Caruso St John Architects (UK) + Arhitektu birojs Jaunromāns un Ābele

This design sets out to make a special place in the city, an inspiring environment in which to encounter contemporary art. The spirit of the proposal starts with the circumstances of the project at the centre of New Hanza City, which are unusually fresh and open. Not only will the new institution be the first building of its type in Latvia, but the site is a blank sheet of paper, where not even the roads have yet been built. The design is conceived as an idealised vision of a museum, bringing together art, architecture and landscape in an almost Arcadian composition of buildings and gardens. From within the museum, visitors will see art in the galleries and art in the gardens around, as if they are standing at the centre of a large park. The design draws on the formal energy of the Art Nouveau architecture of Riga, as well as the lively skyline of the city with its low wooden buildings alongside its solid palaces. This outward-looking and open museum will be the centrepiece of the green fields of New Hanza City, a destination and a meeting point for citizens as the new city takes shape slowly around it.