Lead Architects: Sintija Vaivade, Madara Vēza
Construction Engineer: Ģirts Bērziņš
Builder: Skonto Ltd
Text description provided by the architects. The holiday house "Deer" sends a message about the harmonious interaction between contemporary architecture and nature by breaking the boundaries between indoor and outdoor space and making the surrounding the most captivating experience of the building.
With a gentle approach to the undisturbed landscape, the holiday house "Deer" is located in Kurzeme's natural relief that is surrounded by lake, meadows and century-old trees. The presence of wild reindeer which tend to graze both near the house or more remotely in the woods creates a special context for the robust exterior - a peculiar poetry of minimalist architecture.
The task was very clear from the outset - the client wanted to see a harsh architecture in terms of expression, which corresponds to the main function of the building - a men's gathering place where fishing, playing cards and unhurried conversations could take place while enjoying a cigar or a glass of wine.
The video represents two main axis that define overall concept - a visual axis that goes along the new driveway, continues through the building and leads to the lake, while the other shapes the building's architecture according to the terrain.
The new building continues the life of the house which used to stand here – the stairway leading to the lake is located at exactly the same place as before. It was important to maintain this link.
The sculptural image of the building with its different slopes in the facades and the glass structures originates out of the different levels of natural terrain. The silhouette of the building changes from different views revealing various characters of the facades.
Concrete, due to its language, becomes the main construction element. It is poured in two layers - first, for the bearing structure, and after insulation is placed, the second concrete layer is applied on the outside. A complicated and time consuming building process.
“I perceive concrete as an absolutely living, natural material. I did not seek to achieve an ideal, smooth texture. On the contrary, I kept the joins and the uneven colour. What’s more, like all natural materials, concrete ‘ages’ gracefully: on the outside it’s lighter and in four to five years time, under the influence of the sun, it will become altogether white, while remaining grey in the shade.” Architect Sintija Vaivade.
When you enter the hallway you will find a panoramic landscape with the lake. Expansive glazing occupies almost all of the south facade facing the lake, creating fascinating translucency and a sense of nature's presence.
Dark oak doors and dining table, light oak veneered kitchen with panelling and poker table - custom-made according to architect's design, create a warm and cosy atmosphere within the concrete interior.
"This is my understanding of the Latvian landscape, it is my answer to how I see it. The presence of nature is the most important element experienced in this building."Architect Sintija Vaivade
The project was awarded with the annual Latvian Architectural Award in 2015.