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Latvia - Light contrasts at Riga Elementary school


Founded in Riga in 1911, Friča Brīvzemnieks Elementary School is hosted by a charming, 4-storey building dating back to the beginning of the 20th century. The school went through a series of events following the course of the city history. During the First and Second World Wars the building was arranged as a military hospital and later designated as refugee children’s school and shelter. The elementary school reopened after the end of both wars, maintaining regular lessons for many years even under the Russian rule.
 
In full swing after the restoration of Latvia's independence in 1994, the school was given the current name of Friča Brīvzemnieks Primary School in 1995. Nowadays rated among the best schools in Latvia,  it offers various interest education classes and programmes, among which folklore, correctional gymnastics, visual art classes, choir, vocal ensemble, folk dances, ceramics, and many more. 
 
Friča Brīvzemnieks Elementary School is located within a historic Art Nouveau building, an architectural  style very popular at the beginning of the 20th century in Riga. The capital city of Latvia is indeed renowned as the city with the highest concentration of Art Nouveau architecture in the world. The main recurring architectural features, which distinguish this typical Latvian style, can be easily found in many buildings of this period. 
 
As for the Elementary School, the exterior walls, as usual in red bricks, present white painted areas, which brighten up the entire layout through a pleasant chromatic game. Moreover, enriched by many typical decorative elements, such as friezes, patterns and reliefs based on the same white-red colour contrast, the walls of this massive building acquire an unquestionable elegance.
 
Moreover, many windows, turrets, and gables enhance the façades of the school interrupting the monotony of this massive block building and delivering a refined appearance at a first glance. The side turrets, surmounted by a decorative crow-stepped gable, present a stairstep design accomplishing the sloping portion of the roof, which is suitable for special decorations and dedicated illumination.
 
Conceived and fulfilled by the Latvian company LUCIDUS SIA, the lighting design of Riga elementary school aims at enhancing in a wonderful shade of warm white the relevant architectural details of the building, following a spot lighting scheme, which highlights mainly the white decorations. A number of Parade D-W-6, 9 and 12 in warm white configuration were installed on the building façade to down light, according to their length, the different features and patterns of the school walls with a grazing effect. The three rows of windows on the main façade, the roof-top decorations and patterns, the turrets as well as the stairstep design of the crow-stepped gables, are beautifully enlivened by an alternating illumination scheme, which, leaving selected areas of the façades in shade, creates an unexpected and at the same time revealing chiaroscuro.
 
A superlative solution for architectural lighting decoration, the technologically advanced PARADE D-W-6, 9 and 12 MK3 linear modules series features either 6, 9 or 12 powerful bright white light LED sources. Available both in warm and cold white light, these highly versatile modular bars, coming with a choice of different beam angle options, are now capable of offering a further improved light emission performance. Their compact outline features a robust and durable extruded aluminium housing for the widest variety of applications such as accent, display, effect and landscape lighting. 
 
Credits:
Lighting design and installation: LUCIDUS SIA, Riga 

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