SIA Kvinta BCL has started the renovation work of the Daile Theatre forecourt for 1.7 million euros (excluding VAT). The construction site is being set up, the cleaning of the tree crowns has been started in cooperation with SIA Arborists, and the dismantling of the pavement on the site will begin, informs Renārs Griškevičs, Chairman of the Board of SJSC State Real Estate (SRE).
“Within the framework of the Daile Theatre renovation project, free and convenient access to the forecourt will be ensured, safety and quality of public space will be significantly improved. The innovations have been introduced respecting the most essential lines and amenities of the modernism period and all valuable trees. New trees and shrubs will be planted next to the existing trees, increasing the diversity of greenery in the city. In the improvement work, sustainable rainwater management solutions are used that mimic the flow of rainwater in natural ecosystems. The application of such systems in the urban environment prevents flood risks, improves the quality of public outdoor spaces and promotes biodiversity in the city, as well as relieves rainwater drainage systems,” says Miķelis Putrāms, Chief Architect of MADE Arhitekti.
Concrete, cobblestone and granite steps and slabs and asphalt concrete covering will be dismantled in the forecourt of the Daile Theatre. It is planned to reuse part of the existing pavement materials and to build new pavement. The parking area, utility yard and Daile Theatre territory along Bruņinieku Street will be renovated, additionally the reconstruction of external low-voltage engineering networks and external power supply engineering networks will be performed, the external lighting, amenities and greenery will be laid out. According to the decision approved by the Riga City Council Greenery Preservation Committee, 28 new trees (downy birches, ornamental apple trees, multi-stemmed currants, common maple, Manchurian cherry, pin oak and pedunculate oak, common lime, etc.) will be planted within the framework of the theatre forecourt renovation, removing old trees that according to expert evaluations have served their purpose, as well as preserving and grooming 45 crowns of existing trees and performing measures for their protection. The metal construction fence installed around the territory retains both the wind, facilitating the work of the construction merchant during the dismantling of structures and promotes work safety during tree sawing, and provides a more aesthetic solution than the usual transparent construction fence solutions.
“As a state joint stock company, we not only care for the implementation of various projects of national significance for the provision of public administration functions, but also implement projects significant to the culture of the country. We see the work together with the Riga Municipality in the renovation of the forecourt complex as a successful form of cooperation between the state and the municipality, we have joined forces and resources in creating a green area for the city's residents and guests,” R. Griškevičs points out.
The Andris Vārpa sculpture "Irbīte" in the forecourt will be preserved in the existing place throughout the construction, creating protective structures around it. The three works of art by Indulis Ranka located in the forecourt will be returned to the Artist Union, which placed them in the territory of the forecourt as part of the exhibition during the 1980s. During the restoration of the forecourt, operations of the theatre will not be suspended and rehearsals and performances will continue. Visitors will be able to enter the territory from the side of Bruņinieku Street.
The forecourt near Daile Theatre is the property of both the state and the municipality. The part of the theatre forecourt on the side of Bruņinieku Street and on the side of Brīvības Street up to the theatre ticket stands and majority of the territory of the theatre courtyard is managed by SRE, but the remaining part on the side of Brīvības Street – from the ticket stands to Matīsa Street – is owned by Riga Municipality. In the course of the project by the autumn of 2022 the forecourt of theatre and territory along Bruņinieku Street will become accessible to citizens, ensuring a high-quality public space and expanding the green area of the territory – new trees will be planted, benches and lanterns will be installed, creating yet another developed space for the wellbeing of residents. SRE has taken the initiative for the joint implementation of the project.
Prior to the renovation of the Daile Theatre Square, the energy efficiency project of the Daile Theatre building started in 2019 by SRE is nearing completion. The construction works were carried out preserving the architecture of the theatre built in 1976 according to the project of architect Marta Staņa. “The building's exterior walls, stage tower and roofs have been insulated for the historic theatre building, providing the necessary comfort for both theatre staff and spectators, at the same time significantly reducing electricity and heating costs. The heating system has been rebuilt and equipment for stage lighting has been improved, providing “smart” spotlights.
The project is financed from funding attracted by the Ministry of Culture - European Union funds operational programme “Growth and Employment” priority axis “Environmental protection and resource use efficiency” 5.5.1. the fourth round of selection of project applications for the specific support objective “Preserve, protect and develop significant cultural and natural heritage, as well as develop related services”, “Preservation, restoration of cultural heritage and development of related infrastructure in the territory of the historical centre of Riga” and state budget funding (including Covid-19 funding for stimulating the economy through investment in construction).