Designed by Project Baltia journal of architecture, Nordic Block is an exhibition focusing on the development of city districts in the Nordic-Baltic region. Upon the initiative of the exhibition’s main curator, Project Baltia chief editor Vladimir Frolov, co-curators from each participating country chose three projects from their respective homelands that manifest Nordic identity in contemporary urban construction; two of the projects have been implemented while the third one is a work in progress. The projects are displayed side by side with their historical counterparts featuring older districts, one from each country.
The exhibition comprises projects from Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, and Sweden as well as the unofficial capital of Northern Russia, St Petersburg, which bears its own influences of the Nordic mentality. The exhibition’s leitmotif is the ethereal notion of “Nordic-ness” found in a wide range of similar yet rather diverse preconditions of climate, politics, social development, economy, and culture: be it affinity with nature, simplicity in style, the contemporary language of architecture or a social dimension heavily influenced by the neoliberal doctrine. The exhibition is valuable not only due to the photographs but also due to the curators’ texts, which offer interpretations of North European identity in contemporary architecture and urban construction. Full versions of the texts are available in the exhibition catalog.
The project was devised in 2014 and exhibited for the first time at the 4th Moscow Architecture Biennale, which was dedicated to city districts. The exhibition was on the show also in St Petersburg (2015) and Kaunas (2016).
In Riga, the exhibition was opened at the Latvian Museum of Architecture on World Architecture Day, which is traditionally marked on the first Monday of October and this year coincides with 2 October. Before the exhibition opening, the Latvian Architects’ Union hosted presentations by several Nordic Block curators, thus attempting to raise a discussion on urban development in the context of contemporary Nordic and Latvian architecture.
The exhibition NORDIC BLOCK has been exhibited at the Liepaja concert hall "Great Amber", at Valmiera Drama Theatre and at the Latvia University of Agriculture in Jelgava.