Borderless port of Eksportosta

Borderless port of Eksportosta
Roberta Fisere
The project breaks down the borders between the port and the city and creates a vivid melting pot between tourism, leisure and contemporary culture.

Roberta Fisere
Riga, Latvia
Team members
Roberta Fisere
Field of work
Architecture, Design, Urban planning, Visual Art, Curating
Project category
Public space
Project submitted

Roberta Fisere works in architecture and contemporary art. Since 2018, she has been working at architecture office Mailitis Architects, realising local and international projects that address the creation of contemporary, Baltic-specific architecture, emphasising materiality, connection with nature and philosophy. For example, architecture and set design for the interdisciplinary project Tree Opera in Hyrynsalmi, Finland. The project focuses on sustainability and senseful design, thus creating a biodegradable amphitheatre which over time grows back in the forest.
She have been involved in the design of several exhibition spaces, including the Latvian National Museum of Art and the Venice Biennale, where she has gained skills in creating a spatial relationship between visitors and the space, highlighting exhibits and creating a holistic, cohesive image of the exhibition.
In 2019, she received her Bachelor's degree in Architecture from Riga Technical University. From 2016 to 2017 she studied at the Erasmus exchange programme Politecnico di Milano in Milan, Italy. In 2023 she graduated from Riga Technical University with a Master's degree in Professional Architecture.
In 2023 she received the Professor Ivars Strautmanis Latvian Regional Architecture Award for implementing the principles of regional architecture in her study projects and for her participation in the research work of AF students.

Riga historically has developed as a port city, but today the city's connection to the waterfront is fragmented by the territory of the Freeport of Riga and the transit roads that serve it. The development of the Port of Riga after the Second World War effectively acted as an Iron Curtain between the Soviet Union and the West, through the control and targeted exclusion of the population from the waterfront and the restriction of Riga's traditional water culture, the accessibility and usability of waterfronts is still poorly developed.

At the territorial level, an experimental solution is used to open up closed, industrial areas to the public in order to promote a diverse and inclusive urban environment and avoid development of large, abandoned industrial zones that are disconnected from the city. The metal pedestrian bridge continues the riverside promenade and stretches across the customs area, providing a unique opportunity to observe the activities taking place in the harbour and to connect the industrial zone with the public space of the city. The existing warehouse building has been preserved and converted into a multifunctional passenger terminal and contemporary art centre. The impressive scale, tectonics and semantics of the building are based on the specificity of its former industrial use. The project envisages a sensitive redevelopment of the existing warehouse building based on the principles of Baukultur - adapting it to the new use in a rational and sustainable way, but without losing its industrial image.

The need for exhibition space to show contemporary art is critical as there is still no Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art in Riga and there is a lack of interaction between society and contemporary art. The proposal encourages using the resources to build up the port infrastructure and also develop the contemporary art infrastructure, thus creating an image of Riga as a tourist and cultural destination.