Lielais Laukums
Ventspils / Latvia

2013 – 2016

The Baltic city of Ventspils continues to experience a dramatic transformation. The public buildings, streets and squares stand as testament to an expansive program of urban redevelopment. Large areas of the old town and the harbor area have not been renovated since the 50s due to city’s former status as a military restricted area in times of the Soviet Union. Beautifully located, Ventspils is to become again the tourist attraction on the Baltic Sea, as it was before becoming part of the former Soviet Union.

Lielais Laukums is a large public square immediately to the south of the historic centre of thecity of Ventspils.A spacious free city square, that has always been an important venue within the city, is the future location of the new Regional Music School and Concert Hall. Together with outdoor performance spaces, public gardens, water features and a central plaza for civic gatherings and festivities Lielais Laukums will serve as the new cultural heart of the city. haascookzemmrichSTUDIO2050planed the redevelopment of the plaza with a central water feature in addition to the concert hall and the regional music school.

The square is developing as the new cultural heart of Ventspils. 
„The Walfisch“, a large piece of public art named after the famed whailing ship of the Kurland fleet, serves as the centerpiece of program of public sculptures throughout the city. Inspired by the seafaring traditions of this historic port and the sculptures of Kenneth Snelson a dynamic arrangement of steel masts emerge from the mists above the large reflecting waterpool. Animated by fountains and lighting the sculpture bestows Lielais Laukums with a unique attraction, offering visitors clues as to the rich history of the region. Through a combination of scale, physical appearance and its prominent location, the sculpture provides the plaza an important visual counterbalance to the Music School.

Walfisch

Project Description

The Baltic city of Ventspils continues to experience a dramatic transformation. The public buildings, streets and squares stand as testiment to an expansive program of urban redevelopment.

Lielais laukums is a large public square immediately to the south of the historic centre of thecity of Ventspils.This is to serve as the future home of the new Regional Music School and Concert Hall (currently under construction). Together with outdoor performance spaces, public gardens, water features and a central plaza for civic gatherings and festivities Lielais laukums will continues to evolve as the vibrant, cultural heart of the city.

The public square consists of a central plaza framed by a highly distinctive landscape. The impressive tree-lined boulevards are complemented by a series of geometric mounds. The largest forms an outdoor auditorium to the Music School. A new network of paths define public connections across the square and lead visitors to and from the Music School.The geometric arrangements of low-lying schrubs and flower beds colourfully reinforce the modulated landscape.


„The Walfisch“, a large piece of public art occupies a prominent location directly opposite the new Music School and serves as the centrepiece of a program of public sculptures throughout the city. 
„The Walfisch“ isnamed after the famed sailing ship of the historic Kurland fleet which was based in Ventspils.

Inspired by the seafaring traditions of this historic port and the sculptures of Kenneth Snelson 
„The Walfisch“ is defined by a dynamic arrangement of steel masts emerging from the mists above the large relecting pool. Animated by fountains and lighting the sculpture bestows Lielais laukums with a unique attraction, offering visitors clues as to the rich history of the region. Through a combination of scale and physical appearance the sculpture provides the plaza an important visual counterbalance to the Music School.

The sculpture and the water area have quickly established themselves as an important social meeting place in the city. In the summer months, children and parents play in the water and between the masts with the fine mist created by the fountains. In the evenings, the illuminated glass diodes Lielais Laukums embedded in the steel poles give a unique spectacle.

"The Walfisch" has already received numerous national and international awards.

Short Facts

Client

City of Ventspils

Planing Team

Partner Architekt
Juris Poga, Arhitekta J. Pogas birojs, SIA – Riga / Latvia

Structural Engineering
Schlaich, Bergermann & Partner – Stuttgart / Germany

Water Engineering
Gints Jaudzem, SIA Akvedukts – Krustkalni, Kekavas novads / Latvia

Ara

38,000 m2

The Team

David Cook

Partner Freier Architekt, BA (hons), Dip. Arch (dist), RIBA, BDA

Als Projektpartner bei Behnisch Architekten war David Cook von 1995-2005 verantwortlich für das Harbourside Center (Konzert- und Tanztheater) in Bristol, Großbritannien, das Dänische Nationalarchiv (NPAC) in Kopenhagen, Dänemark, sowie für das Terrence Donnelly Center für zelluläre und biomolekulare Forschung (TDDCBR) an der Universität von Toronto, Kanada. Als Partner bei Behnisch Architekten zwischen 2005-2012 war David Cook verantwortlich für die Hilde-Domin-Schule in Herrenberg, das Nationalzentrum für Tumorerkrankungen (NCT) in Heidelberg, die Schwetzinger-Terrasse-Kindertagesstätte in Heidelberg, sowie für das Gebäude des Hauptsitzes King Abdullah Financial District (KAFD) in Riyadh, Saudi-Arabien. Er hat an einer Vielzahl von Campus- / Masterplaning-Projekten gearbeitet, darunter UC Dublin, Irland und der Sanierung des Lower Don in Toronto, Kanada. David Cook war auch Co-Kurator der sehr erfolgreichen Wanderausstellung "Ökologie, Design, Synergie" durch Deutschland.

Nach 6 Jahren der Partnerschaft gründet Cook, zusammen mit Martin Haas und Stephan Zemmrich, im April 2012 sein eigenes Büro „haascookzemmrich STUDIO2050“ mit Projekten im In- und Ausland.

David Cook war Belluschi-Gastprofessor für Architektur an der Universität von Oregon, USA. Er pflegt weiterhin eine enge Beziehung zu der Universität und kehrt regelmäßig für Gastvorträge an die Universität zurück.

Auszüge: Projekte

Bristol Harbourside Centre

Bristol Harbourside Centre

David Cook als Projektpartner bei Behnisch Architekten von 1993-1996
Danish National and Provincial Archives, Copenhagen

Danish National and Provincial Archives, Copenhagen

David Cook als Projektpartner bei Behnisch Architekten von 1996-2000
Terrence Donnelly Center for Cellular and Biomolecular Research (TDCCBR), Toronto

Terrence Donnelly Center for Cellular and Biomolecular Research (TDCCBR), Toronto

David Cook als Partner in Behnisch Architekten
Hilde-Domin-Schule, Herrenberg

Hilde-Domin-Schule, Herrenberg

David Cook als Partner in Behnisch Architekten
Institut für Technische Physik (ITEP), KIT, Karlsruhe

Institut für Technische Physik (ITEP), KIT, Karlsruhe

David Cook als Partner in Behnisch Architekten
National Zentrum für Tumorerkrankungen (NCT), Heidelberg

National Zentrum für Tumorerkrankungen (NCT), Heidelberg

David Cook als Partner in Behnisch Architekten

Ilyas Ekizoglu

#hcz_lielaislaukums

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