Coalition backs Congress Hall as new acoustic hall location

On February 7, the coalition supported the establishment of the National Acoustic Concert Hall at the existing Congress Hall, Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš said at a briefing after the meeting.

The decision was proposed by the Ministry of Culture Development Committee after discussions on the location had dragged on for years.

On June 16, 2020, the government supported the initiative of the Ministry of Culture (MoC) to develop the construction of the Riga Acoustic Concert Hall at 2 Elizabetes Street in Kronvalda Park. 

However, several architects raised concerns that this would involve the demolition of an architecturally significant building. The Latvian Union of Architects (LAS) later proposed three potential sites as the most suitable venues with the greatest scope for strategic and urban development : Andrejsala, the Riga Congress House and an area near the central market.

The result of the LAS work was presented to the National Acoustic Concert Hall Project Development Committee, where a decision was made to identify the challenges of project implementation in each of the three nominated venues.

As reported by LSM not long ago, Rīga City Council has its own plans for the renovation of the hall, which have been reckoned at 14.5 million euros. It remains to be seen to what extent these plans are compatible with whatever the government plans to do.

The Rīga Congress Hall was built in 1982, when Latvia was still under Soviet occupation and as its name suggests, was used to host congress meetings and other events of the Communist party. Since then it has hosted conferences, trade fairs and serves as a voting station during elections. 

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