Abandoned mall in Kuldīga transforms into culture center

Take note – story published 1 year and 5 months ago

Empty shopping mall spaces have temporarily become Kuldīga Culture Center. According to the staff of the Center, the project is unique, all interior has been transferred from the old cultural center which is undergoing construction works, including a cinema, Latvian Radio reported on December 15.

The shopping mall, built in 2002 and abandoned since 2009, has now experienced major transformations. The transfer started in August, said Inta Burnevica, head of the Culture Center.

“The big room, the small one with all the equipment, the cinema room, the decorations, everything in the boiler house, the storage units. The main thing is how to divide one large trading room so that there is a stage, a backstage, a corridor, a warehouse, and so on,” Burnevica said.

“One of the greatest successes is that we have managed to create a home-feeling, cozy atmosphere. It's not cold and remote. The trick is that we have integrated many recognizable details here – into our new temporary house. For example, the big hall door,” said project manager Krista Jansone said.

Wall tapestries produced by artists, a variety of wooden elements now integrated into new spaces, and even cat images sit in windows and watch the snowy Kuldīga. “The biggest challenge has been to create an appropriate Great Hall and stage,” said the center's manager. She added that the owners must receive the room back in the same state as they rented it out. Thus, nothing could be changed significantly.

“The stage part needs dark ceilings. We had to figure out how we could get those ceilings dark. “The ceiling will be fitted, lifting the plates, painting the other side, turning to be black on one side, as we need now, but turning the other way would be white as the shop needs,” Burnevica said.

A movie theater has also been brought to the supermarket, which will start work in January. Meanwhile, the process involves transforming the former cultural center. Construction works started in September this year, expecting to rebuild and renovate three buildings. In the meantime, the necessary funding for the implementation of the project is lacking.

“Full funding is not currently available. We are talking about both the part of the local government budget and the possibilities for credit. Let us see what available programs will open from European projects,” said Madara Liekmane, senior project manager of the Kuldīga Development Agency.

The reconstruction work of the Kuldīga Culture Center is scheduled to be completed within two years. For about that long, the center will have to inhabit the large spaces of the shopping center.

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