House of Ruins (Drupas) / NRJA

I like how this house uses an existing structure to hide, in both landscape and against the strong winds, creating a new habitable interior. This house by NRJA (this weeks AD Futures pick) won the Gran Prix for the Latvian Architecture Prize (2005), the Best Technology Award at the Interior Digest Magazine (outstanding implementation of a project using contemporary construction, constructive and electronic technologies, 2006) and was nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Award (2007).

Location: Saka,
Architects: NRJA (Uldis Luksevics, Martins Osans)
Client: Una and Andris Vitolins
General Constructor: RBS Skals
Object: private house
Size: 200 sqm2
Year: 2002

The House of Ruins is located in Latvia on the coast of the Baltic Sea. It is a new family house built inside the19th century ruins of a traditional Latvian barn. The architects here have used the idea of contrast where wind from the sea is opposed to the warmth of the family, and perfection of is set against rough surface of the old stone. The house provides both, modern life comfort and quietness of the nature. Organised in one level, it also contains a small courtyard and a spacious roof terrace for watching the sea and surrounding meadows.

Cite: "House of Ruins (Drupas) / NRJA" 16 Feb 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 16 Sep 2014. <>


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    very nice.. it feels very mysterious and has lots of culture and history behind it which is nice. good to see they didn’t just take the easy option and bulldoze the ruins.

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    i like how they built a modern house within the ruins and a glass house to be specific. the ruins make it a private estate yet the glass house makes the whole living space an open space.

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    Dear readers,

    I forgot to post all the rest of the pictures! Now they are on the gallery.

    Roadkill, you´ll find all the drawings there.

    I love the work of this office.

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    thank you for uploading interior images. its more of a vacation house rather than a residential. its nice how the ruins kept it private while the glass house kept it open.

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    Very nice project, in my country we have several old buildings kowing as “Haciendas”, this is a realy good way to reuse this buildings, you know, I feel very atract by the old buildings and that sound as a very ptacrical, nice and professional way to re use them. I´m a product designer, creating every day new ideas,but to live…old buildings. by the way I´m from Mexico city, now I living in Hidalgo, state of haciendas.

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    Amazing walls! I remember the Upper Lawn Pavilion of the Smithsons. Radical n’ pristine building, congrats!

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    Great house! I also really enjoy when people are incorporated into architectural photography. I think too often spaces are illustrated as bare minimal architecture. I think more personal photography, as seen in dwell, is a growing trend.

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    It’s good. Still, I believe the concrete looks ghastly grey and dead, next to the beautiful tonalities of the original stone walls, and the transitions between these look like scarred tissue right now… but I guess it will age well. Cheers.

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    Great usage of existing conditions, heritage and concepts. Happy for our Latvian brothers :)

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    nice job!

    Actually in Perú , the colonial houses in Cuzco looks like this one, since the spanish built their mansions upon old Inka’s structures

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