ZAK / Riga Zakusala

Zakusala Island presents a rare and amazing development opportunity due to its unique location within the city. While the waterfront of Riga is defined by its industrial past, Zakusala offers the possibility to start from scratch and to create a new type of waterfront development where architecture and landscape form an integrated whole.

The ambition for Zakusala is to create the most exclusive entertainment, gambling, wellness, and leisure destination in Europe, attracting visitors from all corners of the globe. The waterfront is purely public and free from development, enhancing the strongest qualities of the site. To the north we propose an urban edge, with exclusive shopping, casinos, offices, business apartments, cafes, and restaurants. A major boulevard delineates the edge between built and the seaside. To the south wellness adn leisure functions predominate – spa, fitness, water related recreation, yacht club/marina, beach can be found here.

The point of departure for our development is the dialectic between built and unbuilt. Real concentration and real openness can be explored, while their mutual synergies are maintained. The island is split by a bridge; one half of the island remains a park within the UNESCO ring, and the other half allows for research of new forms of density. Redundancy within the program is reduced and hybrid programming promoted in order to allow for fruitful synergies.