In Riga, on Pulka street 8, the Museum repository unique for the Baltics has been opened
On December 11, a Museum repository unique in the Baltic region, corresponding to the highest safety and museum value preservation requirements, was opened in Pārdaugava, on Pulka street 8, where more than two million units of the National museum repository will be kept, documented, and restored.
In the almost 31 thousand square-metre-large repository, the collections of the National History Museum of Latvia (LNVM - Latvijas Nacionālais vēstures muzejs), Latvian National Museum of Art (LNMM - Latvijas Nacionālais mākslas muzejs), Literature and Music museum (RMM - Rakstniecības un mūzikas muzejs), and Riga Film Museum of Latvian Academy of Culture (LKA Rīgas Kino muzejs) will be stored. It is the most voluminous collection of Latvian historical evidence and works of art, literature, music and cinema.
The President of Latvia, Egils Levits: “The new museum repository is the result of a farsighted and consecutive cultural policy. It reflects the country’s attitude towards its own cultural heritage and the need for its upkeep.
This repository will hopefully be the benchmark for the preservation standards of museum collections in the future. In the Baltic region this repository already marks Latvia as a country where there is this unique building which meets the requirements of the 21st century”.
Minister of Culture, Nauris Puntulis: “A project of this scale is undoubtedly one of the most significant investments in the museum sector since the renewal of independence. It is a unique building in the whole of Baltics. With the creation of this repository we have payed back our debt to all the generations of museum employees who selflessly, with vast knowledge, comprehension and awareness of their mission, have compiled, stored, and guarded our national cultural and historical heritage in difficult, sometimes even dangerous times. The opening of the new museum repository is also our gift to the following generations; cultural and historical memories form the foundation of respectful preservation, and will allow us in the future to continue to call ourselves a nation of culture.”
The development of this object of culture significant to Latvia was ensured by the state joint-stock company “State Real Estate” (VNĪ - Valsts Nekustamie Īpašumi).
“By developing and taking care of our country’s property, we give our contribution to the preservation of Latvian cultural heritage. Today we can be proud of what has been accomplished! The museum repository will provide a safe environment – a specific indoor climate, security and other systems, as well as special devices for the preservation of Latvian national treasures and restoration of works of art. It will be pleasant to be here both for museum employees as well as its visitors, and we believe that the repository will become a driving force for the prosperity of the entire Dzegužkalns area,’’ affirms VNĪ board member Andris Vārna.
Vārna especially wants to thank the VNĪ team, the Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Finance, and the four museums that have worked side by side to carry out this important project.
The museum repository architectural solution was entrusted to “Architects bureau Krasts’’ (architect Renāte Truševska); the construction work of the complex was carried out by the contractor “RERE MEISTARI 1”. All together 28,7 million euros have been invested in the project.
While designing the museum repository, the architects were inspired by two historical barrack buildings that were on the construction area. The Architects’ bureau has made the narrow, two story building, the facades of which, one after the other, are drawn parallel to Pulka street, an element of the complex’s base composition. The two barrack buildings historically created a line with an interruption in the middle. Today in the new project, in place of this interruption is located the main entrance to the complex, whereas the accent of the main entrance -- the spatial “ribs’’ -- was created as a continuation of the barrack building volumes. Likewise, while designing the project, the wave-like contour of Dzegužkalns was taken into account. The Dzegužkalns contour can be detected in the shapes of the building volumes, where roof plans of varying height and incline resembling a hill can be seen.
When designing the building, the project strictly adhered to the building’s functional requirements. The construction volume, in which four museum repositories, restoration work rooms, warehouses, and other technical spaces have been united, has its own architectural particularities. It is characterised by large facade areas and a small number of windows.
Focusing on the major building’s harmonious integration into nature, the building is located away from the street, providing a well organised front garden – a green zone with walking paths for pedestrians, places for rest, plants, and benches. This way the new premises do not overpower the narrow construction scale of Pulka street.
Even though the outside of the building has a unified architectural solution, every room of the museum operates independently from the rest of the building. All engineering systems are integrated in the common engineering communications network, and its monitoring and supervision is ensured by the building’s management and automatization system. Every museum is provided with separate rooms independent from other museums – museum repositories, office spaces, restoration studios, storage rooms, common use rooms, and spaces for visitors and for rest.
The building is made of prefabricated reinforced concrete structures, it has three stories, a technical loft floor, and one basement floor for technical spaces. In the repository rooms the height of the ceiling allows the storing of large-size items. For smaller items, there are two-level repositories -- this way considerably increasing the useful floor area of storage facilities. Security in the repositories and restoration rooms is provided by the most significant automated gas fire extinguishing system in the Baltics. In the office spaces, there are high ceilings and wide windows with the view of the nearby Dzegužkalns and the richly landscaped, well organised building territory accessible to visitors.
Restoration rooms are equipped in correspondence with the needs of restorers, including specific equipment and special dust and gas suction systems. There are also rooms with special climate requirements and cold storage rooms. In these spaces, technological operations on the collections as well as their storage will be carried out. Here will be stored cinema collections, for example. Before the transfer of museum collections, in collaboration with the museums the repositories are already equipped with stationary facilities, sliding and fixed shelving systems, and painting screens that can be pulled out.
Following the latest trends, the number of bicycle stands has been increased, the asphalt pavement of Pulka street and its lighting has been arranged, and the building territory has been illuminated. There is a public car park and one for employees on the grounds of the museum repository; environmental accessibility is also ensured.
The newly built museum repository system is located near the historical Dzirciems construction – on Pulka street, marked in the city plan at the end of the 19th century. There are a few notable areas near the building: Dzegužkalns - the highest natural hill in Riga, the monument erected in 1939 to commemorate the soldiers of 1st armoured division Autotank regiment. The well organised repository is expected to promote the development of Dzegužkalns’ area.
Additional information for media:
SJSC “State Real Estate”
Corporate communication department