For two days,
creative experts making great ideas happen.

The aim of the Conference is to promote a discussion on interaction between cultural heritage and contemporary architecture and design that would also preserve historical evidence and foster the development of high quality living space.

A European city stands out on the backdrop of its global counterparts due to its characteristic focus on the past for inspiration, and due to its application of the symbols of the past, rather than replication.

Globalisation increasingly leads us to the creation of mutually strengthening strategies so as to prevent gaps between contemporary architecture, design and heritage, thus protecting and preserving Europe’s overall identity and facilitating the sustainable and high-quality development of human living space.

The Conference will gather official representatives of the EU Member States, European policy makers, heritage experts, architects, builders, designers, investors, planning specialists, local governments, local residents and civil society organisations.

Conference programme

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Registration. Coffee. (Second floor foyer of the main building)


Heritage site visits and case studies, examples in situ

Dr.Arch. Jānis Lejnieks
magazine “Latvijas Architektūra” Editor-in-Chief

Arch. Jānis Dripe
Adviser on architectural issues to the Minister for Culture


Light lunch


OPENING SESSION (Venue: Great hall)

Moderator Jānis Dripe, Adviser on architectural issues to the Minister for Culture

Juris Dambis
Head, State Inspection for Heritage Protection, Latvia

Tibor Navracsics
European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport



Imants Lancmanis
Director, Rundāle Palace museum, Latvia

Andris Kronbergs
Director and founder, Architectural Practice ARHIS, Latvia

Plenary session with theoretic introduction and good practice example to encourage discussions on authenticity and its consequence in heritage and contemporary architecture, as well as role and contribution of contemporary architecture in revitalisation of culture historical environment.

Discussion – a brief conversation among the presenters/speakers on the basis of issues addressed by the plenary session; questions and answers.


Coffee (Second floor foyer of the main building)



Moderator Christopher Young, Independent heritage consultant, Christopher Young Heritage consultancy, United Kingdom

Meinhard von Gerkan
Founding partner, Architekten von Gerkan, Marg und Partner, Germany

Alexandra Warr
Senior adviser, English Heritage, United Kingdom

Plenary session giving good practice examples as introduction to debate on the role of environment design and contemporary architecture in raising value of culture historical environment and its mutual interaction.

Discussion – a brief conversation among the presenters/speakers on the basis of issues addressed by the plenary session; questions and answers.


End of the plenary session


Departure to the Rundāle Palace from Hotel Albert, 33 Dzirnavu street


Visit and reception in the distinguished example of 50 years long renovation and preservation, as well as an outstanding baroque monument of architecture and art - Rundāle palace.


Departure to Riga, Hotel ”Albert Hotel“


Morning session will aim to find conclusions if development of contemporary architecture in urban and rural environment is a threat for heritage; how do heritage regulations impact the quality of contemporary architecture; which can be considered as good practice examples of interaction between heritage, contemporary architecture and design, if we have learned a lesson from faulty solutions; what is the role of facilitating mutual understanding between heritage authorities, planners, architects, artists, developers and other involved persons and interest groups in the development of environment quality and increase of heritage value; how qualitative environmental design and product design elements can facilitate the heritage accessibility.


BREAK-OUT SESSION (A) Contemporary architecture and heritage. (Venue: Great hall)

Moderator Ingeborg Hoffstadt, German member of the Reflection Group and cultural heritage

Eugenio Vassallo
Full Professor of Restoration, Department DCCA of Architectural Construction and Conservation, University IUAV of Venice, Italy

Jean – Francois Chougnet
Director, Museum of Europe and the Mediterranean, France

Marianne Sætre
Snøhetta arkitektur landskap AS, Norway


BREAK-OUT SESSION (B) Design and heritage. (Venue: New academic building)

Moderator Jānis Lejnieks
magazine “Latvijas Architektūra” Editor-in-Chief, Latvia

Trine Neble
Royal Buildinginspector, Partner, Arkitekt MAA, Denmark

Andrus Koresaar
KOKO architekts, Estonia

Åsa Dahlin
Stockholm City Planning Administration, Sweden



Coffee (Second floor foyer of the main building)


BREAK-OUT SESSION (C) Contemporary architecture, heritage and awareness. (Venue: Great hall)

Moderator Ivan Blasi
The Mies Van Der Rohe Foundation, Spain

Pirjo Sanaksenaho
Sanaksenaho Arkkitehdit, Finland

Patrick Rimbert
Mayor of Nantes, 2012-2014, France

Ansis Egle
communication professional, Latvia


BREAK-OUT SESSION (D) Design, heritage and accessibility. (Venue: New academic building)

Moderator Alfredas Jomantas, Head of Division, Department of Cultural Heritage, Ministry of Culture, Lithuania

Martin Foessleitner
Owner, High Perfomance Wienna, Austria

Pete Kercher
Ambassador, EIDD, Design for All Europe, Italy

Aart Oxenaar
Amsterdam Municipality, The Netherlands



Lunch (Second floor foyer of the main building)


PLENARY SESSION (Venue: Great hall)

Moderator Erminia Sciacchitano, Policy Officer, Directorate–General for Education and Culture, European Commission

Rūta Muktupāvela, Rector, Latvian Academy of Culture, Latvia

Reports from the break-out sessions:

Giuliana De Francesco, Head of Unit European relations, Ministry for Cultural Heritage, Cultural Activities and Tourism - Secretariat General, Italy

Marianne Lehtimäki , Consultant of the Baltic Sea region Monitoring group on heritage cooperation, Finland

Report from the social networks:
Katrina Kukaine, Deputy Head, State Inspection for Heritage Protection,Latvia.

Adopting the Joint Statement of the Conference:

Jose Maria Ballester, heritage expert, Spain

Christopher Young, heritage consultant, Christopher Young Heritage Consultancy, United Kingdom

Juris Dambis, Head, State Inspection for Heritage Protection, Latvia



Małgorzata Omilanowska, Minister of Culture and National heritage of the Republic of Poland

Ms. Dace Melbārde, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Latvia


At the same time the Latvian design will be represented in the exhibition “Design Manifestation. Information” in the Art Academy of Latvia, ground floor exhibition hall. The exhibition will present Latvian contemporary design products and services and demonstrate how design “tools” can help to offer improved solutions to economic, social and environmental problems. Various aspects of Latvian graphic design will be represented: packaging, identity, publication design, digital, service, process and advertising design, as well as new media.
Simultaneously the Ministry of Culture is preparing an exhibition about promotion of national architectural policy; the exhibition will be available to all conference members.
With the intention to give an insight in the values of the Historic Centre of Riga, its preservation and development processes, the conference will start with the two hour site visit – with the bus tour and on foot. Furthermore, in order to present distinguished example of renovation and preservation, as well as give a chance to visit an outstanding baroque monument of architecture and art, the guests will be invited to Rundāle palace for an evening meal.

The Speakers

Aart Oxenaar

Director of the Municipal Office of Monuments and Archaeology at the Municipality of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Alfredas Jomantas

Head of Division, Department of Cultural Heritage, Ministry of Culture, Lithuania

Andris Kronbergs

Director and founder, Architectural Practice ARHIS, Latvia

Andrus Kõresaar

KOKO architekts, Estonia

Ansis Egle

PR expert, Latvia

Åsa Dahlin

Stockholm City Planning Administration, Sweden

Christopher Young

Independent heritage consultant, Christopher Young Heritage consultancy, United Kingdom

Dace Melbārde

Minister for Culture of the Republic of Latvia

Erminia Sciacchitano

Policy Officer, Directorate–General for Education and Culture, European Commission

Eugenio Vassallo

Full Professor of Restoration, Department DCCA of Architectural Construction and Conservation, University IUAV of Venice, Italy

Giuliana De Francesco

Ministero per i beni e le attività culturali, expert on cultural policy and European affaires, Italie

Imants Lancmanis

Director, Rundāle Palace museum, Latvia

Ingeborg Hoffstadt

German member of the Reflection Group and cultural heritage

Ivan Blasi

architect, the Mies Van Der Rohe Foundation, Spain

Jānis Dripe

Adviser on architectural issues to the Minister for Culture, Latvia

Jānis Lejnieks

Dr. arch., magazine “Latvijas Architektūra” Editor-in-Chief, Latvia

Jean – Francois Chougnet

Director, Museum of Europe and the Mediterranean, France

John McAslan

Executive chairman and founder, John McAslan + Partners, United Kingdom

José Maria Ballester

Director of the Rural Development Area of the Botín Foundation, Spain

Juris Dambis

Head, State Inspection for Heritage Protection, Latvia

Katrīna Kukaine

Deputy Head, State Inspection for Heritage Protection, Latvia

Marianne Lehtimäki

Architect, Consulting coordinator the Monitoring Group on cultural heritage in the Baltic Sea States, Finland

Marianne Sætre

Snøhetta arkitektur landskap AS, Norway

Martin Foessleitner

Owner, High Perfomance Wienna, Austria

Małgorzata Omilanowska

Minister of Culture and National Heritage of Poland

Meinhard von Gerkan

Founding partner, Architekten von Gerkan, Marg und Partner, Germany

Patrick Rimbert

Preident of AURAN ( l’Agence d’Urbanisme de la Région Nantaise); ex- Mayor of Nantes, France

Pete Kercher

Ambassador, EIDD, Design for All Europe, Italy

Pirjo Sanaksenaho

Sanaksenaho Arkkitehdit, Finland

Rūta Muktupāvela

Rector of Latvian Academy of Culture, Latvia

Tibor Navracsics

European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport

Trine Neble

Royal Buildinginspector, Partner, Arkitekt MAA, Denmark

Participant opinions

Adriana Raus

Romanian Union of Architects

The european heritage is a connection between a lot of particular experiences of different countries and as a strategic resource for a sustainable Europe must keep its diversity. Contemporary architecture without this background will lose a lot of values.

Agnese Lāce


The accessibility to the heritage objects and giving possibly a new function according to nowadays actualities to my mind is of great importance in possibilities for the heritage objects to continue it's life cycle. This goal could be reached by means of expressions of contemporary architecture and design in collaboration with innovative and thoughtful planning. Reasonable dose of brave decisions and respect, their balance in reconstruction. For example - reconstructions of churches for other functions (theater, restaurant, etc.) in European cities (added example pictures - Compagnietheater in Amsterdam).

Agris Lērums



Airiin Lehtmets

Estonian Ministry of Culture

Contemporary architecture and design can have an invaluable impact on the metamorphosis of post-industrial landscapes into comprehensive public spaces as well as the preservation and valorisation of industrial heritage.

Alexandra Warr

English Heritage

For England, English Heritage leads the sector in a positive, well-informed and collaborative approach to conservation that we call 'Constructive Conservation'. The aim is to recognise and reinforce the historic significance of places, while accommodating the changes necessary to make sure that people can continue to use and enjoy them. The best way to save a building is to find a new use for it. Even recently restored buildings that are vacant will soon start to degenerate again. Modern conservation involves having a more thorough understanding of what makes a site important and working collaboratively with owners and developers to find that new use. As part of our constructive approach we work collaboratively with architects and developers at early pre-application stages to help them to make decisions based on a full understanding of their site. For some examples:

Algimantas Degutis

Department or Cultural Heritage Lithuania

Contemporary architekture in the protected site ori n CH object can not destroy or have negatyve impacton CH objects or sites authenticity. In Lithuania the most important authentic parts and features are legalized by so called valuable characteristics. In a site valuable views (panoramas) are defined, also street building fasades, silhouettes, perspectives from certain places. In one of central streets in Kaunas protected modern city in a building built before Wold War I which is the site valuable characteristics two stores were added destroying the building authenticity as well as the street building fasades authenticity. The Court confirms that public interest for costs of destruction and damage compensation is more important than public interest in protection of cultural value. Court process is not finished. Photo 1 included. The same investor restored the ampyre style building (1913) and built a new one next to it harmonious to the surroundings. Next to it there is another Soviet period building.

Andrea Rumpf

Luxembourg Center for Architecture

Finally the interaction between contemporary architecture, design and heritage becomes subject of debates on a political level. There is no sustainable future for the build heritage of Europe's past if we don't engage here and now in promoting the creation of Europe's future heritage. To quote Johan Huizinga: "If we are to preserve culture, we must continue to create it." Bravo Riga!

Andrius Laurinaitis


The dialogue and discussion itself between the professionals and conscious people sometimes is the important catalyst for efficient problem solving. These days finding common ground for past//future design and architecture has no easy way out. I find the estonian architectural mentality as an example for everyone here in the Baltics.

Angela Kovacs

Romanian Order of Architects

Heritage in relationship with contemporary architecture is an important matter in today’s climate of rapid change because of the very delicate balance between the two. The city of Targu Mures where I am based is an example of this issue – it's centre is made up of predominantly Sezession-era buildings and there is a constant struggle to keep harmony between history and modernity in a country where people favour new prosperity instead of legacy.

Anita Blom

Specialist History of Urban Development

Knowledge of the past is necessary to give meaning to the urban design of today. Although not yet everybody is convinced of the value of post war architecture and urban development, it is surely worth to preserve. Also because of the international dimension.

Artūras Blotnys

Vilnius municipal administration

We have a major urban challenge that needs regular careful attention and coherent solutions: to be fairly professional and bravely responsible accepting contemporary architecture infills in historic urban contexts. And this task is even more complex when it comes to conversion or regeneration of abandoned urban sites. To avoid inertia and imitation we need to remember the Riga charter.

Artūras Sakalauskas

Ministry of Culture of Lithuania

The value of historical settings could be expressed as urban identity; New structures in historical settings should be recognizable - how could be found the most suitable strength of contrast?; The role of the 4th dimension - time, when planning new buildings in historical environment - what other meanings could be raised up except as a sign of nowadays? Who should be cared of cultural heritage? people and function are the part of the process - if there is no community (from generation to generation) - there is no protection - the beginning of globalisation?

Brigita Bula


A lot of free neglected heritage real estate. A lot of private, public, office space needed. Cities expanding, creating infractructural and social problems. To solve that all by overstepping perceptions of what is needed versus what is really needed (spacewise - big space, small space, open space; comfortwise - ventilation, insulation etc).

Carolin Pihlap

National Heritage Board of Estonia

Contemporary architecture is more or less the same everywhere. It is the heritage, the historic architecture that gives a place its uniqueness, makes it recognizable. Only exceptional contemporary architecture can do the same. Combining exceptional modern architecture with well preserved and valued built heritage in a respectful manner gives a unique and rich environment that is both desirable to live in and attracts people from afar to visit.

Claudia Schwalfenberg

Verantwortliche BaukulturSwitzerland

Contemporary building culture grows from the exchange with the existing built environment. But new ideas, materials and technologies are also important drivers for the building culture of tomorrow.

Dace Ķibilda

heritage inspector

Integration of new buildings in the cultural landscape of an old town – is construction of replicas of lost historical buildings justifiable for the purpose of restoring the overall historical image? Use of traditional and modern building materials, integration of modern architecture into the environment of an old town or rural heritage landscape?

Dace Ziemele

Culture sector

Culture and cultural heritage is a significant resource for the development of high-quality life and work environment in cities and rural territories.

Dagnija Baltiņa

Latvian National Commission for UNESCO

The notion of heritage has become a very complex one over the last years. It does not juxtapose contemporary architecture and design. In contrary - it intertwines and inspires the contemporary!

Diāna Potapova


Assistance with the design, it is possible to improve cultural heritage and it's user interaction. Design solutions must be well thought out and focus on the user. If so, then the user will interact with the environment, after the designer planned scenario.

Dr. Frederick O'Dwyer

Senior Architectural Advisor

The Venice Charter's concept of authenticity in purely material terms has caused much confusion over the past fifty years and has led to debate as to whether interventions in the conservation of historic buildings really ought to be contrastive in style and materials or both. A strict interpretation of its articles, implying that any other methods of conservation are wrong, does not accord with the more traditional approaches still in widespread use in Europe and beyond.

Dr. Rūta Kaminska

Mākslas vēsturniece

From the perspective of an art historian, each historical epoch can add significant values to architectural and design space. Professionalism is key to achieving a successful result. This is evidenced by a sensitive understanding of the historical space and an ability to integrate one's creative idea into the overall context taking into account the already existing values created by one's predecessors instead of aggressively denying it. The challenge of working in a space dominated by historical traditions always is interesting, but it also sets high requirements. The conference offers an analysis of the interrelations of historical context and new creation, which can become a significant stimulus for creating new, high-quality values also in Latvia.

Dzintra Purviņa

Ministry of Culture

I propose to use the conclusions of the conference that will be adopted in the European Commission report, and present and discuss them also in the Latvian Design Council and the National Architecture Council, and also present them to the members of the Creative Industries Council. It would definitely be useful to get an understanding of how the conclusions correlate with the key principles and particular lines of action of the Latvian Architecture Strategy and the Latvian Design Strategy.

Edgars Bērziņš

Latvian Association of Spatial Planners

Sustainable development is balanced development that requires not only legal but also economic and financial instruments, and the time has come to agree on this so that heritage gets wider opportunities for integrated development.

Eva Majchráková

Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic

One of the institutions of the division of the cultural heritage is the Centre for Folk Art Production. The Center promotes crafts courses for adults and young people in the form of lifestyle. Working with crafts enables participants to learn about cultural traditions of their ethnic group, and thus gain a deeper knowledge of natural materials, manual technology productions and last but not least, they learn about themselves. Centre for Folk Arts production organizes an international competition "Rings in Water" as a project from the European Federation of Folk Arts and Crafts. Over the years the results have shown remarkable opportunities to evaluate traditional craftsmanship in combination with contemporary design, exposing great potential for creativity among young up-and coming designers. Regarding the accessibility of culture, the Ministry of culture of the Slovak Republic takes into account the necessity of inclusive cultural heritage, including tangible, intangible and digital cultural heritage. Through its grant scheme it supports many easily accessible projects of cultural heritage for disadvantaged groups of people. Last but not least, we should not forget about the relation between cultural heritage and human rights. The States is responsible for the implementation of the international conventions, which has always emphasized human rights in relation to cultural heritage.

Evija Dansone


The topic of the conference is interesting because in my everyday work I reconstruct historical buildings and continuously look for a compromise between the requirements of the Inspection for Heritage Protection, mission awareness, the client's wishes and the budget of the project. I think that owners have zero incentive to preserve and restore, because most often such projects do not pay off, and it is much cheaper to build from scratch. Besides, in the public environment there is not enough information educating owners of such buildings about their value, and neither there is any real legal protection or financial support. I hope to find arguments for future discussions.

Gediminas Rutkauskas

Vilnius Old Town Renewal Agency

Sound continuity is necessary to achieve cohesion of urban and architectural environment. The lost or undeveloped urban elements in protected areas needs to be grown especially carefully. To ensure harmony of urban evolution tolerance and dialogue with natural and historic urban environment is essential. Creation interplay and common language between historic and contemporary is more important than aesthetical impression, technical solution or dominance of the new. Lets follow carefully by cognizing former local specificity and traditions, unusualities and invations. The wisdom here is that the future is hidden in the past.

Giuliana De Francesco

Ministero dei beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo

Contemporary architecture becomes later heritage - Quality contemporary architecture can play an important role in the rehabilitation of suburbs.

Gvido Princis

Riga City architect

New (or reconstructed) buildings that are built in the area of medieval architectural ensembles of historical cities (including Old Riga) must not be developed as urban development accents of these structures, because heritage – unique architectural monuments – holds the exclusive privilege of being the main accent; instead of an increase of the share of dominant buildings of vastly different taste and quality of professional execution. New buildings in historical building ensembles should be given a supporting or background architecture role, which should harmonically represent and make accessible the historical buildings – their structure (landscape, silhouette), construction materials of historical buildings (wood, brick), and also the proportions of architectural shapes (the golden ratio). Only this attitude towards heritage can ensure that, for example, Old Riga remains what it is in substance and not only by the name. I believe that the unique architectural heritage evidence and values created by our ancestors should not only be preserved, but also masterfully developed (renovated) for future generations. This in turn offers an opportunity to return to a professional discussion on rebuilding authentic buildings in parts of old towns (including Old Riga) which were destroyed during wartime, because from the perspective of preservation of heritage such a development strategy of old towns will have the lowest potential negative impact on the deformation of the authentic urban development ensemble in the long run.

Ilmārs Dirveiks


Topical discussion – the issue of accessibility of heritage, namely, a balanced approach, so that the physical aspect does not dominate over the informational aspect. Modern design and architecture is not a threat to heritage. The threat is presented by an unskilled creator of contemporary architecture and design.

Ilze Zariņa

Kuldīga Restoration centre

In our everyday work we ask questions about disapearing historical buildings and following disapearing ancient crafts and disapearing ancient tools that are necessary to implement restoration works. Would there be reason to establish reserved state protected areas with strong rules paralell to existing state protected monument areas? Should these areas be considered as alive museums? There were established state protected nature areas already since Soviet period, may be it is good experience to consider.

Ingeborg Hoffstadt

Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany

The quality of interaction between cultural heritage, contemporary architecture and design is crucial, because the junction between the past and the future meets at this point. These are factors that form culture and culture characterises a society and thus the modes of life. The dialogue between these pillars is necessary and there are already some good examples available, e.g. the German Federal Foundation for the Culture of Building (Bundesstiftung Baukultur/ promotes the discussion about the built environment, which is the stage for our daily life. Moreover, different initiatives exist on state level in Germany, e.g. in Rhineland-Palatinate "Initiative Building Culture" (since 2003/ One of the objectives is to inform the public about high quality building, to support good practice or to award prices to remarkable modern architecture in historical environment.

Inta Mangulsone

Cultural heritage inspector

One of the architectural monuments preservation methods - functional customization , allowing their development and presenting contemporary intervention historical substance with modern shapes , materials and advanced construction technology .

Jana Jākobsone

Student of arts

For the past years Riga has been growing, we see not only renovations of historic buildings or constructions of new ones, but also a fusion of both. For example, in the Historic Center of Riga, which is part of UNESCO World Heritage list, there is more and more contemporary architecture among the historical buildings. As an art history student, I would be interested to hear from the professionals the ideas, concepts of this coexistence and the possible effects or benefits for the heritage from the contemporary architecture.

Jānis Kalnačs

professor at Vidzeme University College

1. Of course there is a shortage of funding in Latvia. 2. Not always it is possible to find appropriate use for heritage buildings after they are renovated/restored, even if EU structural funds are used. This means that the site is used for a purpose that differs from the original one, and the proposed type of use either seems too elitist to many people or, the very opposite, something primitive is offered in an attempt to attract more visitors. The number of visitors is influenced by the decrease in population of Latvia, cultural values of consumers, and also by the need to compete with the diverse choice offered by neighbours, as well as competition on a wider European and global level. 3. The decrease of rural population presents a serious problem to churches in rural areas. Congregations with a decreasing number of parishioners will be unable to maintain their churches. It will be necessary to come up with an idea how to use the church in cases when the congregation is unable to maintain it. This may also include expanding or changing the functions or churches

Levente Polyak

Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre

The reuse of vacant heritage sites can give new energies and new functions to the city.

Linda Leitāne-Šmīdberga


Architecture competitions are strategic instruments to generate new architectural ideas, solve problems in urban development and define future development. Architecture competitions promote the discovery of new talents. One key element in this process is architecture policy. Documents governing competitions are closely connected to spatial development planning practice and existing construction regulations. It should be noted that currently the documents that govern competitions in Latvia (Rules of Good Practice of the Latvian Association of Architects, the effective Law on Preservation and Protection of the Historic Centre of Riga etc.) do not lay down the lapsing period of results of a competition. A change in the commissioner of the architecture object, economic situation of the country (shortage of funds, political decisions etc.) do not put an obligation to implement the competition object and continue cooperation with the architect of the competition object. In the Latvian architecture urban development theory competitions are not seen as informal planning development instruments. In Latvia, competitions are more like a formal instrument for creating individual architectural objects. The political and economic situation of the past few decades has resulted in institutionalisation of competitions. Competitions have become a technical and professional habit. It should be also noted that the public is not actively involved in architecture competitions. What we don't have is explanatory, analytical criticism of the role of architecture competitions and the need for them in creating urban space development scenarios. As long as this trend continues the pubic and industry professionals do not realise and understand what kind of urban environment is being planned.

Madara Apsolone

Ministry of Culture

Daniel Libeskind has said that providing meaningful architecture is not to parody history but to articulate it. Contemporary architecture and design can provide new meanings for the rich European cultural heritage – an increasingly rare and appreciated treasure in the fast growing and globalizing world.

Marianne Lehtimäki

Monitoring Group on cultural heritage in the Baltic Sea States

Sustainable transformation and management of use and changes they require are central. Ways of interpretations as means for enriching experiences and quality of environment.

Mārtiņš Jaunromāns


There are best examples and fine quality patina left us from past, but mistakes, misunderstandings and faults are mostly demolished or rebuilt. This must be considered when we compare heritage with contemporary architecture.

Norbert Gatt

Restoration directorate of Malta

Historic buildings and contemporary design can and should co-exist, and decision makers and permitting institutions should facilitate and not stifle such interaction.

Peter Miladinov

Ministry of Culture Bulgaria

In the last years, the European Union recognizes that the cultural heritage is not only essential drivers of cultural and linguistic diversity in Europe, but also dynamic sector that have a significant contribution in its social and economic development. Nevertheless, it is equally true that these sector are facing today major challenges impeding their full development. One of the possible ways for the recognition of this new role is the mainstreaming of the cultural policy in the other sector policies at national and European level. For this mainstreaming to be successful, it is necessary that cultural heritage must be acknowledged as a basic element of the integrated strategies for development, which must be based on partnership between the authorities at all levels of governance, the cultural organizations, the business, the civil society. On the other hand, It is therefore necessary to demonstrate that cultural heritage is resource that could significantly contribute to the achievement of the own goals of the other sectoral policies. This is one of the possible ways for the affirmation and direct recognition of cultural heritage's potentials for implementing the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

Pēteris Bajārs


Although it is stated that architecture should represent the time of construction, in everyday practice we are slowed by authorities which cannot accept any changes to historical monuments. The contradictions between words and actual works is the topic I am interested the most.

Petra Havu

Ministry of Education and Culture Finland

Exploring the marriage between heritage and contemporary -> ensuring and creating high-class built environment.

Raymond Farrugia

Ministry for Transport and Infrastructure Malta

Contemporary architectural interventions in heritage sensitive areas always generate heated debate in our local media. One of the most talked about projects in Malta , for the past number of years, was Renzo Piano's proposal for the regeneration of the main entrance to our walled capital city, Valletta. The project, now nearing completion still generates mixed sentiments and arguments among the Island's populace.

Reinis Ignatavičs

Project manager

We believe that we can find balanced road between sustainable business development and culture heritage conservation.

Rihards Pētersons

Expert in communication

It's time not only to discuss, but to act, to protect heritage from invasive architects, representing the so called "investors".

Ruta Leitanaite

Lithuanian Association of Architects

What are the quality criteria that would define a harmony between heritage protected and contemporary architecture?

Ruth Veronika Pröckl

Federal Chancellery of Austria

If it is necessary to construct new buildings or to adapt existing ones, contemporary architecture must be coherent with the existing spatial layout in historic towns as with the urban environment as a whole. Contemporary architecture should find its expression whilst respecting the scale of the site and finding itself in clear alignment with the existing architecture and the development patterns of its context. Contemporary architecture can enlighten the face of a historic environment only by following three major principles: a perfect match in structure and scale of the historical fabric, a high quality visual appearance and the awareness of being an exceptional phenomenon.

Sarmīte Dundure

heritage inspector

To create a high-quality living space, it is necessary to find the optimum way how heritage and contemporary architecture and design can coexist.

Sintija Lase

Ministry of Culture

How can we use media to encourage discussion about the interaction of heritage, contemporary architecture and design?

Sofia Tsilidou


Today’s approach to the protection, preservation, conservation and enhancement of Europe’s cultural heritage, which is a crucial and integral part of the landscape, is inevitably linked to questions related to sustainable development and spatial planning. Striking a balance between preserving the special character, quality and significance of the historic place and facilitating change and transformation in a way that the quality of the living environment is enhanced for the benefit of local communities is a task particularly difficult to carry out. Obstacles such as inadequate financial investment and regulatory framework, lack of integrated management and coordination between authorities must be overcome and solutions are needed for successfully combining heritage values with contemporary architectural additions in a way that local distinctiveness is celebrated.

Tabitha Dreyfuss

Senior Architect & Civil Engineer

In projects where heritage, contemporary architecture and design are involved, the success of the intervention project in heavily dependent on critical restoration where the many different values (historical, aesthetic, technological, environmental, social, etc.) are addressed and factored into the final proposals.

Triin Talk

National Heritage Board of Estonia

The symbiosis of old and new, heritage and contemporary architecture of high quality, often gives very good results creating interesting and multi-layered spaces. And sometimes the contrast can be too sharp. It is important to exchange experiences and examples from all over the region to be able to evaluate the possible impact of certain solutions more effectively in the future.

Uģis Bratuškins

professor at Riga Technical University

I'm concerned about the compatibility of the principles of protection of historical urban landscape with the requirements of contemporary, dynamic, multi-functional and diverse environment. One of the risks of decay of historical cities is their inability to flexibly adapt to contemporary needs. Historical urban buildings that cannot fully satisfy the interests of everyday users lose their attractiveness from the perspective of serving as a place of residence or work. The alternative – focusing on guests and tourists – threatens with changes in identity.

Uģis Šēnbergs


Near Kazan the Volga is approximately the same width as our Daugava is near Riga. But unlike Riga, the capital of Tatarstan is situated on hills with houses on top of them like on pedestals, which gives them a monumental look. Kazan is a city of changing contexts, and every part of the city has its distinctive character. There are many modern buildings in the historical centre that would not look out of place in any metropolis of the world. Houses built for the middle class and even buildings constructed within social programmes are on a good level. In my opinion, the overall image is somewhat spoiled by the abundance of super-expensive office buildings shaped like glass boxes, which are copied from typical Western models. Seemingly, everything is fine – the shining surfaces reflect big money – but a question arises: what does it have to do with Kazan? How is this office centre different from the ones in London, Paris or New York? I'm sure that Kazan can develop a unique regional style based on local architecture traditions and mythology as well as Tatar ornaments. Maybe exactly the creative use of local ornaments will become the key feature of Tatarstan architecture.

Velta Holcmane


Limit the desire of businessmen to gain quick profit, their hastiness and lack of long-term perspective of the site, eliminate politicians' indecision, observe architects' and planners' ethical principles, ability to yield in front of outstanding values.

Victor Dan Kisilewicz

Ministry of Culture Romania

The topic is a challenge and the answers are based on different cultural level of understanding what it means "architecture" (not only the volumes under the sun.....) The balance between conservation and new insertion inside in urban area it is fore me hard to explain to the new attenders who's life is in virtual space. Maybe this change of ides proposed by Latvian organizer will give me a drop of wise that it could be useful for my daily work as architecture conservator encouraging in the same time the new architecture to rise works as expression of contemporaneity life.

Zane Vāgnere

Ministry of Culture

Looking at the cultural heritage through the lens of the 21st century, we will be amazed by the spectrum of the kaleidoscope that we will be able to see.

Zora Turancova

Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic

We should not forget about the relation between cultural heritage and human rights. The States are responsible for the implementation of the international conventions, which has always emphasized human rights in relation to cultural heritage.

Location and Venue

Art Academy of Latvia

13 Kalpaka boulevard,

Riga, LV-1867, Latvia

The building is distinguished by its ornate and neo-Gothic form, architecture and interiors. There are elements of Art Nouveau, as well as innovative technical solutions from the era when the building was erected.

Reconstruction of an ancillary building of the Latvian Academy of Art was completed in 2012, and this has been one of the most expressive and controversial recent examples of architecture demonstrating the interaction between cultural heritage and contemporary design in Rīga’s historical centre.

Albert Hotel

33 Dzirnavu Str.

Riga, Latvia