Joining forces with Danish architect's office PLH, COWI has won an international architectural competition for developing the central railway station and the surrounding urban spaces in the Latvian capital, Riga.
The new station building in Riga will be a landmark for the city, boasting striking curves reminiscent of arched fern leaves.
The aim is to create an iconic station building and provide the city with a strong visual identity, explains Project Director Jakob Christensen, COWI.
”The project will link the city together and prioritise public transit, pedestrians and cyclists to create a more sustainable city," he adds.
COWI won the international design competition for the development of Riga Central Station and urban spaces in close cooperation with the architect's office PLH.
A key element of the project is the demolition of the embankment running from the river to the railway station. This will re-establish the link between the city's central market square and urban spaces and the UNESCO-protected city centre.
PLH Arkitekter and COWI are both vastly experienced in infrastructure, traffic and urban development projects. In a close cooperation, PLH is leading the architectonic design behind the transformation of the railway station, whereas COWI leads a number of disciplines related to bridge design, urban planning, landscaping, traffic planning, structural principles, railway engineering, construction economics and definition of project stages.
"The Rail Baltica project is an exciting, multidisciplinary project where architecture and engineering knowhow meet. Not only does the project have the potential to become an iconic, breath-taking and important entrance to Riga – it may also act as a driver for future development of the city," says Christensen.
The Riga Central Station is part of the Rail Baltica project, which involves establishing a railway link through the Baltic countries, running from the Polish/Lithuanian border in the south to Tallinn in the north.
The architectural competition was arranged by the European Railroad Lines, which is the Latvian partner in the entire Rail Baltica project.
The competition aims to develop the central station and the surrounding area, while designing the new Rail Baltica railway bridge across the Daugava River. In addition to the station building, two new railway tracks will run across a new bridge that will also hold paths for bicyclists and pedestrians.
On 22 March, COWI and PLH will officially be announced as the winners of the competition at a ceremony in Riga, and they are currently negotiating with the European Railroad Lines about the consultant's role in the further process.