House of Ruins (Drupas) / NRJA

  • 16 Feb 2009
  • Houses Selected Works

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 23 May 2015. <>
  • Benjamin

    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.

  • pathos


  • jarmo k

    this is absolutely stunning!! i love how the stones and concrete meet!

  • aikon

    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.

  • roadkill

    how about posting some drawings? would help getting a better picture of the project

  • shav

    … nice ladies….

  • Contemporary Art

    What a fantasy. I would love to see interior shots; it’s such a simple idea, but a very moving one in some way.

  • dbasulto

    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.

  • odris

    i really love the concept of this house..

  • temple

    concept is great!!!respect guys

  • aikon

    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.

  • Marco

    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.

  • Nicolás Verdejo

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

  • bentply

    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.

  • roadkill

    thanks dbasulto… very nice of you and IT does help understand the project a wee better

  • zEro

    Ruins: Some built beside, others, inside! Very interesting house!

  • Arman

    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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  • João

    it’s even more impressive with the white snow… really nice…

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  • majewski

    Great Idea…

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  • Michael Baugus

    Adaptive re-use! House of Ruins (Drupas) / NRJA.

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