On Monday, 7 September, the newly-built Natural Sciences Academic Centre of the University of Latvia was festively opened in Riga, Tornakalns, Jelgava Street 1. This new centre can fit 1,500 students from five faculties – biology, geography and earth sciences, chemistry and medicine faculty, as well as physics and mathematics faculty’s Optometry and Vision Science Department.
Construction of this centre began on 28 February, 2014, as soon as permission to start construction work was received. Construction machinery and builders were already hard at work in March. In May, authorities laid a time capsule for future generations in the building’s foundation. Now, one and a half year after start of construction work, the building is available for use by students studying natural sciences, as reported by LU.
Construction of the academic centre was made possible thanks to EUR 5 million funding from the Latvian state and LU, as well as EUR 30 million from the State Education Development Agency’s activities as part of the EU Regional Development Fund in the realization of this all-time most massive education infrastructure project in Latvia.
Although it is not possible to notice yet, the wines planted in metal mesh system of building’s outer wall will change colour as they grow in accordance with changes that come with different seasons in Latvia. Inside the buildings, there is a 420 m2 large atrium. Its roof is constructed in a way to allow natural flow of air. Throughout the seven floors of the building, works of art produced by artist Luize Avotina bring life to walls.
The academic natural sciences centre houses 138 study and research laboratories fitted with modern-age furniture and technological equipment, including 78 Waldner fume cupboards. The centre’s largest auditorium – Magnum – is capable of fitting 300 students. The top floor has four greenhouses. This allows students studying natural sciences to use appropriate infrastructure for their studies.