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Latvia - Enlightening education


Riga State Gymnasium No.1, the oldest school in the Baltic republics, has been recently enlightened by GRIVEN in a wonderful shade of warm white capable of enhancing its peculiar architectural style in a faultless way. 
 
Founded in 1211 under the name of Dome School, Riga State Gymnasium No.1 is an institution of general education established by the Municipality of Riga, which nowadays accomplishes one general elementary education grade and six general secondary education curriculums. Ranked first among the schools in Latvia, the gymnasium is known for its advanced programmes in natural sciences, mathematics and information technology, also offering an International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.
 
The oldest school in the Baltic states was relocated in 1874 in a new building designed by one of the most popular Latvian architects at those times, Johann Daniel Felsko. Urban planner and Riga’s chief architect, Felsko belonged to the first generation of Historicist architects, who redeveloped the centre of Riga in the 19th century in a period of flourishing growth and steady commercial expansion of the Baltic city. His four decades of creativity introduced Neo-Gothic, Neo-Renaissance and Rundbogenstil (round-arch style) into the biggest Baltic port city of the Russian Empire. Author of several schools, churches, hospitals and urban residential buildings, Felsko was inspired in his artwork by a rather wide spectrum of the formal elements of Eclecticism style.
 
A well-balanced harmony of architectural styles can be found in the State Gymnasium No.1, whereas its beautiful façade recalls a straightforward neo-Renaissance style dominated by the Prussian Rundbogenstil, respectively spotted in the central main entrance and in the recurring theme of round-arched windows of the right and left wings of the building. Neo-Renaissance was a very common style for educational institutions, as Renaissance was associated with the revival of science and knowledge. Another popular style in Latvia and in the areas under German influence was the Rundbogenstil (round-arch style), a German form of Neo-Romanesque style characterized by round window arches, which delivers a harmonious layout to façades through a natural repetitiveness to architectural features.
 
Major restoration works on the façade of the Gymnasium were completed in September 2018 in order to revive the historic building through a refreshed appearance. To complete the renovation of this charming palace, a brand-new lighting design was conceived by our Latvian official partner, the company LUCIDUS SIA, based in Riga. Before the long winter, an array of PARADE D-W-9 in warm white colour configuration with narrow optics were installed on the façade in order to highlight its main architectural features. Arched windows, friezes, and decorations have been beautifully enlightened and enhanced by an impressive alternation of light and shadow, perfectly matched in a chasing wave on the long façade. When the days became particularly short, residents of Riga and tourists had the opportunity to see this wonderful building lit up not only at night, but also in the early morning, as well as in the evening hours. 
 
 
Credits:
Lighting design: Andrejs Kalašņikovs, Lucidus SIA
Installation: AS „Būvuzņēmums Restaurators’’
Photos: Kaspars Volonts 
 

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