Latvian legislation does not permit newbuilds within the proximity of the coastline, however, it is allowed to build on existing foundations. With this in mind Open AD’s clients purchased a coastal property with the intent of transforming it.
The property consisted of four mismatched buildings – the main house, a garage, shed and garden house. Open AD established how to keep all the structures, unify them stylistically and tie them in with the location. The two dominant cladding materials – larch and galvanized steel – are inspired by the colours of the sea and sky. The shape of the buildings and their gable roofs echo the vernacular architecture of the historical fishermen’s dwellings, which the area is known for.
While once home to active fishing communities, today’s coastal towns have a mixed identity. Holidaymakers are a big part of the local tapestry. This home is also designed as a family getaway, but liveable throughout the year. Considering its main purpose, Open AD’s design facilitates living between the indoors and outdoors. Solutions like the covered second floor balcony provide outdoor access no matter the weather and wind conditions. A sheltered outdoor dining area encourages shared meals with a view across the Gulf of Riga. The positioning of windows across all buildings ensures that the presence of the sea is always felt. Residents can also just watch the sea from a comfortable position on the terrace.
Exuberance-free, the home reflects Latvians’ reserved and modest nature. No element is purely decorative, so as not to take away from the rugged beauty of the landscape. Even elements like drains and gutters are hidden or replaced with a rain chain.