The new RTU Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology building celebrates the topping-out ceremony


On September 29, an oak wreath rose high above the roofs of the Riga Technical University (RTU) Student Campus, as it was announced by the RTU Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology (CSIT) and the LLC Skonto Būve builders who are building the new general auditorium centre, stating that one important stage in the construction of the new building has been completed and that the topping-out ceremony can be celebrated. When the new buildings will be completed, CSIT will also move to Kipsala (Ķīpsala), and all RTU faculties of engineering will be concentrated in one place – Kipsala. 

“This is a very important step for RTU, because with the construction of these buildings the contours of our Kipsala student campus have been completed,” said RTU Rector Leonīds Ribickis at the topping-out ceremony, expressing gratitude to the builders, thanks to whom the future building has gained an overview.

Currently, CSIT study buildings are located near Kipsala, but for the first time in the history of the faculty, a new building is being built that is especially suitable for CSIT needs. It will have not only auditoriums and laboratories, but also a general auditorium centre, where lectures, conferences and other events will take place, which will gather a large number of participants. 

“This is a worthy place for our faculty, joining the family of other RTU faculties in Kipsala,” said CSIT dean Agris Ņikitenko. However, his predecessor as dean, Jānis Grundspeņķis, remembered how he had previously participated in the improvement of previous faculty buildings, but these were buildings that were adapted only to the needs of CSIT, and this building “we have long deserved,” said J. Grundspeņķis.  

The topping-out ceremony is primarily a celebration for builders because they have done a great job and are willing to share their accomplishments with the owners. “I would like to thank my team, building designers, construction supervisors, architects,” said Juris Pētersons, a member of the board of LLC Skonto Būve, who thanked all those involved in the construction of the building, reminding that the builders still have a long way to go before the building is placed in service next spring and students can start studying there.

CSIT students are happy about the building – Alise Drozdova, the head of CSIT self-government, said that students are looking forward to starting their studies in the new building. 

Traditionally, during the topping-out ceremony, the wreath is hung at the highest point of the building for 10 days, but after that the wreath must never be disposed of – it must be kept as a symbol of security and blessing in the building. 

The new buildings are funded by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Council of Europe Development Bank. 

"Skonto būve" and "Skonto Construction" started construction of the New Riga Theatre


On Thursday, July 9, “Skonto Būve” and “Skonto Construction” received the construction site of the New Riga Theatre (NRT) at 25 Lāčplēša Street from „Valsts nekustamie īpašumi” (VNĪ) to start the reconstruction of the historic building, which will result in appearance of a modern, energy efficient building equipped for the needs of modern theatre of the 21st century.

“The project is very complex, moreover, it should be taken into account that the building borders on all sides with the buildings of the historical centre of Riga. Buildings that are more than 100 years old, built on shallow foundations. The successful implementation of the project will largely depend on how well and productively the parties involved will be able to work together to achieve the common goal. For our part, we will do everything we can to ensure that the cooperation is successful and that the theatre returns to its premises within the planned timeframe,” Juris Pētersons, member of the Board of “Skonto būve” emphasized.

The reconstruction of the new Riga Theater will take place according to the “design and build” principle, performing design in the BIM (Building Information Modelling) environment. The construction will take place according to the project of architect Zaiga Gaile.

For the needs of the theatre, technological equipment corresponding to a modern theatre will be provided - energy-efficient installation of LED stage lighting, high-quality acoustic solutions and modern stage technologies with easily controlled and programmable hoists, as well as built-in furniture. The large “black-box” hall has a ceiling with tensioned cable ropes, on which it is possible to walk, adapting the hall to various scenic intentions - such a solution has not been implemented in Latvia so far. The project also considers the provision of environmental accessibility for all spectator halls and sound systems for hearing-impaired visitors.

Reconstruction of the historic building of the New Riga Theatre to be carried out by “Skonto būve” and “Skonto Construction”


Association of companies SIA “Skonto būve” and SIA “Skonto Construction” to conclude a contract with the SJSC “Valsts nekustamie īpašumi” on the reconstruction of the historic building of the New Riga Theatre for the contract price of 29.9 million euros.

Starting the construction, the initial works of the companies will be related to dismantling the historic facade of the theatre building and developing solutions to ensure the careful application of piles for the construction of a new volume of construction without affecting the surrounding buildings. Only after the development and inspection of these solutions the construction in the yard area will be resumed. Strict safety requirements have been imposed by the customer, as construction takes place in the historic centre of Riga, in a densely built neighbourhood with intensive traffic on Lāčplēša iela along the border of the construction site.

The construction of NRT will continue in accordance with the needs of the New Riga Theatre and the basis of the project developed by the general partnership “Zaigas Gailes Birojs un Partneri”.Technological equipment will be provided in line with the needs of a modern theatre - energy efficient LED stage lighting, high-quality acoustic solutions and modern stage technologies with easily controlled and programmable elevators, as well as built-in furniture. The large “black-box” hall will have a tensioned cable grid ceiling suitable for walking, in order to adapt the hall and implement wide variety of stage design plans - this is a never-before-seen solution in Latvia. The design also provides for accessibility to all spectator halls and sound systems for visitors with hearing impairments.

The process of design and construction of the theater will be organized and managed by an experienced team, which has just successfully implemented a very complex project from the technical and infrastructure point of view — the new building of the trade and office complex “Origo ONE” at the Riga Central Railway Station, which opened doors to its visitors in early April this year.

RTU has buried a time capsule in the foundation of a new building of the Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology


On April 21, Riga Technical University (RTU) has buried a time capsule in the foundation of a new building of the Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology (FCSIT). The building is being built in the RTU student campus at 10 Zunda Embankment, Ķīpsala. This is a long-awaited historic moment, since after the construction of the building FCSIT will finally join the six RTU engineering faculties already located on Ķīpsala island.

Currently, FCSIT academic buildings are located near Ķīpsala, at Sētas and Daugavgrīvas Streets, but for the first time in the history of the faculty, a new building is being built specifically for FCSIT needs. It will have not only auditoriums and laboratories for students and researchers to work, but also a shared auditorium centre for lectures, conferences and other events that will bring together a large number of participants.

“The faculty will have modern premises suitable for its operation, and, which is symbolic, it is planned that the new building will open its doors next year, when our faculty will celebrate its 60th anniversary,” Professor Agris Nikitenko, Dean of FCSIT, said, emphasizing that FCSIT is a leader in Latvia in such fields as artificial intelligence, robotics, machine learning and software development and design technology.

The time capsule has been buried in the foundation of the faculty building. It contains the messages of the RTU Rector and four Deans of the faculty – the current and three former ones - for future generations, as well as the artefact most accurately describing the scientific activities of the faculty - a robot in the form of an owl, a symbol of wisdom.

The new building of the faculty is being built using ERDF funding by SIA Skonto Būve. “During this challenging time, builders, like doctors, pharmacists, salespeople and many other professionals, continue to responsibly perform their duties. Therefore, the right choice to build or not to build has led today to the possibility to bury the time capsule in the foundation of the new building of the RTU Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology. May the faculty be a beacon attracting new technology scientists!” Juris Pētersons, Member of the Board of Skonto Būve, said.

Origo shopping centre has undergone significant changes


In March of this year, large-scale work on the technically demanding shopping centre expansion project, which lasted three years, was completed. Skonto Būve managed both the design and construction of the shopping centre. Within the framework of the project, a new commercial and office building was built, the total area of which exceeds 45 thousand square metres.

One of the biggest challenges in this project is the location of the building. The construction of the project took place in very difficult conditions from the engineering point of view. The shopping centre is located not only in the busiest part of the city, but also next to the railway station, the construction of which should not have been hampered. The second challenge was to supply the site with construction materials. During the whole project, very careful planning work was carried out so that in the limited area, construction material would be regularly delivered only in the most necessary amount.

The facade of the building is made of titanium zinc, brick masonry and glazing. An innovative solution is the atrium cover used for the first time in the Baltics, which is made of a light-permeable membrane. This solution ensures that daylight enters the huge construction volume of the building. The frame of the building itself is made of prefabricated reinforced concrete, which was designed and manufactured by Skonto Prefab, a Skonto Group company. The company has so far been recognised with significant projects abroad, therefore it is especially important to mention that Skonto Prefab has, for the first time, produced such a large-scale production of precast reinforced concrete for a local project. The project hides the inner atriums with the feeling of a city garden from the eyes of passers-by. Several terraces were created that cannot be seen from the street, but which will delight the tenants of the office premises in the future.

Now, the new Origo business centre has an underground car park for 130 cars and 70 bicycles. There is retail space on the first three floors, while from the fourth to the sixth floor there is an area of 11,500 square meters for office space. It should be noted that Origo is an energy-efficient building that is friendly to nature and people, according to the BREEAM (British Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) certification for sustainable buildings.


Project type: Public building

Customer: Attīstības aģentūra Ltd. (JSC Linstow Group)

Designer: Skonto Būve, PS ARCADE

Time: 2017-2020

Country: Latvia

Total area: 46,148 m2