The New Incubator in the Creative Network

Location: Riga, Latvia
Client: State Joint Stock Company
Team: arki_lab, MATTERS
Service: Strategy & Concept Development, Placemaking
Role: Concept Development, Designing
Year: 2018
Status: Proposal for Open Competition

The development of TABFAB mimics the already happening urban transformation around the city of Riga, focusing on a multi-nodal network. The transformation translates into new creative centers from which the cultural network spans and the TABFAB HUB project will act as one. The proposal builds on the existing forms and programs on the site, while strengthening its creative identity and position within the larger cultural network. The project aims to create a meeting point, where people can exchange ideas and collaborate, through an inclusive, innovative and adaptable approach.

On the study site scale the project proposes breaking down the barriers across the block to connect different segregated pockets through different networks, such as the green infrastructure, bike and pedestrian paths and public urban spaces. Breaking down the physical barriers is a concrete manifestation of creating knowledge sharing and social exchange between different actors. The overall proposal on the site scale aims to pique curiosity in not only the users but also passersby, inviting people in, by opening up both the exterior and interior spaces, where people can inspire and be inspired.

On the plaza the notion of “opening up” is embedded in the network of circulation paths, allowing free flow through the site instead of a mandated, linear flow. This network seamlessly connects different spaces using minor indicators on the pavement. Even though the activity spaces are marked through the paving pattern, the spaces are designed to be adaptable according to different programs, activities and needs of a diverse user-group. The urban plaza also consists of modular movable furniture, green pockets, temporary play elements, multifunctional solutions. The adaptability of these elements reflects TABFAB’s collaborative and constantly growing perspective. The network idea translates into the built scale through a uniform envelope that connects a diverse range of spatial characteristics and functions across different buildings, also mimicking the collaborative community idea. The envelope aims to create a unique identity that is a contemporary re-interpretation of the local heritage. The layout is based upon the existing structures with a clear definition of the different functions adding multiple access and connection points within the building relating to the overall approach of “opening up”. The main strategies are made upon reflections of a flexible, sustainable design.

The horizontal connections on both the building and the plaza directly translate to the vertical expression. In the buildings this manifests in roof terraces, variety of floor heights and the dynamic definition of the mesh. Similarly the plaza dips down and is raised on different areas.

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