NEW-BORN CIRCUSES: International architecture conference


In the frames of Rīgas Cirks grand opening, we invite you to attend the architecture conference “New-born Circuses” on March 22 in Riga.

WHEN: March 22

WHERE: Rīgas cirks, Merķeļa iela 4 / Theatre house Zirgu pasts, Dzirnavu iela 46, Riga

How to apply:



14.00–14.15 Opening of the conference
The Future Development of Rigas Cirks as a Regional Centre in the Context of
Architecture, Māra Pāvula and Mārtiņš Ķibers

The story of Rīgas cirks. Uldis Lukševics and Zigmārs Jauja (NRJA)

Circus of Radical Conservation. Edgars Jane

Guided tour of the premises with Uldis Lukševics and Zigmārs Jauja (NRJA)


SECOND SEGMENT, theater house ZIRGU PASTS of the Academy of Culture, Dzirnavu street 46

Coffee break

Opening speech by the director of the French Institute in Latvia, Mathieu Leporini

Newborn Circus in Europe:
Building the Permanent Big Top—Le Mans, Christophe Theilmann (France),
Latitude 50. Circus and architecture in the countryside, Vincent Geens (Belgium)

Closing session
Edgar Jan conclusions on the specifics of cultural buildings today and possible
development directions in Latvia and Europe. The vision of Rīgas cirks building.


NRJA (No Rules Just Architecture) is an architectural office in Riga, Latvia, founded in 2005. NRJA is distinguished by its active participation in the Latvian architectural discourse, provocative
competition proposals, and proportionate building realizations that have attracted international recognition. They have twice received the Latvian Architecture Award (2005, 2021) and designed the Latvian pavilion at the Venice Biennale of Architecture (2014 and 2021), the latter focusing on preserving modernist buildings.
At the end of 2022, the first stage of the Rīgas cirks reconstruction is completed – designed by NRJA architects. Uldis Lukševis and Zigmārs Jauja will share the Rīgas cirks story.

Edgars Jane is an architectural designer and researcher based in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. In parallel to his work at KCAP (Kees Christiaanse Architects and Planners), he has collaborated with the Design Faculty of the Art Academy of Latvia and Rotterdam Academy of Architecture in developing projects on material-conscious temporary public architecture formats.
As a conference speaker, he will share a critical reading of the newly opened renovation of the Riga Circus building ensemble. His talk, Circus of Radical Conservation, will explore the typology of a permanent circus as a hybrid place for temporary urban decadence and civic exchange. The presentation will be an expanded version of an article published in the latest issue of Latvijas Architektūra magazine No. 169. Christophe Theilmann is an architect who lives and works in Nantes, France. He graduated from the Nancy School of Architecture and studied scenography at the Clermont Ferrand Architecture School. In 2005, he founded the office Christophe Theilmann Architect Scenographer. Theilmann has worked on architectural and scenography projects for almost twenty years, focusing mainly on street arts, fairground arts, and circus.
His presentation, Building the Permanent Big Top — Le Mans, tells the story of the design and construction of the new permanent big top, inaugurated in November 2022, of the Plongeoir and The Circus City in Le Mans, France.

Vincent Geens is a historian and independent cultural, heritage, and artistic project promoter. He has directed a cultural center, contemporary art biennials, and festivals for over 20 years. He recently published a book, “Cirque et architecture en campagne – Le manifeste circulaire de Latitude 50”. Together with Quentin Lemenu, he is responsible for the Passe-Temps project, which aims to safeguard and promote the archives of the circus and street arts in French-speaking Belgium.
In his talk Latitude 50. Circus and architecture in the countryside, Geens will invite the audience “to come along for a walk in the small village of circus architecture in the town of Marchin, France, on the 50th parallel north.” Latitude 50, a circus and street art center in Marchin that hosts performances, co-organizes street art festivals, and provides residency space for numerous circus companies and artists who visit the village yearly with their new programs. In 2022, this purposeful exercise in promoting the contemporary circus arts has resulted in a new high-quality cultural structure, namely, a new circus building made of timber and designed by Matthieu Meunier (Atelier “Architecture Meunier-Westrade”).