Owner of historic art nouveau building opposes cultural heritage title in Riga

Take note – story published 4 years and 9 months ago

The art nouveau building on Raņķa dambis 14 in Pārdaugava, which happens to be part of the same ensemble of houses as the property that perished in a fire last year, has recently been included in the list of cultural heritage monuments. The owner has opposed this administrative decision and is taking the case to court, reported LSM.lv on July 29. 

Experts mention the architectural finish of the exterior and facade of the building as qualities which merit preservation. The building is listed together with an individual protection zone which forbids the construction of 12-storey houses in the vicinity envisaged by a prospective land use plan.

Jānis Asaris, Head of the Rīga Regional Department of the Ministry of Culture, told Latvian Radio that the owner of the building has challenged this decision.

The company which owns the building filed an application with the Administrative District Court on July 1 with the motion for annulment of the administrative decision. 

“There is probably a lawsuit awaiting us in connection with this property, since they feel that their views haven't been taken into consideration and so on and so forth, though of course the correspondence about this object has been going on since the end of last year,” Asaris said.

The ensemble of two large six-storey rental houses consists of a building designed by the celebrated Latvian architect Jānis Alksnis in 1909 and a building built by Edgars Frīzendorfs in 1911, which was demolished after a fire in November  2018.

Latvian art nouveau expert and architect Jānis Krastiņš said the following about the property: “Both buildings were designed in the style of the so-called “vertical art nouveau”, which is most characteristic of the art nouveau found in Rīga. An emphasis is put on the vertical elements in the architectural design of the facades. […] This two-house ensemble is unique in Pārdaugava. There are quite a few places in the Center with rows of buildings done in this style, but in Pārdaugava there are no others,” said Krastiņš.

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