On March 31, 2009 the Rīga City Council approved the detailed plan of Andrejsala and the Binding Regulations for Use of and Construction in Andrejsala Territory, thus enabling practical implementation of the Andrejsala development project which comprises the regeneration of 36 hectares of former harbour land (click here to view an ortophotograph). The detailed plan defines the principles and regulations for construction and structuring in Andrejsala. Elaboration of the document was commissioned by SIA Jaunrīgas attīstības uzņēmums and carried out by SIA Grupa 93 and SIA Arhitektūras birojs Forma.
Andrejsala is among the most promising and potentially most beautiful territories in Rīga, the development of which will supplement the spatial structure of Rīga’s historic centre, including public outdoors and transport network. Andrejsala will thus become an important district where business and residential use meets tourism and entertainment facilities. The Andrejsala development envisages a gradual transformation towards an aesthetically conceived multi-functional urban environment with top-class architectural features. The development project also provides for specific attention to sustainable environmental quality as well as embodiment of values of contemporary art and culture.
The aim of the spatial development is to ensure an organic link between Andrejsala and its surroundings – quarters of the historic centre of Rīga, the old town (Vecrīga), Andrejosta, Viesturdārzs park vicinity, Eksporta Street and Pētersalas Street. A structural backbone runs in parallel with Eksporta Street and features an intense block-based building area for mixed use (mostly business, retail and services, hotels etc.). There is a more moderate intensity towards the Daugava, and that incorporates the historic pattern of the territory's industrial buildings and roads, as well as reveals an optimal interaction between new accent buildings and 4 to 6-storey structures and the background of liberated public outdoor space, unified by the embankment promenade. The functional diversity and well-conceived distribution of areas for residential or public use, culture and recreation facilities in particular, will ensure the creation of a dynamic and attractive environment.
The practical solutions for the development of Andrejsala, the new part of central Rīga, are being planned in accordance with sustainability principles as international best practice is thoroughly analysed and taken into consideration. A sustainable development is one that puts social, environmental and economic factors in balance throughout the territory as a whole and in separate component structures considering long-term and short-term requirements. In the course of Andrejsala’s regeneration innovative architectural and engineering solutions will be put in place. Issues related to transport, energy and area management will be dealt with in an environment-friendly way.
According to the development concept, the construction works in Andrejsala are to take place gradually in several phases spanning a period of 15 years. Modern structures will be built simultaneously with the renovation of Andrejsala’s historical buildings which will also be adjusted to new functions. There are several heritage buildings in Andrejsala – the former power plant, the Rīga-Krasta railway station, the old grain silo and the former office building of the city’s herring yard. All those buildings are to be retained for further use and integrated into the new development structure to create a unique character for the new part of the city and highlight the historical link with the former harbour activity.
In the summer of 2008, an architectural workshop took place for discussing and modelling the development possibilities of Andrejsala’s old grain silo building. Teams from six architects’ offices worked on finding the optimum layout for the eventual transformation so that it would integrate ideally with future surroundings. The diversity of proposals and ideas demonstrated several development directions and reconstruction possibilities for this particular landmark to make it one of Andrejsala’s anchor buildings.
It is also envisaged that Andrejsala will be a home of creative activities and industries with reconstructed former power plant building as the activity hub: it will house exhibition halls, artist residences and facilities for children, libraries, education centres and bookshops. The presence of creative industries will mark Andrejsala’s difference from other parts of the city as they will favour local development and create a new cultural environment in Rīga. Andrejsala has already become a creative cluster uniting professionals from creative areas as diverse as sight and sound, architecture, IT, design etc.
The next steps of Andrejsala’s development will involve the elaboration of architectural visions for specific blocks and complex development territories. That will run simultaneously with the waterfront development along the River Daugava, reconstruction of Andrejostas Street and building infrastructure units as well as designing of public open spaces and buildings. The property developer SIA Jaunrīgas attīstības uzņēmums will also organise architectural contests and public discussions with regards to construction proposals.