ARSENĀLS Exhibition Hall of the Latvian National Museum of Art (LNMA) is one of the largest exhibition spaces in Riga. It is located in Vecrīga, Torņa iela 1, in an important listed building – a customs warehouse, or arsenal, built in the 1820s-30s in the style of late Russian Classicism and adapted to the function of the museum in the late 1980s.
Beginning from 24 February 2020, ARSENĀLS is closed for reconstruction.
Since the opening of ARSENĀLS Exhibition Hall in 1988, it has hosted major art and cultural events: solo exhibitions of Latvian and foreign artists, conceptual art exhibitions from the museum’s collection, international exhibition projects, performances, concerts and educational programmes. The total number of visitors over the years exceeds one million.
Until now, ARSENĀLS was also home to a significant part of the LNMA collection, representing the period from the 2nd half of the 20th century to nowadays. It included more than 28 000 items – paintings, works of graphic art, sculptures and objects. This part of the collection is already being transferred to the new Museum Storages Complex in Pulka iela 8, Riga, where the works of art will find their permanent home.
RECONSTRUCTION OF ARSENĀLS
The aim of the reconstruction is to renovate and conserve the building of ARSENĀLS, which currently is in a very poor technical condition. ARSENĀLS Exhibition Hall of the LNMA is an important cultural venue in Riga, a national listed building and an example of classicist architecture. In order to prevent the collapse of the building, it urgently needs reconstruction and repairs. During the project, reconstruction and adaptation to the status of a public building of the segment of Torņa iela adjacent to the exhibition hall also has to be solved, improving access to ARSENĀLS for all groups of the public.
After the cessation of the building’s public activities and the removal of works of art, VAS Valsts nekustamie īpašumi (SJSC State Real Estate, VNĪ) will initiate the first phase of reconstruction works of ARSENĀLS Exhibition Hall. The first phase of construction foresees the renovation of the facade of the building, restoration of the roof cornice, waterproofing of the foundations, renovation of windows and basement hatches. The renovation works are scheduled for completion by mid-2021. After a public procurement procedure, the contract to carry out the first phase of the construction works of the ARSENĀLS building was signed with general partnership RERE MEISTARI 1. The sum of the contract is 1,62 million EUR (excluding VAT). The preparation of documentation for the certification card as well as field supervision is carried out by general partnership AD Spatium.
Alongside Phase I of the construction works, the planning for Phase II, concerning the interior of the building, is taking place, which, upon completion, will make it possible to develop the exhibition hall into a modern venue for the exhibition of works of art and public activities. The head of the construction plan and lead architect is Aldis Polis, design bureau ArhStadija, with whom VNĪ has signed a contract. Expected date of completion of the works is the middle of 2020.