Competition proposal, 2nd prize
The site is located in the middle of the productive landscape outside Pavilosta, av small fishing village in south western Latvia where the local climate with cold winters and a limited growing season has taught Latvians the value of husbandry, resource efficiency and to protect themselves from the forces of nature. To live with and protect oneself from nature. The long-term codependency of people and land has created a meaningful cultural landscape of utilitarian beauty. Building in such a landscape require a deeply felt relation between building and landscape.
Faced with the task of designing a set of “huts” for poets in residence we propose to gather the program (rooms for visiting poets, canteen, exhibition space, terraces, staff accommodation) under one big wooden roof that sweeps around an enclosed communal cloister garden seeking to strike a balance and facilitate a productive interplay between the conflicting interest of isolation and communion built in to the brief. The writer needs isolation, physical or mental, to sort impressions and impulses into coherent ideas and narratives. But in order for isolation to be productive a counterpoint is needed, a sense of communal context, of being part of a vocational collective, of not being alone.
All functions are reached via a dimly lit cloister acting as a filter between the garden and the interior spaces as well as serving as the connecting tissue between the different functions placed along the circle’s perimeter. All private rooms face outward and have unique views of the surrounding fields. The entire building is soaring just above the surrounding fields.
Enclosures is permeated by a sense of simplicity and asceticism. The structure is made out of gluelam colums and beams while cladding is made from heartwood pine planks and pine plywood. The huts are intimate spaces, compact and robust in appearance, containing the necessities of everyday life. A retractable bed, a wood stove, s small space to cook coffee, a space to store firewood, a space to store clothes and belongings, a fixed desk. Everything made for a simple life, minimizing choices. A place to focus. A place to retreat in order to reformulate the world.