“Skonto Būve” has completed ambitious Riga castle reconstruction and restoration works
VIDEO: Opening of the Railway Station Bolderāja 2
Opening of the Railway Station Bolderāja 2
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“Skonto Būve” has completed ambitious Riga castle reconstruction and restoration works

On 18 December 2015, after an extensive three-year reconstruction and restoration period, the castle-front and eastern extension of Riga Castle and its garden were put into operation. The castle renovation works were performed by the general partnership “SBRE”, which is formed by two construction companies –  “Skonto Būve” and “RE&RE”.

The specialists admit that reconstruction works were difficult and full of surprises.Chairman of the Council on the Restoration of Riga Castle Imants Lancmanis said: “The Riga Castle is the place with the densest concentration of history and art works in Latvia. Here we can find everything that Latvia has gone through, from medieval times until now. Each century has brought its contribution in terms of art and architecture”. The restorers have done magnificent work. Many interior elementshave obtained an unseen brilliance and luxury. During renovation works of the castle, previously unseen historically valuable items were discovered.

In the premises of the Chancery of the President, located in the north-western part of the castle-front, the cabinet of the President, meeting halls, Press Department, as well as representation premises have been renovated. Each of them has been renovated to their historical appearance, adding contemporary functionality and quality.

Enormous work has been performed on the four splendid halls – the Festival Hall, White Hall, Ambassador Accreditation Hall, and the Hall of Coats of Arms. The halls have been renovated to their historical appearance – ceiling paintings, furniture, wooden details, and chandeliers were restored. A huge amount of work was done for renovation of the White Hall, which involved reconstruction of the interior, constructions, and finish. As a result, the hall interior created in the 19th century received renewed gilding, which covers 68 m2 of the entire area of the walls and ceiling, and strengthening and construction of the roof structures and ceiling beams have also been implemented. The renovation of the Ambassador Accreditation Hall has been quite complicated as well – research and renovation of the 86-year-old ceiling and wall paintings by Ansis Cīrulis was very complex. Specialists indicate that the painting created in 1929 was in very bad condition; however, after several months of hard work, the original ceiling and wall paintings by A. Cīrulis, created in the style of folk romanticism, have regained their initial appearance. In the Hall of Coats of Arms all coats of arms of 76 cities, as well as four regions, have been renovated, and the composition of the hall has been supplemented by restored and new, pre-ordered furniture.

Premises with an area of almost 10,000 m2 have been reconstructed, providing not only restoration of the building, but also of all artistic and functional elements. Renovation of load-bearing structures and strengthening of the foundation and structures has been performed, as well as renovation of furniture, paintings, chandeliers, wall and ceiling paintings, and interior finish has been completed in all parts of the castle. During the construction works approximately 250 people worked in Riga Castle, and another 60–70 people in workshops all around Latvia.

The renovation of the Castle will be continued – in the second part of the reconstruction, the fortifications of the Castle will be renovated.

Reconstruction and restoration of castle-front and East extension of Riga Castle:

Client: SJSC State Real Estate, project manager Kārlis Mucenieks
General Contractor: general partnership SBRE, project manager Egils Klēbergs, supervising engineer Edgars Sivickis, chief restorer Ivars Rība.
Planner: general partnership “Pils projekts”, architect Artūrs Lapiņš.
Construction monitoring of the project: Būvalts ltd., responsible construction supervisor Bruno Fībigs, restoration supervisor Valdis Jānis Platais, construction supervisor Edmonds Vīksne.

VIDEO: Opening of the Railway Station Bolderāja 2

Video: Latvijas Dzelzceļš

Opening of the Railway Station Bolderāja 2

SIA Skonto Būve, in cooperation with A/S BMGS, has completed the construction of the new station Bolderāja 2 with a connection road to terminals on Krievu Island and the object was delivered to the contracting authority the State Joint-Stock Company (VAS) “Latvijas Dzelzceļš”.

The aim of the project is to increase the total capacity of Riga railway junction and to improve train traffic safety and reliability.

The project is related to relieving the historical centre of Riga and the area of UNESCO World Heritage Monument on the right bank of the Daugava from freight handling activities by relocating cargo terminals from Andrejsala and Export Port to the newly constructed area of Riga Freeport on Krievu Island on the left bank of the Daugava, thus facilitating the development of these territories in line with the use specified in the Riga Development Plan and balancing the freight turnover of Riga Freeport between the left and the right bank of the Daugava.

"Without doubt, this is one of the major transport infrastructure projects in Latvia and the Baltics and Skonto Būve is pleased to participate in it and contribute to the development of a modern city. I am proud of what Skonto Būve has achieved together with its partners. Riga and Latvia have been given a new, outstanding traffic unit, which improves the international competitiveness of Riga Port, while Skonto Būve and other partners have acquired competence, which we are certain we will be able to “export”, that is, use this experience and know-how in similar projects both in Latvia and abroad. It should be mentioned that this project is an excellent example of the employment of financing from the European Union’s funds. The responsible approach, professionalism and accurately formulated project objectives of Latvijas Dzelzceļš as a contracting authority permitted the contractors both to complete works in good quality and on time and to start with accurate financial calculations, which did not change during the implementation of the project,” stated Guntis Rāvis, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of SIA Skonto Būve.

VAS “Latvijas Dzelzceļš” explained that the station would not be fully exploited during the next two years, but after that it is planned that 500 coal carriages could be transported to Krievu Island from the station Bolderāja 2 daily. It will be also possible to transport other types of cargo.

The project was co-financed from the European Union’s Cohesion Fund. The project costs were 41.2 million euros, of which 29.9 million euros were the co-financing of the Cohesion Fund.

Photos: E.Matvejeva, LETA