The project complex is located in the state-protected, historic area of Kipsala Island. A “suburban” oasis—right in the middle of Riga—Kipsala is part of the buffer zone of the historic center of Riga, which is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Up until the 20th century, a gypsum mill—Celm & Boehm—occupied this plot of land. Founded as a chalk factory in 1863, it would become Mr. Boehm’s gypsum and cement factory.
During the postwar years, a laundry for the Baltic military district occupied space within the factory walls, as did a musical instrument repair shop. Later occupants included the directorate of a volunteer Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic marine-rescue association and the sailors’ club "Equator."
During the first reconstruction phase of the Gypsum Factory, which began in 2002, only a selection of the complex’s buildings were reconstructed. These included the four buildings surrounding the courtyard and the large smokestack in the southern part of the block.
During this phase of reconstruction, a residential complex with 34 apartments was completed, together with the Fabrika (Factory) restaurant, a sauna, and a private marina. Phase 1 was completed in May 2004. All apartments have been sold.
The aim of phase 2 is to complete the architectural development of the entire factory complex—while meeting urban, suburban and historic considerations. This monument to industrial heritage is important to Riga, both because of the view it offers to the right bank of the Daugava River and its cultural heritage. Therefore it demands careful and sensitive reconstruction.
During phase 2 of the project, original buildings of value are being renovated, and an impressive range of new architecture integrated within the existing structure of the Gypsum Factory complex and its Daugava left-bank prospect.