Open Day in the Latvian National Museum of Art

On 18 May, on the International Day of Museums representatives of media together with employees of the museum, artists and patrons of art were acquainted with the ambitious reconstruction and restoration works of the Latvian National Museum of Art (LNMM), which are currently performed in full swing in order to open the museum with a new shape already in May of the next year.

After reconstruction works, the museum will have completely renewed and restored historic building, extension of premises with new underground premises, creating modern infrastructure and environment for exhibition and preservation of works of art, operation of exhibitions, education of society and thoughtful spending of leisure time. For comfort of visitors there will be available resting areas, wireless internet, classroom for children, shop of museum souvenirs and café.

The total designed area is 8 249 m2 and currently 60% of planned construction works are already completed.

In the historic building:

• strengthening of load-bearing structures with metal structures has been completed; filling of existing chimneys with concrete was performed. The existing unsatisfactory load-bearing constructions and coverings of the building were strengthened with the injection method.
• persistent monitoring of cracks of building and soil compaction under the historic building is performed.
• construction works of the first floor in the bow area and in the corridor connecting the existing and the new building are performed.
• construction of new stairs from the first floor to the second floor of the building has been completed.
• installation works of engineering networks are close to completion.
• finishing works of walls and ceiling take place.
• interior cleaning and restoration works of restorable surfaces of the historic building is continued.
• construction and restoration works of parquet flooring have been started
• conservation of walls on second and third floors with Fermacell sheets has been completed.
• restoration of windows, doors, furniture and decorative panels is continued
• restoration works of chandeliers and light fixtures are almost completed.
• restoration works of marble columns and central marble stairs are performed.
• restoration of historic metal railing and forged elements has been started.
• cleaning and antiseptic treatment of wooden roof structures are close to completion.
• construction of roofing of the existing building and decking of titanium zinc scales is almost completed.
• installation of skylights continues.
• walls of the passenger elevator shaft have been concreted from floor -1 up to the top floor.
• stairs leading from the top floor to the dome are installed.

In the new underground premises:

• ground excavation and removal from the site has been completed.
• concreting works of the foundation plate have been completed.
• lowering works of permanent local water level are performed.
• concreting of the freight elevator walls continues.
• assembly works of the freight lift platform have been started.
• concreting works of flooring on first and second floors are performed.
• wall finishing works in exhibition halls are performed.
• construction works of engineering networks are performed.
• construction works of stairs at the amphitheatre have been started.
• construction and polishing of decorative coverings continue.
”Nowadays, when the fast rhythm of life requires creation of new and innovative objects, restoration is the only art which can bring a breath of fresh air to cultural and historical values. Restoration is an art where scientific research is followed by a filigree work of cultural heritage renovation is performed. Our experts, who are members of the Latvian Society of Restorers and the Chamber of Crafts and have more than 10 years of experience in the field of restoration perform works assigned to them with respect in order to preserve and restore things which will be valued by next generations’’, explains the Director General of RE&RE Didzis Putniņš.

The contracting authority of reconstruction and restoration works of the museum building and the new building design is the Property Department of Riga City Council, the author of the construction design is Lithuanian architectural firm Processoffice, whereas construction and restoration works are performed by the company RE&RE. The agreement on reconstruction, restoration and extension of LNMM concluded between the Property Department of Riga City Council and RE&RE Ltd was signed on 22 January 2013.

The main building of the Latvian National Museum of Art in 10a Krišjāņa Valdemāra Street was constructed in the time period from 1903 until 1905 for needs of Riga City Museum of Art and Riga Society of Art Promotion. The author of the design and the first director of the museum was a Baltic German architect and art historian Wilhelm Neumann (1849-1919). This architectural monument of national importance had served without overhaul already for 107 years. It is planned to complete the construction works on 1 December 2015.