Bee Breeders has revealed the winners of the 2019 Pāvilosta Poet Huts Competition. The project brief asked designers to submit proposals for a writers community in the small coastal fishing village of Pāvilosta, Latvia. The small writers retreat needed to accommodate selected poets with free board visiting for short periods to produce their work. The submissions included a range of building typologies, from isolated cabins scattered across the site, to single buildings focused on community experience, to towers offering views to across Pāvilosta.
Historically a port serving the nearby city of Liepāja, Pāvilosta is defined by its beaches and local fishing industry. As the brief stated, in addition to a set of five poet accommodations of various sizes, the designs were requested to include: plans for a multi-functional space able to accommodate small exhibitions, performances, readings and meditation sessions; a common kitchen and dining area; and host accommodations. ‘Huts’ were to house basic amenities including a bed, desk, kitchenette, washing station, and storage. Visitors are also expected to have access to outdoor meditative spaces and covered terraces.
In line with the location of the site and the intended program, participants were asked to consider strong connections with nature, the use of sustainable materials, and simple, cost-effective methods of construction. the jury members selected a set of winners that offered strong proposals for communal complexes that captured both the ability for writers to work in isolation, as well as interact with fellow visitors.
The top three winners are:
1st Prize Winner
‘A garden within a garden’ was designed by Daniel Brigginshaw to reference traditional Baltic architecture using local materials such as timber, and resourceful building methods. The design collects all of the program within a single structure. It offers a distinctly modern rectangular block form, articulated by a grid of vertical and horizontal lines of alternating thicknesses giving hierarchy to the form. The facade is defined by a square clerestory window set on horizontally-oriented rectangular facade panels. The project’s take on a courtyard-building typology lends to its intent on creating a sense of community for users. It intelligently mixes interior and exterior spaces under a common roof, and provides views to both the interior shared space of the courtyard and the exterior site. The structure uses repeated assemblies for ease of construction. The dark exterior cladding is black-stained timber, while the interiors are light and simple to provide clean spaces for work and living. The project conveys its ideas clearly using simple drawings and thoughtful renderings. The jury believes the project could be strengthened with an image depicting the relationship between the interior courtyard and the exterior site.
2nd Prize Winner
Created by Linnéa Holmberg, Maria Torrent, and Karl Zetterholm, ‘Enclosures’ considers the writer as a worker that requires both isolation and community. The proposal places a single building in the center of the site, enclosing a garden with a large tree and meditation zone. The approximately circular form features a low profile with a pitched roof that covers a corridor on the interior side of the ring. The design uses a glulam primary structure clad with heartwood and plywood. In plan, enclosed spaces are interspersed with exterior covered terraces that offer permeability. The jury was impressed by the high quality of renderings and level of detail in the drawings. One can easily imagine a productive and quiet visit to this project. The jury questions whether alternative timber products might be considered that hold up longer to inclement winters and humid summers.
3rd Prize Winner
Designed by Katharina Kocol and Olga Bialczak, the third prize winner offers a unique formal organization defined by two bars of program connected by a linear circulation space, like two bands of buildings facing an internal street. The first houses writers’ accommodations; the second is filled with shared program as well as host accommodations. As with the other winning proposals, ‘The Pitch Hut’ mixes internal spaces with external decks. Each writer’s hut contains a large vertical window offering exterior views, and a horizontal window paired with a desk for views to a private terrace. The accommodations provide ample working space that runs nearly the length of the structure. The jury believes the submission would be further strengthened with interior images of the communal spaces.
BB Green Award
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