The Cathedral’s New Bell Tower Cross Has Been Made in Skonto Plan


Under the supervision of qualified and experienced masters, a brand new bell tower cross of Riga Nativity Orthodox Cathedral has been made in Skonto Plan factory which will be gilded and opened for demonstration to the public within the framework of the Cathedral renovation campaign SVET as early as this autumn.

Guntis Rāvis, the initiator and patron of the campaign SVET, with whose donations the facade of the Cathedral has been renovated and renovation and gilding of the bell tower cross of the Cathedral is taking place at this moment, recognises that the manufacturing of the cross of with a weight of 80 kilos and height of two metres has been a special project in which the best specialists of Latvia have been involved. The masters of Skonto Plan have developed drawings of the cross according to sketches of Petersburg’s specialists. Components of the cross have been cut out from stainless steel by laser, then ground, welded, the cross has been matted with ceramic pearls that ensure better adherence of materials in the further gilding process.

“Sometimes we have to develop unique technical solutions; however the cross is not only a construction or object, but the symbol of Christianity. Therefore, it was not only a challenge and special work assignment for us, we perceived it as our moral investment,” said Uldis Eglājs, who is fulfilling the duties of the manager of the Metal Non-standard Articles Factory of Skonto Plan, who has previously managed several renovation projects of church crosses.

The cross, as the surface of the dome, will be gilded by experienced specialists and the works will be managed by Gazis Habibuļins, the old master of restoration works of Latvia. He recognises that gilding is not only the most beautiful, but also the most resistant cover which does not rust or oxidise for a long period of time – it will not have to be renovated earlier than 40-50 years from now.

The Cathedral renovation project SVET, which is implemented with the support of Guntis Rāvis, the patron and initiator of the campaign SVET, will be the most ambitious renovation campaign of cultural monuments implemented in Latvia until now in which each representative of society is invited to participate.

Guntis Rāvis and Nils Ušakovs Commemorate the Commencement of the Cathedral Cupola Gold-plating with a Memorial Plaque


Gold-plating of the Riga Nativity Orthodox Cathedral bell tower cupola has been commenced within the largest campaign for renovation of cultural monuments implemented in Latvia “SVET”. Commencing this, the initiator and patron of the campaign “SVET” Guntis Rāvis and Lord Mayor of Riga Nils Ušakovs gold-plated a special memorial plaque which will remind future generations of the day when gold-plating of the cupola was first commenced.

 The memorial plaque featuring the symbol of SVET campaign and the bequest “Let the Cathedral light shine forth!” will be visible to visitors of the Cathedral and will continue to urge everyone to support the purposes of the Cathedral renovation initiated by “SVET”.

 “The participation of every person is a significant support in the Cathedral renovation and restoration, and hopefully we shall be able to gold-plate all cupolas of the Cathedral at some time in the future” said the initiator and patron of the campaign “SVET” Guntis Rāvis while commencing the gold-plating.

Gold-plating of the cupola will be performed by experienced specialists who will cover the 80 square metre bell tower cupola and its cross with the finest 980 carat gold. The gold-plating procedure will be managed by one of the few restoration Old Masters in Latvia, Gazis Habibuļins. He admits that gilding is not only the prettiest, but also the most durable cupola cover which does not rust or oxidise for a very long time – it won’t be necessary to renew it for the next 40-50 years. It is planned that the gold-plating works will be completed and the cupola will be open to the eyes of the public in this autumn.

 Support of the initiator and patron of the campaign “SVET”, Chairman of the Board of LLC “Skonto Būve” Guntis Rāvis has helped to completely re-build and gold-plate also the bell tower cupola cross which has been endorsed by Alexander, Metropolitan of Riga and whole Latvia.

 “Cupola gold-plating is an expressly Orthodox tradition. Gold, in the first place, is a symbol of eternity, sanctity, power and heavenly glory. The gold-plated cupolas of churches remind of the spiritual fight, while the bright cupola tops address the people like the flame of a candle by saying: ‘You are the light of the world!’” said Alexander, Metropolitan of Riga and whole Latvia, greeting the commencement of cupola gold-plating.

The Nature Concert Hall Event, Supported By Skonto Būve, Has Taken Place In Mērsrags


On 13 August, with the support of Skonto Būve, the second science, music, poetry and visual art event Nature Concert Hall took place in Mērsrags, which this summer is devoted to Fucus vesiculosus.

The Nature Concert Hall event has taken place for the sixth consecutive year. Latvian scientists and musicians talked about Latvian nature, displayed it and sang about it in a popular manner, this time especially emphasising the Baltic Sea and the Fucus vesiculosus inhabiting it, which is a brown perennial seaweed widespread in the sea.

The entertaining and educational event at the Nature Concert Hall took place in three stages. The first stage included creative and informational workshops. One of them was devoted to the most poisonous places in Latvia – the goudron ponds, the treatment of which will be implemented by Skonto Būve. Visitors of the Nature Concert Hall had the opportunity to find out what the goudron ponds are, how they form, why they are dangerous and how their treatment will take place.

At the second part of the event stories were told and poetry read about the Baltic Sea and the Fucus vesiculosus. But the third part was the musical part of the event, in which such popular Latvian musicians as Ingus Ulmanis, Kaspars Tobis, Andris Sējāns, Aigars Voitišķis, Anrijs Grīnbergs, Rūta Muktupāvela and Valdis Muktupāvels participated.

Skonto Būve Finishes one of the Largest Construction Projects in Riga - Municipal Residential Houses


The largest complex of residential houses built after the renewal of Latvia’s independence was put into operation with a festive handover of the new apartments keys.

The client who ordered the construction of residential houses was Rīgas Pilsētbūvnieks Riga Municipal Limited Liability Company, the work was performed by Skonto Būve, while the project was funded by Nordea Banka.

Two houses with 326 furnished apartments were handed over to the new residents with the participation of Nils Ušakovs, Riga City Council Chairman, Andris Ameriks, Riga City Council Deputy Chairman, Ivars Millers, Skonto Būve Vice President, and Valdis Siksnis, the head of Nordea Bank Finland Plc. Latvia Branch. There are 120 single-room apartments, 96 two-room apartments, 48 three-room apartments and 48 four-room apartments among the commissioned residential properties. Furthermore, 14 service apartments that are especially equipped for people with special needs have been built. Several large families were among the first to receive keys to their apartments during the ceremony from those who implemented the project.

Nils Ušakovs, Riga City Council Chairman: "The development of the complex of residential houses in Ulbrokas iela became possible thanks to the bank and the builders. The success of this project is confirmed by the fact that three residential buildings are already inhabited, now supplemented by another two complex buildings."

Ivars Millers, Skonto Būve Vice President:"A year and a half ago where we today see the new municipal complex of residential houses was only a desolated wasteland, but now there are not only five newly built houses and a car park, but a well-equipped area with a playground for children".

Half of the Construction Works of the Castle of Light have been Completed


The highest point of the Northern façade of the National Library of Latvia – the building spire has been glazed. 

At the building spire on the 10th, the 11th, and the 12th floors are premises for small seminars, exhibitions and book launching events are planned, but on a daily basis this place will be a freely accessible viewing area, from which the view to Old Riga and Pārdaugava will be open.

The spire height of the Castle of Light has reached 68.3 metres. The enclosing glass is formed of glass packets, which consist of external and internal glass. The external glass is tempered glass with a special coating that allows for natural light to enter the premises. In hot weather it prevents heat from entering the building, but in cold weather prevents heat from leaving the building.

Currently, roof insulation laying works and the construction of roof gutters are also being executed at the new building of the National Library of Latvia, as well as works of engineering network constructions are continued. The building façade and roof hydraulic insulation works at the National Library of Latvia building will be completed in autumn of this year, in order to be able to begin the interior finishing works. In total, approximately half of the construction works of the Castle of Light have been completed.

State Prime Minister V. Dombrovskis: “The building of the National Library of Latvia is a national symbol of the successful future of Latvia. It proves the economical toughness of our nation and the formation of national self-confidence.” 

Up to now 5103 tons of reinforcement, 36 486 cubic metres of concrete, 4393 square meters of glass, 42 147 kilograms of metal, 38 714 meters of power cables, 10 953 metres of low current cables and 1065 cubic metres of flooring fibre-reinforced concrete have been used in the construction of the National Library of Latvia.

The National Library of Latvia is being built by the Union of National Construction Companies uniting three of the strongest and most experienced construction companies in Latvia: Skonto Būve Ltd., RE&RE Ltd. and JSC RBSSKALS.