Foto: Inese Kalniņa
The building at Torņa iela 11, also known as the Architects’ House, has been owned by the Latvian Association of Architects since 1926. It serves as a meeting place for architects, while its library holds valuable publications on architecture and art. Additionally, notable Latvian architects and artists have contributed their works to the building. Currently, the house hosts seminars, conferences, exhibitions, concerts, and LAS meetings, and its premises are available for rent for various events.
The building at Torņa iela 11 is located between Torņa iela and Trokšņu iela and includes part of medieval Riga’s fortification wall and one of its many towers: St. George’s Tower. The defensive wall was built between 1215 and 1234, but in the 16thcentury, having lost its military significance, it was gradually enclosed by residential buildings. The houses built on the city side were especially small due to the tiny width of Trokšņu iela, while on the other side, a new street appeared along the wall: Torņa iela.
The building has changed shape several times. At the end of the 17thcentury, for Riga residents’ convenience, a passage was created in the defensive wall, the current Swedish Gate, connecting Aldaru iela and Torņa iela and reconstructing the Trokšņa iela building. It was not possible to include the entrance hall on the Trokšņa iela side, so it was built in front of St. George’s Tower on the Torņa iela side. Thus, the first building was constructed on Torņa iela that conjoined two buildings with the old fortification wall and St. George’s Tower in the middle.
From 1926-1928, according to a design by architect Aleksandrs Trofimovs, the building was adapted for the first time to the needs of the new owner, the then Society of Latvian Architects. In creating the interior, Trofimovs used old architectural elements from historical Riga structures. From 1953-1956, the Architects’ House was rebuilt according to a design by architect Artūrs Reinfelds, creating an extension on the site of the neighbouring building, which had been badly damaged during the war.
Since the 1920s, the LAS Library has collected and stored books, journals and other valuable publications on architecture, urban planning and art. The LAS Library collection is currently being transferred to the archives of the National Library of Latvia.
Skolnieks Pētnieks Pilsētnieks
A unique architecture education programme for primary school pupils, Skolnieks Pētnieks Pilsētnieks, has been active for several years under the auspices of the Latvian Association of Architects, gaining popularity in Latvian schools. Within its framework, young architects hold interactive lessons for pupils on architecture, the urban environment and creating spaces. The SPP experts aim to develop a methodical tool for schools in cooperation with the Minister of Education and Science. In the future, this will enable such lessons to be integrated into the school curriculum without the involvement of the architects themselves.
Until the year 2023, an art studio, was accommodated at the Architects' House. Currently, the studio is located opposite the Architects' House at Torņa iela 4. The studio provides instruction in drawing and painting fundamentals, enhances existing skills and abilities, fosters spatial thinking and creative perception, and prepares individuals for drawing entrance exams at the Faculty of Architecture of RTU, the Institute of Textile Technology and Design of RTU, the RISEBA Faculty of Architecture, and the Landscape Architecture and Planning Programme at LBTU. Additionally, the studio offers assistance in developing creative portfolios for application to foreign universities.
The Architects’ House is also the location of the LAS Certification Centre,which certifies architects, oversees the maintenance of certificates, and issues temporary practice rights to professionals who have obtained qualifications abroad. The Centre also manages the professional development platform pkpp.lv.
The Architects’ House offers several rooms for rent for various events:
It is possible to rent one or more of the rooms in any combination according to the needs of the event.