The proposal by Capella Garcia Arquitectura is designed for a music-themed upscale Hotel Competition in Jurmala. The resort town, located on the Latvian coast of the Baltic Sea, in the Gulf of Riga, can be described as a polycentric, linear city between the Gulf of Riga and river Lielupe, formed of several historical fishing villages. From the 19th century onwards, the city has transformed into seaside resorts, but Jurmala is also well known for its musical heritage, so they believed the surrounding environment must not be ignored.
Jurmala’s main focus nowadays is on leisure and its related programs and the greatest environmental advantage is the proximity to the Baltic sea. What do music and the sea have in common? How can it be related to architecture? How can the new building fit in Jurmala’s cityscape? Their concept was guided by these questions. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Music is very natural, and the sea it is the nature itself. What they have in common is that they both composed of waves. In case of the Baltic sea, it is not difficult to accetp this fact, but in case of the music is slightly more complicated, so we started to analyzse it.To begin with, music is like a language. Take this paragraph, for instance. It’s made up of sentences, which are made up of words, which are groups of letters. The letters are taken from the alphabet.Music has an alphabet too, but its called a scale. Each note is like a letter. We put notes from the scale together to make chords (words). Then we put the chords (words) together to make phrases (musical sentences.)
So the main building blocks of music are the tones, which is built entirely. To bridge that music and architecture proposes to different organs, we made the tone visible. Sound waves become musical notes. These disturbances in air pressure radiate from the source as vibrations. When the vibrations hit a receptor or hearing device (a human ear, for example), then these disturbances register as sound or music. The two dimensional record of a single perfect tone, is in a mathematical shape called sine wave. Sine wave are the simplest of all sounds, and the building block for more complicated sounds, such as chords and music. The mathematician Fourier proved that any continuous function could be produced as an infinite sum of sine and cosine waves. The sounds from instruments usually consist of both a fundamental note and a complementary set of harmonics, which can be considered to be a superposition of sine waves of a fundamental frequency and integer multiples of that frequency.
We have applied the same logic (how music is composed and built up) to generate a surface of our building, which in our concept represents the sea also. The newly designed single-storey block, which contains the service function, the spa and the conference center respecting Pumpuri strongly linear axis. Both the remaining old hotel block where the redesigned rooms are and the service block is covered by this musically generated skin. In addition that the buildings new skin provide a uniform look to the hotel, it also gives place to external auditoriums.
We brought back the musical waves also in the lines of the floor plans to ensure the buliding complexity. The arrangement of the lobby, bar, restaurant and the recreation area close to the remaining hotel’s core to allow visitor to easily move from one zone to another. The conference center was placed separately from this core to ensure the peace to both sides.
The existing concrete structures is covered with a new steel structure. The skin is composed of trespa panels combined with an engineered glazing system.
Architects: Capella Garcia Arquitectura
Location: Jurmala, Latvia
Team: Zsófia Bodon, Dávid Lukács, Juli Capella, Miquel Garcia
Client: Hotel Liesma
Site Area: 15,000 sqm
Project Floor Area: 10,300 sqm