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Car as connection point – time and space, technologies and personalities. H2E, the leading design studio in Latvia, created the permanent exhibition for the Riga Motor Museum that was renovated and is now open to the public (author of the building reconstruction project – Architectural Practice ARHIS).

The reconstructed postmodernism building forms the external appearance of the museum that on the inside hides a multifaceted story on the automotive history and production in Latvia and worldwide. In more than 4000 m2 and three levels digital technologies and manual activities interact, creating new experience.

The topic of the museum is specific enough, hence the designers intepreted each of the 11 themes in different and theme- specific means of expression. As a result throughout the exhibition the narrative occurs on many levels and is attractive both to experts and families with children.

The design concept is based on marking the context of century. The bronze and silver informative surfaces on the dark walls interchange with the areas of activities and the historical exhibits. Vehicles are the main players of the exhibition and also the emphasis as they are placed on unique, specially designed podiums and strikingly illuminated.

The multimedia solutions add to the overall message and invite to interact, for example, getting on PAZ bus and experiencing a drive to the wedding in Kolkhoz, 1975; taking part in a virtual parade by having a photo in a car from “the Kremlin’s collection”; digitally drawing on RAF bus. Children and grown-ups can find out more about the functions of vehicles both multimedially via “augmented reality” and manually via switching speeds for real car gearbox.

The wisely guided visit navigated by the imprints of tyres on the floor also includes rest areas with seats and manual acitivities. Chidren’s area consists of exploratory activities related to the car theme. The educational room is formed as a spatial extension of the streets of Riga with the aim to teach children about the traffic rules.

Everyone – a child, a woman, an expert, a random visitor – leaves the museums with new experience. For a child it could be a beginning of a hobby, for an expert new facts, for a random visitor it could be a revelation of the diversity in the world of cars.

Design: H2E
Photography: Gvido Kajons – H2E

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