COBALT is interdisciplinary studio that collaborates with creative professionals from various fields, including architects, designers, strategists, urbanists, scientists, social anthropologists, developers and thinkers with a purpose to stimulate multi-dimensional discussion where diverse opinions from a different perspective are involved. Most of our partners are based in the Baltics, Norway and among other European countries. Architecture office SPACEGROUP from Oslo, Norway and spatial design practice ANNVIL from Riga, Latvia are the core collaboration offices.
COBALT work with a wide range of projects. From local urbanism to city masterplans. From residential architecture to large-scale projects. From hospitality and public sector interior to private interior design.
Design-in-time is one of our main principles. First, design as it is located in time we are in, designed in recognition of time; second, to design-in-time, responding in a timeframe that reflects the urgency in which we need to respond to some of the major crises facing us. We explore the mutual relations between physical and social spaces.
CEO / Designer in charge
Anna Butele is a designer with more than 15 years of experience in public and private interior and furniture design. In 2004, she founded Annvil – an interior architecture company. Annvil has become one of the leading interior architecture agencies in Latvia with a vast experience on an international level. Anna Butele’s projects have received numerous Latvian Annual Design Awards and have gained international recognition in design competitions abroad. Designer has participated in various exhibitions, the international art and architecture festival BORDERS in Venice (2016) is one of them. She presented installation “Sleep with a city” that emphasized the boundaries between territorial belonging and a place one calls home. In 2010, Anna opened her exhibition “Take Away interior” that offered an innovative concept of mobile furniture. Since 2017, Anna Butele has been working on a book about 100 well-known architects. Anna Butele graduated Riga Applied Art College in 2000. She continued her education at the University of Latvia, studying at the Faculty of Psychology and Pedagogy from 2000 to 2004.
Janis Gavars has extensive experience in international construction project management and budget planning, as well as facilities management strategies. The Permanent Representation of Latvia to Brussels, Embassy of Latvia in Brussels, as well as in Moscow – these are some of the most prominent recently implemented construction projects. Janis Gavars has established and managed construction departments in some of the leading companies in the industry. As a part of the largest real estate management company in Latvia, Janis developed building management programs for many significant projects including the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Latvia, as well as Swedbank, the leading bank in Sweden and the Baltics. Using his expertise in building management, Janis Gavars advised the construction team of the multi-functional complex Z-Tower – the most significant high-rise building in Latvia of the last decade. Gavars has worked in a sales company that specializes in exclusive finishing. There, Gavars developed and implemented high-class apartment interior projects in Vienna and Latvia.
An internationally acclaimed architect with an impactful and diverse portfolio of public, commercial, educational and residential projects. At Cobalt he provides design leadership and direction across the company for projects from their conceptual onset to completed construction.
In 2002, Bernaerts co-established 8 A.M. architecture office in Riga, Latvia, focusing on contemporary design. Designed by his office, Exupery International School in Pinki, was nominated to the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award in 2017.
With almost 25 years of experience in the field of architecture and design, he has led and contributed to numerous significant projects such a departure-sector reconstruction and new building of Riga International airport, public spaces design of shopping and entertainment centre AKROPOLE Riga and of ABLV bank new headquarters in Riga. Design of Hotel Elefant in Riga has received Architectural Award in Moscow in 2009.
In the early career while he was practicing at MFA Ingeniørfirma + Jensen Consult company in Denmark he worked on the development of Port Administration Building of Kalundborg in Denmark.
Alongside this architectural practice, he has taken part and lectured at several cultural venues and symposiums around the world, including, World Conference on Timber Engineering WCTE 2018 and Skopje Architecture week.
He has studied architecture and design in an internationally renowned Denmark’s International Study Program at the University of Copenhagen. He holds a Master of Architecture from Riga Technical University.