The Academy of Sciences (Latvian: Zinātņu akadēmija) is the official science academy of Latvia and is an association of the country's foremost scientists. The academy was founded as the Latvian SSR Academy of Sciences (Latvian: Latvijas PSR Zinātņu akadēmija). It is located in Riga. The President of the Latvian Academy of Sciences is Juris Ekmanis.
The Academy of Sciences edifice was built after World War II, between 1953 and 1956, as a gift from the workers and peasants of the other Soviet republics to the Latvian people, and is decorated with several hammers and sickles as well as Latvian folk ornaments and motifs. Being 108 metres (354 ft) tall, it was the first skyscraper in the republic and was the tallest building until the construction of the Hansabanka Central Office (121 metres, 397 ft), and at the time, one of the highest reinforced concrete buildings in the world.
The building, designed by Lev Rudnev, is a cousin to similar Stalin-era skyscrapers, which were representative of what became known as Stalinist architecture (sometimes referred to as Socialist Classicism). The architecture of the skyscraper resembles many others built in the Soviet Union at the time, most notably the main building of Moscow State University. Local nicknames for this building include Stalin's birthday cake and the Kremlin.
The view of Riga cityscape is open for public viewing from the 17th-floor balcony (height of 65 metres, 213 ft).