BLUE CLAY SPA
Holding on to the rich green landscape of Kurzeme, Latvia as a pivot point in the new development, the low impact footprint is embraced as a main approach. All construction is kept to a single ground level. No levels above ground are developed in order to facilitate the initial program. A universal typology for a small building is embraced as a building block for the entire complex. This approach allows for a further development of the area within an established mechanism of construction while restraining the new buildings to the low impact concept. Further development may refer both to extending the existing program but also to establishing a new program anywhere near the original plot.
The master plan conceptualizes over the eternal architectural need for correspondence between the exterior and the interior space. Spa activities are being placed within the designated for that purpose building, but also outside, between the lake and the house. The established line of sight travels all the way through the lake, hill, Jacuzzi, spa and dining area. The created space in between the buildings serves as a fundamental of a low impact community. The main alleys serve to establish a north-south orientated grid, with a slight rotation in order to sweep between the oaks. The alleys are paved with pavers carved out of local wood. The small hill can be successfully observed from any place in the complex, in that regard it should serve well as a children playground.
The unique spatial characteristic of a single building module is achieved thanks to a simple use of two slated roofs, combined so they create two mirror ridges and a single diagonal valley. The ridges are placed in plan over rooms, which benefit of the additional height to increase their interior potential and serve as a preferred gathering space. The valley is utilized in our energy efficiency strategy as a grey water collector.
For construction of the houses local wood is used as a prior material. Charred wood is the preferred cladding material for the buildings, referring to local building tradition and helping to achieve an overall local look of the new development. Process: The wooden planks are being burned on both sides until the desired amount of char is achieved. After the moisture, contained inside the planks is released, they are cleaned off and finally sealed with natural oil. The walls are adapted to an extended thickness of 35cm with a straw infill, providing for a superb thermal insulation, achieved only with local material and fabrication technique.
In the north part of the plot, where a lot of space for expansion is at place, we place an agricultural garden and a couple of green houses. The footprint and the spatial characteristics of the green house follow the universal typology of the design. The universality of form, combined with a different material treatment enriches the landscape while preserving the concept. Similar to the others the greenhouses can be multiplied within the plot, following the established grid.