Open-air venue for Latvian National Opera and Ballet
Location: Riga, Latvia
Team: Zane Tetere-Sulce, Beatrise Dzerve, Kristaps Sulcs, Elina Tetere, Eva Heidingere-Jukama
Photo: Alvis Rozenbergs
The Latvian National Opera turned to Open AD to design a seasonal open-air venue when pandemic restrictions pulled the breaks on indoor events. The space had to cater for events such as live performances and film screenings, as well as function during the day to attract potential new audiences to the opera. We visited the opera’s storage facility and spotted intriguing bits of scaffolding and leftovers from previous stage designs. This inspired our idea to bring the backstage into the limelight, which became an exercise in upcycling. We combined the selected parts with bespoke metal details and custom-designed furniture for functionality. Construction was an on-site affair involving the opera’s own technical team under the guidance of the architects. The result is a multipurpose space and neutral backdrop, which comes to life through expressions of culture in its many forms.
WHITE SQUARE facilitates moments of work and rest, networking and conversations. Along with attending events, visitors can fill their water bottle, charge their phone and laptop. It’s a meeting point where paths cross and worlds collide. Philosophically, it questions the imaginary borders we all construct. Between actors and their audience. Social groups. The public and the government. By blurring the lines between the backstage, stage and audience, it makes one wonder why we fear the unknown? It also addresses sustainability and challenges conventional understandings of beauty, by giving new life to forgotten resources.