Latvian Association of Architects
Latvian Architecture Award 2023
The Latvian Architecture Award (LAA) is an annual competition that aims to identify and publicise the achievements of Latvian architecture and foster its development. The LAA is organised by the Latvian Association of Architects (LAS).
Terms used in the regulations:
Selection jury – the first-round jury evaluating all submissions to the competition.
Final jury – the second-round international jury evaluating the selection jury’s nominees.
Nominees – submissions that have entered the competition’s second round.
Finalists – submissions selected by the final jury from the nominees and evaluated for the Latvian Architecture Award and the Latvian Architecture Grand Prix.
Nominee diploma – selection jury award for nominees.
LAA participants and affiliations
Submissions to the LAA can be made by any author or other person associated with the work, such as the owner or sponsor – any natural or legal person, including municipalities, public organisations, etc. Any LAA participant may make an unlimited number of submissions. A submission may be made to the LAA if the work was realised in Latvia (regardless of the author’s country of origin) or realised anywhere else in the world if the author’s country of origin is Latvia. The candidate must ensure the jury’s access to objects onsite or acquaint the jury with processes and temporary structures no longer available onsite using illustrative visual materials.
Work may not be submitted to the LAA if the sponsor is included in the List of International Sanctions and National Sanctions of the Republic of Latvia.
Two types of work may be submitted and evaluated for the LAA: objects and processes.
Objects comprise buildings or other work created as a result of construction. Unrealised projects and unfinished objects may not be submitted. At the time of submission, the object must be commissioned (except in cases when this is not required by law), and the exact date of commissioning must be indicated on the submission form. The commissioning of the object serves as evidence that the responsible state and local government institutions have confirmed the legality of the object’s construction process. The work may be commissioned in any year before submission to the LAA (if the work was commissioned before 2020, the submission must substantiate the object’s topicality).
Processes comprise work that the candidate considers to be an event in architecture, such as books, periodicals, other publications, internet resources, TV or radio broadcasts, studies, exhibitions, educational or social events, works of art, etc.
LAA submission categories:
- Public buildings (cultural, educational, health and medical institutions; religious buildings; sports facilities)
- Commercial and industrial buildings (hotels, office buildings, shopping complexes, production facilities)
- Engineering structures
- Individual residential buildings
- Apartment buildings
- Rebuilding and heritage transformation, renovation or restoration
- Interiors (public and private)
- Landscape architecture, outdoor facilities and environmental objects
The selection jury may, in agreement with the author, change the category of a submission if the nature of the work justifies this.
Evaluation of LAA submissions uses the Davos Baukultur Quality System, which was developed to implement the concept of building culture in accordance with the Davos Declaration and offers eight criteria for evaluating high-quality building culture:
- Governance (responsible site management, process organisation, involvement of highly qualified participants and the public, transparent decision-making)
- Functionality (health, safety, comfort, accessibility, longevity, ability to adapt to changes in function, ownership, funding, etc.)
- Environment (environmental protection; biodiversity; landscape quality; climate; responsible land use; utilising existing structures; sustainable building materials, machinery and methods; energy efficiency; mobility)
- Economy (added economic value, cultural value greater than short-term economic value, long-term investment)
- Diversity (culture of planning, mixed-use neighbourhoods, inclusive societies, communication and shared responsibility)
- Context (creating a coherent environment, including cultural heritage and contemporary architecture and living space)
- Sense of place (building culture strengthens identity, creates an emotional response to a place, improves the spatial context and meets social, psychological and cultural needs)
- Beauty (sensory perception, a place of high-quality building culture is beautiful, it emphasises the need for aesthetics and creates positive spaces and human relationships)
Evaluation of LAA submissions also takes into account the criteria included in the Architecture Strategy 2022–2027 developed by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia:
- the project is the result of co-creation, taking into account the interests of the state, local government, the sponsor, the architect, the landscape architect and the public; all parties involved have been actively engaged in the project
- the project is a sensible investment in the future; the architecture and living environment are adaptive and suitable for new functions
- the project envisages a responsible approach to natural, financial and human resources
- the project respects the surrounding built environment, local landscape and local traditions, taking into account and developing aesthetic, artistic and cultural-historical values
- the environment created by the project is available and accessible to everyone
- the project uses new knowledge, expertise, discoveries and technologies
- the project aims to reduce harmful emissions
- the project envisages sustainable use of construction materials and technologies
- the project improves the quality of the environment all around it and increases well-being
At the time of submission, the object must be commissioned, except in cases when this is not required by law.
The submission period runs from May 1, 2023, to June 22, 2023 (early submission with a reduced fee – until May 29). Submissions should be made by filling in the submission form on the LAS website – www.latarh.lv – in the section Latvian Architecture Award. This form will be closed on the last day for submissions, June 22, 2023, at 23:59.
The submission form indicates what textual and visual information about the work should be submitted and what technical parameters should be observed for the visual materials. All information on the submission form must be provided in two languages: Latvian and English. In case of non-compliance with these requirements, the LAA organisers reserve the right not to evaluate the submission.
Participants whose work has been nominated for further evaluation in the LAA and the final may be contacted individually by the organisers to agree on the submission of additional information.
Full fee: EUR 150.00 (excluding VAT)
LAS members: EUR 120.00 (excluding VAT)
LAS members (early submission until May 30): EUR 80.00 (excluding VAT)
Non-members (early submission until May 30): EUR 100.00 (excluding VAT)
The full fee for each submission is EUR 150.00. If the candidate or candidate’s representative indicated in the submission form is a member of the LAS (without a membership fee debt), the fee for each submission is EUR 120.00. Until May 29 (23:59), the early submission fee will be applied: EUR 80.00 (excluding VAT) for LAS members without a membership fee debt and EUR 100.00 (excluding VAT) for non-members. The fee must be paid at the time of submission (an invoice will be sent by e-mail).
These submission fees are exclusive of value added tax.
Submissions to the LAA are evaluated first by the selection jury, then by the final jury.
The selection jury makes decisions by assessing submissions’ compliance with the evaluation criteria included in these regulations.
Composition of the selection jury in 2023:
- Manten Devriendt, architect, architect office Sampling, SIA, chairman of the jury
- Zane Tetere-Šulce, architect, architect office Open Architecture and design, SIA
- Ilze Ratniece, architect, architect office Rem Pro, SIA
- Anda Kursiša, architect, architect office Virtu, SIA, board member of the Association of Latvian Architects
- Normunds Tirāns, doctor of engineering, civil engineer, construction design office IG Kurbads, SIA
- Edgars Neilands, arborist, gardener, Labie Koki, SIA
- Kaspars Vanags, curator, director of the Paula Stradiņš Medical History Museum
The final jury consists of 3 to 4 international representatives and the chairman and/or deputy chairman of the selection jury or another delegate from the selection jury. The chairman of the final jury is nominated by its members. The jury makes decisions by assessing submissions’ compliance with the evaluation criteria included in these regulations.
Members of the juries may not be stakeholders in any submissions (e.g., they must not be the authors, sponsors or owners of the work, or colleagues at the authors’ architectural firms, or members of their families).
Juries have the right to deviate from the regulations only with the consent of the LAS Board. All deviations from the regulations are announced publicly. The selection jury will provide a written assessment of all nominees for the next round. The final jury will provide a written assessment of the finalists. These assessments will be available to the public on the LAS website.
Submissions to the LAA are evaluated in two stages:
- In the first stage, the LAA selection jury considers all the submissions, nominating those that meet the evaluation criteria. The selection jury substantiates its decision by preparing comments on each nominee. Nominated work is announced publicly and showcased in the LAA exhibition and other publicity materials, on LAS social networks and at other related events. Each submission nominated by the selection jury receives the nominee diploma and selection jury award.
The selection jury will prepare a brief written assessment of the nominees.
- In the second stage, the final jury selects the finalists from the nominees and, working in person, evaluates all the submissions on the list of finalists. At this stage, the final jury must examine all the objects in person or watch the presentations, as well as meet with the authors of the submissions or their representatives. After evaluating the finalists, the final jury agrees on the allocation of the highest awards at the LAA closing ceremony.
The final jury has the right to get acquainted with all submissions to the LAA.
The LAA presents three levels of awards:
- The selection jury award and nominee diploma – for all submissions nominated by the selection jury.
- The Latvian Architecture Award 2023 – for the best finalists according to the final jury’s decision.
- The Latvian Architecture Grand Prix 2023 – for one final work, according to the final jury’s decision.
All awards – the selection jury awards, the Latvian Architecture Awards, and the Grand Prix – will be announced publicly and presented at the LAA ceremony scheduled for October 6, 2023.
The awards are presented to the authors of the work indicated in the submissions.
Work that does not comply with the Code of Ethics for Architects or the fair competition practice of the Latvian Association of Architects will not be evaluated.
The organiser of the competition – the Latvian Association of Architects – reserves the right to change the conditions of the competition in connection with a state of emergency in the country or other restrictions and unforeseen circumstances.
The regulation was confirmed by the Board of Latvian Association of Architects on April 20, 2023.