Sudraba Arhitektura unveils Hanza’s Perons
From 20thCentury railway warehouses to modern function rooms, Hanzas Perons is located in the heart of Riga as a fusion of Latvian Industrial history and lively cultural presence of the capital. Sudraba Arhitektura has left most of the abandoned structure untouched restored its historical patina and wrapped it in a delicate shell Glass Structure complemented by contemporary stole Details. Today the structure enlivens the city as a multipurpose space hosting concerts, exhibitions, banquets and more, a landmark of its rich history.
Inside the original masonry and wooden structure was celebrated and preserved, juxtaposed in poetic harmony with modern materials such as terrazzo floors, concrete and steel. Sophisticated new details express restrained references to railway aesthetics, while preserved concrete platforms and a railway track running through the building honor the memory of the site.
south facade | all images courtesy of Sudraba Arhitektura
Preservation of historical memory with modern construction
Following the recent spate of architectural projects in Riga that have transformed historical structures into innovative, modern venues, Sudraba Arhitektura has taken over Hanzas Perons, which was previously part of a large freight yard. Today it is almost untouched as the last of 15 warehouses that lined the historic tracks, with exposed brick walls, wooden beams and intricate sliding doors and gates. With their new design the architects combine old and new elements for a harmonious fusion of tradition and innovation, ‘where respect for history is reflected in thoughtful modern solutions and breathes new life into the old.’
from railway storage to cultural event space
At the start of the project, the structure was deemed structurally unsustainable by engineers despite its well-preserved condition. As such, Sudraba Arhitektura preserved as much of its original identity as possible while reviving its functionality to make it the largest private cultural building in Latvia. Instead of using new piers and supports to reinforce the existing structure, an outer load-bearing steel structure was erected to encase the historic structure. Consequently, additional service and technical rooms were resolved in a clear visual language and development.
The greatest spatial value of Hanzas Perons – a large pillar-free hall – is located in the center of the warehouse with a width of 15 meters and a length of 80 meters. It has been completely preserved and repurposed for various concerts and exhibitions. It can be divided into three separate rooms, allowing for remarkable flexibility.
The original roof of the warehouse, which formed wide canopies on both sides, initially covered the logistics platforms, with freight cars approaching on one side and trucks on the other. Instead, Sudraba Arhitektura embraces this characteristic, transforming the sheltered platforms into elegant, glamorous lobbies. At the southern end of Hanzas Perons, a new double-height space brings the structure closer to the street to serve as the main entrance lobby.
At night, the new building along the street frontage takes on a new face as the transparent foyers are illuminated from within and the old structure is visible from the outside as a striking silhouette.