Staircase, the building at Alberta iela 12, photo by Margarita Fedina.
Museum “Riga Art Nouveau Centre” invites visitors to celebrate architect Konstantins Peksens 160th anniversary. When preparing for the event, a large-scale photo documentation of the buildings designed by the architect was performed. Photographer Margarita Fedina (Moscow) has perpetuated the facades and interiors of more than sixty buildings, thirty most expressive of which are demonstrated in the photo exhibition “Architect Konstantins Peksens’ Riga. Moods.”
The photographer is well-known for her skill to notice and discover buildings and interiors. In her extensive portfolio of art photos there are publications with different art, culture and history sites in more than eighty publications about the European and Russian architecture on the verge of the 20th century. Standing out among them are the interiors of the art nouveau period. The exhibition “Staircases” shown at the museum “Riga Art Nouveau Centre” in spring of 2014 introduced visitors to the art nouveau staircases designed by architects Fjodor Shehtel and Lev Kekushev. In September, 2017 the museum housed the artist’s photo exhibition “Mikhail Eisenstein’s Riga. Diagonals”. The latest photo exhibition by Margarita Fedina “Architect Konstantins Peksens Riga. Moods.” are featuring around thirty buildings designed by Konstantins Peksens in Riga as the artist has seen them.
Traditionally, on 8th March relatives and people from Peksens’ native Mazsalaca assemble at the museum to meet, discover and learn new facts about his family and to mark an anniversary of the outstanding architect.
Among the participants of the anniversary celebration there is also the student fraternity “Selonija” where the famous Latvian architect was one of the founding members.
Konstantins Peksens (March 8, 1859, Mazsalacas parish – 23 June, 1928, Bad Kisingen, Germany; buried in Riga, Forest Cemetery) was one of the most prolific Latvian architects. Peksens is a well-known designer or co-designer of the pieces in the national romantic style. He designed multi-storeyed stone buildings, wooden buildings, several parish council buildings and other public buildings in the towns and villages of Latvia, however, in Riga designed by him were more than 250 buildings, including the one at Alberta Street 12, which houses the museum “Riga Art Nouveau Centre”. The buildings designed by the architect feature monumental nobleness, application of natural building materials, elegant ethnographic and Latvian nature motif decorations. Peksens was the first architect of Riga who started highlighting the corners of the blocks of buildings with spires and similar constructions.
Many students of architecture acquired their knowledge and skills under the guidance by Konstantins Peksens. Later, his disciples worked during the first Republic of Latvia and created the face of the capital as we see it now. Among the apprentices working in his office there were young architects Laube, Vanags, Pole, Malvess, Medlingers etc.
Along with the architect’s career Peksens was an active member in Riga Latvian Society and in the 2nd Cyclist Society for which he had at some stage designed a bicycle treck between Krisjana Valdemara Street (former Nikolaj Street) and Bruninieku Street. He founded and managed the assembly enterprise of sanitary equipment “Konstantins Peksens”. From year 1914 to 1917 he also was the publisher of several newspapers and magazines, which allowed him to contribute a lot to the National Awakening movement. In 1920s, he published several articles about the issues of apartment and city construction.
The exhibition “Architect Konstantins Peksens’ Riga. Moods” will be open until 9 June, 2019.
For more information:
Project manager, Museum “Riga Art Nouveau Centre”.