the architect. The state and Riga municipality should communicate more thoroughly.

The dialog must take place as soon as possible, because in 2015, during Latvia’s presidency in the European Union, all important events are set to take place at the Castle of light. Meanwhile in 2014, when Riga will become the Cultural capital of the EU, the building of the library will a central hub, where performances, congress meetings, conferences, concerts, special shops and an information centre.

Even the construction deadlines have been changed several times. The current deadline is set for the end of November 2012. After that, work will continue on the design of the library’s interior, installation of all the necessary equipment and the construction of the library’s infrastructure. The project’s complete realization is set for the end of 2013, says Culture Minister’s advisor Ieva Līne.

Ref: 104.109.109.2750


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