The project, designed by Zaiga Gaile, envisages a repository for the sizeable Zuzāns Collection behind the old factory. The sculptural mass of the building will be covered by precious metal slabs, symbolising the worth of the contents within.
Art collectors Dina and Jānis Zuzāns underscore the art centre's accessibility to a broad and international public, especially young adults. Here, they will have the opportunity to learn and engage in artistic experiments.
The former A. Kriegsmann Cork Factory was built in 1910 by engineer Edmund von Trompowsky.
At the time when construction of the factory began near the railway line, Riga was the third-largest industrial and cultural centre of tsarist Russia. Today, the light-brick building is an outstanding example of the industrial architecture of its time, and part of the UNESCO-protected area in Riga.
With its seven-metre-high ceiling, the hall of the former Cork Factory will make it possible to exhibit monumental works of art. A hall for temporary exhibitions will be situated beside it. Meanwhile, the roof terrace of the former Cork Factory will be converted into a restaurant.
During the summer, a garden with a display of sculptures from the Zuzāns Collection will be open to visitors. There will also be an amphitheatre, a skate park, and a children's playground.
The reconstruction of the historic building that houses Zuzeum is helmed by Zaigas Gailes Birojs, recipient of several Annual Latvian Architecture Awards and international prizes.
Zaigas Gailes Birojs's approach to reconstruction is characterised by a strong desire and ability to preserve the specific, distinctive image of a historic building or ensemble while adapting it for a contemporary function.