From May 11th to 14th, 2023, students and lecturers from various Latvian universities will gather in Aizpute for an interdisciplinary plein air to seek solutions for the reuse of the Aizpute Medieval Castle. We invite you to participate in the closing event of the plein air on May 14th from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm, when students will present their ideas to industry experts, representatives of the South Kurzeme municipality, Aizpute residents, and anyone interested. Please register here ->.

Despite the fact that the Aizpute Medieval Castle does not have any tourism-related content other than the castle ruins, it is one of the most popular and frequently visited tourist attractions in the South Kurzeme region. Similarly, there is no infrastructure suitable for public events in the castle complex, but concerts and public events have been held in the castle in recent years following community initiatives. It may take several decades and significant financial resources to fully restore the object.

Therefore, the task of the students will be to develop ideas for the reuse of the castle in less than four days - how to return the Aizpute Medieval Castle to cultural circulation and active use for the benefit of society until the castle is fully reconstructed. "Reuse" is an essential prerequisite for understanding and identifying the long-term needs of society and local communities before investing significant resources in object reconstruction.

Student teams from the RISEBA School of Architecture, Riga Technical University, Liepaja Music, Art and Design School, and Turiba University School of Business will participate in the plein air, and industry professionals, including landscape architect Helēna Gūtmane (RISEBA), architect Egons Bērziņš (RTU), architect Zane Vēja (RISEBA), social planner Jonas Bihels (Jonas Büchel, RISEBA, University of Latvia), and building engineer Jānis Kreicburgs (RISEBA, RTU) will advise students. The evaluation of student work will also be done by architects Rudolfs Dainis Šmits (Dean of the RISEBA Faculty of Architecture and Design), Zaiga Gaile, and Jānis Dripe.

Rudolfs Dainis Šmits, the Dean of the Faculty of Architecture and Design at RISEBA, acknowledges: "The cultural heritage of the city of Aizpute serves as a charming and valuable platform that is worth exploring and promoting. This plein air will give students the opportunity to understand and discover the architectural and hidden cultural values of Aizpute. Students will be invited to imagine, conceptualize, and consider practical ways of "intervening", which would result in real design proposals for the shared use of Aizpute Castle."

The closing event of the plein air will take place at the "Kurzeme" club of the "Kurzeme Key" metal furniture factory in Aizpute, Kalvenes Street 27. The plein air will take place from May 11th to 13th at Ideju House, Katolu Street 5.

The plein air is funded by the State Cultural Capital Foundation, the municipality of Southern Kurzeme, RISEBA, and "Kurzeme Key". Organized by the Aizpute Renaissance Association.

Additional information: Aizpute Renaissance Association, Inese Tauriņa, [email protected], +371 2914 9125. Facebook event: