On Thursday, January 20, three symbolic time capsules were buried in the foundations of the Class A “Zeiss offices” building during an official ceremony. The modern office building will be located at Dēļu street 2, Riga, and its construction works, which are being carried out by the construction company Velve, will be completed by the end of 2022.
Subject to strict epidemiological safety measures, the event was attended by the project developers - co-owners of Mūkusala Business Centre Klāvs Vasks and Alvis Krasovskis, Chairman of the Board Iveta Bahmane, Chairman of the Board of the construction company Velve Kaspars Rokens, along with guests of honor.
Among the guests of honor were Jānis Lucaus, Chairman of the Board of the insurance company Balcia Insurance, and Agris Bitāns, a partner of Eversheds Sutherland Bitāns, both of whom participated in the Christmas charity auction organized by the gallery and auction house Birkenfelds and donated funds to the Latvian Movement for Independent Life, thus gaining an opportunity to prepare their own capsules with their own messages.
The common capsule of Mūkusala Business Centre and the construction company Velve contains not only messages for future generations in different formats, but also various memorabilia. Thus, for example, the representatives of the construction company Velve placed in the capsule the issue of the newspaper Diena and the coin issued by the Bank of Latvia “Liepas lapa” (Linden leaf), which symbolizes nature in the urban environment and the balance that must be observed in the environment. The Mūkusala Business Centre placed in the capsule a message created jointly by the employees and a group photo of the team, as well as 30 children's drawings depicting the Riga of future – these artworks were created by the offspring of Mūkusala Business Centre tenants and construction company Velve employees.
"Every single one of us is creating history every single day. For us, yesterday is already history, while tomorrow is future, and we can mold this history in whatever way we want. That is why we gave the children the opportunity to envision and draw the future they see. Because we think that children intuitively understand high technology and they can intuitively work with it. So, then, maybe they intuitively know what the future will look like as well,” says Iveta Bahmane, Chairman of the Board of Mūkusala Business Centre. She also added a lipstick to the time capsule, symbolizing the presence of feminine energy in any large-scale project.
According to Klāvs Vasks, co-owner of Mūkusala Business Center, seven different architects have been involved in the development of the project and seven different ideas have been developed about what this building should look like.
"This is the longest project of my life. During this time, my two daughters have grown up, one of them has already graduated from university, and we have built at least four other buildings in the area. But my message is that everyone needs a goal. And if you believe in this goal, move towards it and do not give up, sooner or later the result will be achieved. My wish for all of us, and for the future generations, is to set high goals, not be afraid of challenging tasks, and to get up every morning with the thought, “How can we get even closer to our goals?,” he says.
The Zeiss office building will be a six-storey building with a total area of 5,700 m2, and 50 tons of metal structures will be used in its construction. According to the plan of the building, it will have 200 windows and other glass structures, and three elevators. The building is certified in accordance with the requirements of the BREEAM Excellent sustainability certificate and the project includes class A energy-efficient air cooling, ventilation and heating systems, while sustainable and environmentally friendly finishing materials are used in its construction. The total construction costs of the project are expected to amount to 9 million euros.
“The location of the new building on a small plot of land with a high-traffic highway - Mūkusalas street - on one side and the adjacent office buildings on the other side will be conditions that will require our team to constantly plan and adapt to new situations. It is important for us to do our job, organizing it in such a way as to leave as little impact as possible on both the daily life of the office employees and the traffic, ”says Kaspars Rokens, Chairman of the Board of Velve.
The building of “Zeiss offices” is named in honor of the Karl Zeiss optics factory, which was located in the same place at the beginning of the 20th century - references to the former building will also be found in the façade design of the new building. The historic structure, built in 1912, was the first reinforced concrete construction building in Riga. In the interwar period, the Latvian Leibovitz radio factory was located there, and after the Second World War - the Riga Radio Factory.
The total office area of Mūkusala Business Centre after the construction of the project will exceed 35,000 square meters. Offices for such companies as Tele2, Bolt, Delfi, Cognizant and Civinity are among those located in the territory of Mūkusala Business Centre. The largest solar power plant in Riga, which produces green energy for the tenants of the business center, is also located on the roofs of the Mūkusala Business Centre buildings.