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Villa Pinia, Jurmala, Latvia 
Sunday 30 Nov 2008
 
New kid on the bloc 
 
ARK-house Architects Ltd. / Pentti Kareoja 
 
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ARK-house complete stylish Latvian villa 

When designing abroad the lack of knowledge of the foreign culture must partly be replaced by empathising with and throwing oneself into the genius loci. Jurmala in Latvia has a fabled past as the laid-back summer resort of the upper classes during the Soviet era. The beach atmosphere of the spa town conjured up images of the Functionalism of the Baltic States during the 1920s and 1930s, and the optimism associated with it.

Villa Pinia was designed for a four-person family. It is situated on a pine-forested plot near the sea with great natural beauty. The design task was based on a workshop-format competition, in which nine architects or offices from different parts of Europe were invited to participate. ARK-House's sketch design was chosen as the basis for the final implementation.

The main idea behind the design of Villa Pinia is a dialogue between a levitating white rectangle and the dark trunks of the pine trees. On the south side the straight line of the building becomes a free broken line. The timber weatherboarding of the latter facade has been given a reddish brown tone.

The colours and materials strive for an imagery derived from boats and ships, a gesture to the preferences of the client and his background as a sea captain. The scale on the yard side is intimate and the interiors continue out as sheltered terraces. All three floors in the interior are also linked by long vistas. A tree has been placed in the internal garden visually linking together all the floors.

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ARK-house Architects Ltd
www.ark-house.com

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