Thu, 05/09/2024 - 16:07
Riga Ropax Terminal - Zaha Hadid Architects

Today, on 7 May 2024, the winner of the architectonic tender for the new passenger and ro-ro cargo terminal, Riga Ropax Terminal, was awarded. The world-renowned London-based architect firm, Zaha Hadid Architects, ranked first. The drafting of the building design is the next step in the development of the terminal project. Provided that the project is successfully implemented, Riga Ropax Terminal will open its doors to passengers in 2028.

According to the local plan of the Southern Part of the Export Port approved by the Riga City Council, any eligible stakeholder could participate in the architectural tender. Ten applications were received for the sketch tender. Berenblum Busch Architects from the USA ranked third, R-Konsult from Estonia ranked second, and Zaha Hadid Architects ranked first. The total prize fund in the amount of EUR 35,000 was distributed among the three winning sketches. The jury included representatives of the Riga City Council, Freeport of Riga Authority, National Cultural Heritage Board, Association of Pētersala-Andrejsala Neighbourhood, Bouygues Bâtiment International, Latvian Association of Architects and Riga Ropax Terminal.

Project Manager of Riga Ropax Terminal, Jūlija Bērziņa, “We are delighted with the results of the architectonic tender, not only the quality proposal of Zaha Hadid Architects but in general – for the interest in this tender. Almost 60 architect firms applied to get the tender documentation and out of those, ten firms submitted their applications. The work on the tender has finished, but the most responsible work is just starting. In cooperation with Riga Ropax Terminal, the Freeport of Riga, Riga City Council, Ministry of Transport and other relevant institutions, we have to create a mobility solution for the capital city that would be convenient and create real value, attract investors, and develop the economy of Riga and Latvia. Currently, we continue working to implement the next stage of the project – designing – to ensure that the sea passengers, inhabitants of Riga and guests would enjoy a modern passenger terminal. We are also actively working on establishing and strengthening cooperation with the passenger cruise lines. The new terminal will certainly improve the landscape of the waterfront of Riga and will become the face of Riga for the sea passengers.”

Director of Zaha Hadid Architects, Gianluca Racana, “By joining design innovation, the highest standards of user experience and sustainable solutions, Riga Ropax Terminal will be an architectural example that will serve as a pathway to the future of Riga while respecting its rich history as a port city. By reusing the existing concrete structures on the construction site and the local materials from recycled and renewable sources, the new terminal will serve as an example of environmentally friendly architecture, incorporating modern design solutions to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions. Thanks to improved access to the waterfront and new large public premises, the project will ensure that these areas become a popular destination.”

“A new and modern passenger terminal is the opportunity for Riga to restore regular ferry traffic at the Port of Riga, as well as to increase the number of cruise ships and tourists, providing additional revenues for the capital city and national economy in the long run. We are delighted with the high-quality architectonic proposals for the visual and technical framework of the project that will serve as a solid basis for the further development of Riga Ropax Terminal and, I must say, it has already created positive response and interest of international partners in the passenger terminal project,” emphasises the CEO of the Freeport of Riga Authority, Ansis Zeltiņš, noting that the Freeport of Riga Authority in cooperation with Riga Ropax Terminal is ready to start working on the first stage of the project under its responsibility – reconstruction of the historic ED dam and dredging of the water area to improve the safety of ship access and navigation in the Export Port.

Vice-mayor of Riga, Edvards Ratnieks, “Tourists and tourism development are crucial for Riga. One of the most efficient ways to develop tourism is to attract cruise lines to our port. Therefore, we hope that along with the new passenger terminal, Riga will obtain not only a modern terminal and services but also become the home port of cruise ships. It will facilitate the city’s popularity on the international tourism map and create new economic opportunities and workplaces for the locals.”

The architectural tender proposals for Riga Ropax Terminal can be seen until 12 May 2024 at the Institute of Architecture and Design of Riga Technical University, on the 4th floor, Ķīpsalas iela 6, on weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Along with the architectural tender, the developers of Riga Ropax Terminal are actively working on attracting investments and project partners and promoting the project globally. In 2020, the Freeport of Riga Authority and the developer of Riga Ropax Terminal signed a letter of intent. In the summer of 2023, Riga Ropax Terminal, Port of Stockholm and Freeport of Riga Authority signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen their cooperation. Within the framework of the memorandum, it is planned to submit joint tender proposals for the projects co-financed by Europe. Until now, three joint proposals have been submitted. Riga Ropax Terminal participates in the largest cruise industry exhibition Seatrade Cruise Global Miami each year. Moreover, the project developers also participated in the Seatrade exhibition in Hamburg in 2023 and the International Real Estate and Investment Forum MIPIM in Cannes.

About Zaha Hadid Architects In its projects, Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) has defined a new architecture of the 21st century. By creating buildings that uniquely adapt to social needs and neighbourhoods, ZHA has received awards presented by the highest professional and academic institutions in the world. Zaha Hadid established ZHA in 1979, and the firm’s projects represent decades-long research that has allowed the designs to become spatially smarter, structurally more efficient, technologically more advanced and more environment friendly. By joining innovative design solutions with environmentally friendly materials and sustainable construction practices, ZHA architecture complies with the needs of every next generation.

About Riga Ropax Terminal The new Riga Ropax Terminal would occupy the southern part of the Export Port to serve the passengers at one of Riga’s three key transport hubs while providing quality, state-of-the-art, public commercial and entertainment options. One of the goals of Riga Ropax Terminal is to become the home port of cruise ships.

The terminal will include additional infrastructure for serving cruise ships. In future, a cruise ship home port might be established with restaurants and cafés for the neighbourhood residents in addition to reducing sound and air pollution in the city centre and providing safe passage. Based on future estimates, the new terminal might serve up to 150 cruise ships and 540 ships per year and in the cargo segment – 360 ships of ferry lines and 180 ro-ro ships. In total, during the first year of operations, the new terminal might serve approximately 800,000 passengers.

Information for media

Liene Ozola
  • liene.ozola [at], +371 670 308 53
  • Freeport of Riga Authority
  • 12 Kalpaka blvd, Riga, Latvia, LV-1010