The artillery arsenal building is located in the national urban memorial area “Daugavpils Fortress with Frontbridge Fortifications” (national protection number 7428). The building itself is a protected national architectural monument “Building No. 27, Artillery Arsenal”, listed at the address 3 Mihaila Street, Daugavpils Fortress, Daugavpils. It is a two-storey brick construction in the Empire style. Exterior walls are built from clay bricks of various sizes and profiles and covered in plaster. The façade is adorned with a rhythmical pattern of vertical pilasters and niches, and a horizontal rustication with protruding ledges. Indoor architecture has a distinct rhythm of cross-shaped and cylindrical vaults in the enfilade and benefits from a striking chiaroscuros effect due to bilateral lighting. The building is supported by a double plinth made of granite slabs and plastered brickwork. The roof is four-sided. The building has a U-shaped structure with a median avant-corps and side ramps on the southern façade.
The artillery arsenal has a vast history. On 31 August 1831, Russian Emperor Nicholas I ordered to start its building project and draw up a budget estimate. A construction site was chosen between the Mikhail Gate and the Nicholas’ gate, and the upcoming building was assigned a number (No 60). Construction works were completed in 1833. Then the entire mass of war supplies was moved from the Vilnius arsenal to Dinaburg (Daugavpils). Manufacturing and repair workshops for artillery carriages were deployed inside the building along with storage facilities and repair shops for field and fortress artillery ammunition required to equip the fortress and arm its garrison.
The artillery arsenal performed its original function until mid-twentieth century. On 4 October 1947, the Military Aviation College of Dvinsk was founded in Daugavpils Fortress. In late August 1948, the arsenal building was repurposed as a cadet canteen. Between 1976 and 1993, the building served as cadet barracks. After the military college was moved to Russia, the arsenal building remained out of use for many years. Only when Daugavpils started holding city festivals, the square in front of the building became occasionally used for mass public events. Sporadically, the ground floor was used for art and photo exhibitions. In early 2007, Daugavpils City Council confirmed the conceptual plan to repurpose the artillery arsenal into an art centre dedicated to the world-renowned artist, Mark Rothko. The technical project for the centre was created by architectural bureau „ARHIS” Ltd. in 2008. Implementation of the project began in 2011, and renovation works were completed in December 2012. During construction, every effort was made to preserve to the best degree possible the historic building and the square as well as the original structural project of the edifice.