Rēzekne is the first city in Latvia where a completely new concert hall has been built from the ground up, and currently it may be seen as the most important cultural building in the whole of Latvia. The design by Uldis Balodis and Daiga Bikše with the motto “Zīdaste” (Waxwing) won the architectural design competition in 2008.
GORS, The Embassy of Latgale, has a classic three-part volume combination – a multi-level vestibule that is open for view, the Great Hall named “Gors” and the Small Hall named “Zīdaste”. The glazed facades and the facades dressed with decorative fibre cement panels are easily visible from the city’s viewpoints, and they fit in harmoniously in the pronounced terrain of the location. The boundary between the facade and the roof has been visually broken down by using the same materials and distribution of proportions in the final part of the building, and, furthermore, the roof terrace is open to the public during the summer season , and it is possible to organize film evenings and concerts there. There is a series of rooms surrounding the magic of the three-part volume for rehearsals, exhibitions and seminars as well as separate rooms for artists and conductors. The extensive glazed areas emphasize the communal character of GORS and create a connection between outdoors and indoors. At night, the walls that are illuminated in reddish and orange tones gain a surreally animated effect – it seems that the entire building vibrates to the sound of inaudible music. The character of the GORS building is filled with joyful contrasts – light against dark, colourful against black-and-white, open against closed, exposed concrete aesthetics against the warmth of wood, the building’s complexity against the order of the long-known basic notes C D E F G A B. These notes mark the building’s many stairwells, which helps with finding the way around the building. The water surface next to the building plays an endless concert of sheen both during the hours of dawn and in the artificial lighting of the evening.
An area of approximately 3.5 hectares surrounding GORS, The Embassy of Latgale, has also been improved. A pedestrian street, paved walkway, and a parking area for 170 cars have been created near the city centre, while terrace-type stairs, fountains and benches have been installed and greenery has been planted and landscaping works have been carried out on the riverside. The building does not have a basement level – the orchestra pit and the elevators have the lowest level rooms. The new building has six floors in the Great Hall part and five floors at the Small Hall part. The total area of the building is 11,166 square metres.
Uldis Balodis, architect: “In the character of GORS, we have reflected the impression of the artistic nature and practical approach characteristic to Latgalians – it is like a kiln, in whose flames the creative spirit manifests, the flames that attracts and makes warm the traveller in a winter night, it is a place for experiencing art that is large, small, welcoming and always true.”