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Sēnīte restaurant

Location: N57° 7` 9.817", E24° 38` 48.3"

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After the WW II, so called “Stalin Baroque” was very popular in Latvia, who’s most famous representative in Riga most certain is the building of Science Academy. After the death of Stalin the next leader of the Soviet Union – Nikita Khrushchev – invited to give up the excess of Stalin’s time by putting outline to the late modernism, which’s vivid representative is restaurant “Sēnīte” building, which is located on Vidzeme highway, not far from Murjāņi city. The building has been built on 1967 by architect Linards Skuja and engineers Andris Bite and Rūdolfs Ozoliņš. Today these buildings are neglected and empty, but because of the unsuccessful rebuilding done by the new owners part of the complex has lost its original architectonic shape.

Restaurant Sēnīteis one of the most vivid modernism architecture and the most excellent shell construction example in Latvia, and it is one of the most important architecture events of that time. The most modern restaurant complex “Sēnīte” used to be located there (in 1967 there was a restaurant with beer hall, cafe, summer terrace and gastronomy shop). This restaurant which was officially opened in 1968 was one of the best restaurants in the whole Soviet Union, and its offer was considered to be exclusive. The building was richly and modern arranged also from the inside: many artists were working on the interior – there were petroleum lamp like smoked-glass lights and monumental glass panel which worked as the background of orchestra made by glass artist Arnolds Vilbergs, decorative metal forgings made by Juris Indriksons, ceramic dishes and candlesticks made by Eduards and Māra Gener who were still students of Academy of Arts at that time, Kurts Fridrihsons meta created external wall – background of the terrace. Architect Oļģerts Krauklis rated beer hall finish as the most successful – red brick column, wooden ceiling and decorative plaster.

The project of the building caused sensation between the professionals. Architect Linards Skuja and engineer Andris Bite together with engineer Rūdolfs Ozoliņš researched the characteristics of this construction for five years, at the end creating a unique dome type building – first sphere-like reinforced concrete shell construction building in Latvia, which was holding on only three bases. The edge of the triangle reached 24 meters, dome radius – 20 meters. The concrete shell was 5-10cm thick, and it was made on spot, without using any forms. Other new technologies were also used in construction of this innovative building; for example, waterproofing was done not with the bitumen, but with a special fluid developed in Latvia Academy of Science.

The restaurant was officially closed in 2010. The question about demolition of the building has been topical for several years now, but since the restaurant building was included in list of national culture artefacts in 2016, the demolition is not an option anymore.