To bring attention to the lack of professional exhibition space in Riga, in 2003, during the Art Days the Latvian Artists' Union Museum organised the event called the Art Space. The participants - artists, curators, art historians - each sent a letter to the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Latvia Ingūna Rībena and Riga City Mayor Gundars Bojārs, with the proposals for resolving this situation.

As a result of this call for action, as well as the previous efforts, the Riga City Council Culture Board established the Riga City Exhibition Hall Initiative Group which brought together the officials of the Riga City Council and professionals representing various art and cultural institutions. During 2004 and 2004, SIA BM&DR, overseen by the architect Andis Kalniņš, carried out the design work of the Rātsnams underground space, the construction started in 2007, and the Riga Art Space was opened already in 2008.

Since 2015 the creative management of the Riga Art Space has been entrusted to the Association of Culture Institutions of Riga City Council.