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In the post-Soviet area 1970s are usually regarded as Brezhnev era, which is defined as stagnation, and the architecture of those times – as the one spoiling the environment. Is this truly so?
In 1960s and 70s major changes were being planned and also implemented in Europe’s old city centers. Lifestyle’s growing intensity demanded new transport routes, which were carried out by widening old streets. Riga still has some evidence from the time, when the architects had a “devil-may-care” attitude. One of such examples is Latvenergo main office building, projected by architect Lia-Asta Knāķe. Today, a project with a new building towering above the city’s old streets would not be accepted. Nevertheless, it was a normal case for West Europe in those days. But unlike the other projects, Latvenergo main building bears dynamic contrast of shapes and feel of materials used in it. Time is the essence for revaluating the values. Time that had passed is enough to recognize Latvenergo building as the cultural landmark of its time.
*2012/ Concept and graphical design of the exhibition
A family house in Riga conceived as a telescope to the outstanding environment.
*2012 / Technical project
Proposal for a roof appartment in Riga.
*2012 / Proposal
Farming is a series of handmade furniture in a crocheted hemp twine and with oak-wood details. The concept of this collection is a mutation of volumes that evolve from a traditional piece of furniture. The creations assume forms that relate with nature, landscape elements and animal world, although there are no explicit references to that.
Farming was presented in Biennale Interieur 2012, in Kortrijk, Belgium.
*2012 /product design
Presentation of the latest works at Ventura Interieur 2012, Kortrijk, Belgium. Exhibiton includes Farming, Blue, Cushhh and Favola.
Farming. The concept is creating mutation of volumes. The creations assume forms that relate with nature, landscape elements and animal world, although there are no explicit references to that. A series of multifunctional furniture, made of crocheted hemp rope and wooden details. Size varies.
Blue. Dining table for 6 persons. Fits perfectly also in an office as a meeting or working table. Birch plywood with top surface varnished in blue and powdercoated steel legs. Size h:75cm, diam:150cm.
Participation at Biennale Interieur2012 is realised in collaboration with LIAA and with support of ERAF and EU, contract nr.L-ĀTA-12-1159
*2012 / product design, exhibition
Almost 20 years ago the Belgian artist Kobe Matthys founded the ‘Agency’. The ‘Agency’ collects and archives a continuously growing list of so-called things, all cultural objects or acts derived from lawsuits or controversies around their intellectual property. Most of these things on Agency’s list are thus based on jurisprudence, literally ‘the caution to judge’. For Assembly (Survival Kit), the Agency brings forward a selection from its list of things, speculating on the question: “How can commons get included within art practices?”
Collaboration with Kobe Matthys
*2012/ model, exhibition
Design of a sign on the wall of the main building of RISEBA University Architecture and Media Centre H2O 6. Riga, Udens street 6.
*2012 / completed
Sampling shows Cushhh chair and screen Fàvola at Ventura Lambrate 2012 during tha Milan Design Week.
Participation at Ventura Lambrate was realised in collaboration with LIAA and with support of ERAF and EU, contract nr.L-ĀTA-12-0967
*2012 / product design, exhibition
The building that contains exhibition halls, classrooms, conference facilities etc. is created to become a research object itself. It illustrates the use of wood and its recycling products, it lets the visitor experience being in the forest, the change of the seasons. It notifies about the amount of energy saved by different appliances, technical solutions and materials used in the building.
The wooden pedestrian bridge brings visitors over the motorway to the Tervete Nature park.
*2012 / Open competition, 3rd prize
The design of the exposition of Art Academy of Latvia at Stockholm Furniture Fair 2012 is based on concept developed during the design workshop 'Make Design!', that was organised by SAMPLING, and took place in Riga, Latvia, November 2011 with participation of students from Design Academy Eindhoven and Art Academy of Latvia.
The exposition shows a selection of works of students and graduates of Design Department of Art Academy of Latvia, that deal with topics like crafts, handmade, ethnography, national identity, sustainibility.
Exposition curated and designed by Liene Jakobsone in collaboration with Jekaterina Stakle and Mikus Vanags.
Exposition concept by Manten Devriendt, Rianne Makkink, Jan Boelen (Design Academy Eindhoven).
Exhibited works by Agnese Pundina, Baiba Linga-Berzina, Gita Deksne, Indra Merca, Ints Neiberts, Jekaterina Stakle, Laura Danilane, Liene Podina.
*2012 / exhibition
Sampling was the initiator and organiser of an intensive design workshop where students from the Latvian Academy of Art and the Design Academy Eindhoven joined forces, creating new designs and prototypes by making use of traditional Latvian handcraft techniques.
Mentors from the Design Academy Eindhoven along with the designers from the Netherlands and Latvia gave lectures during the workshop week. Students of both academies took part in a thematical PechaKucha night.
More information MakeDesign! website
*2011 / lectures, workshop, exhibition
Centre of culture and creative entrepreneurship on Miera street in Riga, Latvia. Project of spatial development of existing industrial site including programmatic and management concept.
Collaboration with Emils Rode (rode-weiland.co.nr)
Sampling was invited to join the winning entry 'Stacija' and is working as a partner in this new 'creative district' of Riga.
*2011 / Open competition, 2nd prize
A screen for dividing the space, creating a fabulous setting, hiding what’s to be hidden or showing what’s to be proud of.
Made of plywood. H: 140cm, W: 210cm
Reconstruction of a former concrete factory site of 13.4ha dedicated for industrial purposes. The project enhances new skins for the buildings and technical approvement of the building site as well as environmental design. The historical character of the industrial site where once the prefabricated concrete facades of the block houses were casted, will be consolidated. On the long term, new public functions could be integrated and make this site along the Daugava a new attraction point of the city Riga. In collaboration with SZK/Z.
*2011 / Technical project phase
Competition proposal for a pre-school building in Riga, Latvia.
*2011 / Open competition, honourable mention
Design proposal for the Brivibas alley in Riga, Latvia. The concept of the monument is a long wall that separates the alley from street creating a multifunctional inner space. The wall is covered with bas-reliefs depitcing events and people significant to Latvian history.
Collaboration with Aigars Bikše.
*2011 / Open competition, 3rd prize
This shopping mall and 4**** hotel tower has to become one of the new eye catchers along the Prospekt Pobediteley in Minsk, Belarus. A central green atrium connects all floors and creates a vertiginous interior space in the building. The rooms of the hotel are oriented to the interior space. In collaboration with SZK/Z.
*2011 / Architectural proposal, 70.000m2
A family holiday house is conceived as a typical house in Latvian contryside. It is supposed to emphasize the basic elements of a house, like roof, windows, door. Also the window shutters are a reference to traditional architecture. Every room has one window. They have all different dimensions and different position in the wall in relation with the funcion inside and the surrounding landscape. The windows have particular frames that go through the whole section of the wall and frame the landscape. Different textures of wood - rough facade planks and sleek frames and shutters - give almost an impression of different materials.
*2006-2008 / Completed
School desks are designed for the exhibition "Flemish School Architecture" (11oct-10dec 2010 Latvian Museum of Architecture) and produced by Latvijas Finieris.
The desks were nominated for Design Year prize 2010 of Latvian Designers' Union in category "industrial design".
Desks are made of plywood, pickled in white, painted in 4 bright colours inside.
*2010 / realized
The hotel is situated in Old Riga on the border of the Medieval and 19th century boulevard type of building area.
We find that one of the most astonishing elements of Old Riga and other medieval towns is that they have tiny, curved street with secret courtyards and surprising views. Away from the clutter of the streets, the courtyard lives its own life. Also this is public space. Hidden from view, yet with very intense communal activities happening there.
The courtyard forms the concept of this project. It was supposed to replace the missing city block in the urban fabric with the stress on the inner space. The facades facing the street are more closed but in the hart of the block the inner space that contains shops, bars and hotel foyer opens up to outside.
*2010 / Open competition proposal
The threshold of the Central Market of Riga is marked by a new public square, the red ribbon that defines the symbolic transition from city to market. The square is equipped with benches, lamp posts, flags, signs and a bunch of birches. These elements invite the users to colonize the space. The new info pavilion of the market is a projection screen that will revive the space.
The smallest unit of the market, the stall of the merchandiser, is placed in a new layout defined by lines and marks on the ground. The market is no longer defined by 'shopping corridors' but different squares animated by the specific market goods. The workshop was in collaboration with Otto Zitmanis.
*2010 / workshop/competition 1st prize, sketch design
Sampling architects are the official organizers in Latvia of the world famous PechaKucha Night.
PechaKucha Night is an event for architects, designers, artists, fashion designers, creative students or anyone else with ideas the world needs to know about. Everybody gets the chance to present 20 images that will be shown as a slideshow for 20 seconds each.
Since 2007 there have been 19 events organized in different places, often in collaboration with other organisations and events.
Open competition for a gathering space in the centre of the small Latvian town Rujiena.
*2011 / Open competition proposal
The Gosta museum extension building in Mantta, Finland, reflects its environment: the rocks, wood, the colours of water and vegetation. Compact building with a central patio space - the entrance foyer - as a lively heart surrounded by different functions and facilities. Clustering of functions not only increases energy efficiency but also facilitates the organisation, the flow and orientation in the museum. The multifunctional spaces reduce the total floor area of the building due to overlapping programm. Multifunctionality also allows to extend the programm if necessary in the future.
total floor area = 3700m2
In collaboration with Bollinger-Grohmann Ingenieure.
*2011 / Open competition proposal
Open competition for a monument dedicated to ballet dancer Māris Liepa.
Collaboration with Ginters Krumholcs.
*2011 / Honourable mention
Siguldas station square is situated in the centre of the city on the crossing of important axes, streets and viewpoints. That is why the new public space is designed with different activities - sport, culture, tourism - that would attract people.
Project consists of reconstruction and extention of the old station buiding and a square with a bus stations.
*2010 / Open competition proposal
logotype design of the cafe Muffins and More, Gertrudes iela 9, Riga.
*2010 / Completed
The school is a place where one learns. Thinking about how a school building has to be constructed and how it has to look is an difficult question for both architect and client. The exhibition shows the process of ‘creating a school building’ in all its aspects. 15 Flemish architectural practices were invited to tell about their school buildings. The exhibition gathered 15 thoughts on school buildings and viewpoints of design. For the interior design a classroom was made to display the research materials.
*2010 / Exhibition curation and design
Tea House Brussels is a proposal for a new gathering space in the city centre of Brussels. It is at the same time a bench, a table and a platform and will become a new orientation point for the citizen. The typology of the tea house origins from the English landscape garden where the tea house was used for informal and formal conversations between the courtiers. Tea houses were an important part in the structure of the garden. It oriented the stroller in the tangled landscape, but also hided his secret life. The urban tea house is a pendant of this 19th century object in order to give the urbanite also his landmark in the more and more hectic urban space.
*2005 / Open competition proposal
Fantastic Christmas in shopping centre Domina. The concept of sculptural elements (chandeliers, sculptures and a castle) is to resemble the fragile snowflakes and castles that children create from paper to decorate the Christmas tree. By folding, cutting and stacking the perforated paper they realize an incredible 3 dimensional effect. The castle, chandeliers and sculptures - similarly made - transform the existing shopping streets in a fairy tale landscape. The atmosphere is colored to make you dream away in the wonderful world of the imagination. The central castle hosts the Radio101 studio for the Christmas period.
*2010 / Completed
Project of a bus terminal as a multimodal interchange of Cesis town in Latvia. With added services and entertainmet functions it is situated in the center of the city, next to the existing train station and designed to be a relevant public space.
*2010 / Thesis project at Riga Technical University by Liene Jakobsone.
The row of typical old harbour magazine buildings are characteristic to Liepāja town. The maritime museum has to be located in two of them. This project leaves the existing volumes, but just as a shell. The partitions inside are removed, and a broad multifunctional underground level connects both buildings. The exposition is organized on hanging 'decks' accessible from open stairs and lifts. One of the basic concepts is the flexibility of the spaces. So the exhibition hall can easily change into a ballroom, that is connected to the bar, or the cinema can become a concerthall or even obtain a natural scenography by raising the screen that covers the large window.
In collaboration with Bollinger-Grohmann Ingenieure.
*2009 / Open competition proposal
What means Sigulda for the current user of the cityscape? Is the city ready to grow twice as big or to shrink? These are urgent questions that cityplanners and developpers have to make. How could we work together to make a better city in the future! First step. Different scenarios are created and worked out in images, text and 3-dimensional plans to invite the inhabitant and user of the Sigulda thinking about their city. Will Sigulda become a spa or a the business centre of Latvia? Nature, close to the capital Riga, space, … these elements offer different bright future developmentstrategies. Are we consuming the space further on? Or does Sigulda choose for strategic structural planning?
An exhibition, several lectures and presentations resulted in the making of Siguldas Backbone, a new spatial development strategy for the city. Each of the 9 social centres of the city can make the city ready for the next 100 years. For the station area the study worked out detailed volume studies.
Collaboration with landscape architect Ģirts Runis.
*2010 / Exhibition, commissioned urban development study
Shopping in the 21st century turns to be more individualised! United by individual difference, the identity of the shopper isn’t anymore the one of the mass. She or he wants to be original. The shop can’t present itself any longer only as a place where you buy goods; it is also a place where each individual shows its own identity. To be part of this urban society, the architecture of the building has to be less and in the same time defining a unique urban space where parties, music sets, catwalks, theatre, … happens. It all has to be part of the store life. In the past the shop contained 2 parts: a street side made with a separate designed shop window and a space subtracted from the street where the goods are sold. Outdated, if we know that individualisation is the ultimate goal of every human being. This store has to be wholly part of the street. The store turns out to be a showcase. No thresholds. During the day the colour of the glazed façade will change. Where most of the light is coming from the outside during day, the joyfully coloured façade functions as an icon for Benetton. At night, the light of the inside lights up the building. The lantern forms an icon for the neighbourhood.
*2009/ Open competition proposal
Process. Contemporary Architecture in Latvia is the first exhibition to study the process of contemporary architecture in Latvia involving work of both, local and foreign, architects. Moreover, this is the first architecture exhibition at the Latvian National Museum of Art. Featuring over 300 objects including architectural drawings, models and photographs of about a hundred built and un-built projects, the exhibition explores mostly discussed territories of Latvian architecture today. One of the five thematic areas in the exhibition focuses on internationalisation, which is of key importance in contemporary architecture. Sampling has conducted the study offering insight of foreign architectural offices doing work in Latvia. Among them are globally known architectural brands, as well as new stars in the field and specialists who are not as well known as others.
*2008 / Exhibition curation and design
Follies are these elements that organize the English landscape gardens of Capability Brown. They are situated in the park to view and hide from the unexpected visitor. These gathering spaces were designed as caves, temples, ... Without these elements their is no path in the English garden. Our folly for the Heyplaat, a former harbour area of the city of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, will place a new generator in the lost area. The floating swimming pool replaces the old, abandoned, but once famous swimming pool of the Heyplaat. A floating swimming pool can activate different spots in the Heyplaat. The pool is there for you.
*2006 / Open competition proposal
Antarctica has a rough climate. Protection against cold, snow and wind are important. One container of building materials is needed to construct this ice crystal. The tetraeder is the basic element of this new igloo. By rotating, translating this element, the igloo get its form. All dimensions are similar, in order to prefabricate the project in advance. Only nails and hooks are needed on site to build the shelter.
*2007 / Open competition proposal
The Belgian medieval city Bruges is known as Venice of the North. The whole city is anchored along the canals that form its backbone. Tourists explore Bruges by sailing on these canals looking at the buildings. But the inhabitants of the city turn their backs to this main open space of the city. The beer mat, designed the exhibition 'Jonge Zwanen' (Concerthall Bruges), is meant to go out of the exhibition hall and start a discussion with the inhabitants. In Belgium people use to write things down on the beer mats while drinking beer in a bar. Now they have a beer mat that represents the most important communal space of the city.
*2005 / Project for exhibition
The city of Turku, Finland, that is strongly organized by the grid of Engel forms the planner's fairytale of Turku. The contemporary cityplan is either grid, or centric, or polycentric. A much better approach would be to consider the city as an archipelago.
The new bridge will be part of the citybranding of the cultural capital year 2015. It has to become a starting point, meeting place, ... That is why we want to emphasize this action of bridging rather than suggesting a bridge. The new bridge is a superposition of a new open space that will collect the open spaces of both sides of the river and gather their urbanity. This void will be collonized by different users and give an identity to the act of bridging. It will extend the dynamic life of Turku.
*2007 / International workshop, Published
Walking 20 kilometers in 2 days through the city of Sigulda changed the view of 20 youngster of Sigulda. Sigulda is a city with different faces and most of the inhabitants have no idea about them. The walk discovered the green longs of the city, the outstanding beauty of sleeping in the ruins of the old castle and the wide view on top of the translation tower. The city trip is a first step in teaching the inhabitant of Sigulda what could be his public space, what connections we have to improve or restore and where we could develop.
*2010 / Event
Tennis has always been in close relation with nature that is why we want to sample the module with the landscape. The new building doesn't want to wipe out with its footprint a part of the environment but want to represent the attractive and appealing idea of the green city. Växjö tennis hall, Sweden, samples 3 modules as a crown together. The construction made it possible to detach the building from the landscape. In the centre of the 3 modules floats a helium balloon. At night the balloon lights up as a candlestick and gives an unforgettable feeling to the hall. To balance environment and society, the landscape is divided in two parts – outside and inside gardens. Whilst outside gardens are melted with surrounding area, inside gardens provides more intimate experience of the environment.
Collaboration with landscape architect Ģirts Runis and Bollinger-Grohmann Ingenieure.
*2009 / Open competition project, published
What makes Valka\Valga so special? Simply the line? If we look at the place, we can see that Valka/Valga is everything except the line. Both sides of the city (Latvian and Estonian) cooperate on different scales and levels. The border line is invisible, there is only a story about it. In this workshop study we propose to the cities to make a landmark from the border. A structure that is a brand itself.
Seems that now in Valka/Valga everything is about crossing the border. We invite people to change the direction, experience to border in a different way - to walk along te border.
Sampling architects were tutors in the Riga Technical University International Sumerschool and worked out this project with a group of students.
*2009 / International workshop
Homes have to grow with their user. The proposal for the extension of a social housing estate in Ostend, Belgium) clit different living styles and age-related needs together in one block. These different housing types define the shape and character of the block. On the street-side, a corridor is situated on the first floor that gives access to all homes on the respective floor. The transparent walkway is a protected street-space for the children living on that floor. At the backside, the living blocks seclude private and semi-private gardens for the inhabitant of the ground floor housing. Different age-related public facilities can be build in the space.
*2006 / Open competition proposal
This bench for a new park in Brussels, Belgium, is made of a folded sheet of aluminium. The concept was made by cutting and folding a sheet of paper. The paper got first of all strength and secondly the new folds/holes created new uses. The bench transformes into a bicycle rack, a bench for a child, a table for bags or coffee, ... Thirdly, a drawing on the original sheet of paper became 3 dimensional and transformed. The Chaisse pliée is more than just a bench to sit, lean or sleep on, the bench will also be a new information panel for the city.
*2006 / Open competition proposal selected for exhibition
Sampling ir noslēdzis 2013.gada 19.marta līgumu Nr.L-ĀTA-13-1364 ar Latvijas Investīciju un attīstības aģentūru par projekta Sampling dalība izstādēs De Invasie van Antwerpen un Clerkenwell Design Week īstenošanu, ko līdzfinansē Eiropas Reģionālās attīstības fonds.
Sampling ir noslēdzis 2013.gada 10.maija līgumu Nr.L-ĀTA-13-1455 ar Latvijas Investīciju un attīstības aģentūru par projekta Sampling dalība izstādē De Invasie Milaan īstenošanu, ko līdzfinansē Eiropas Reģionālās attīstības fonds.
Manten Devriendt is a member of the national jury of Latvian Architecture Year Prize this year.