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Competition: Pavilosta Poet Huts, Latvia

An open international contest has been announced for a series of environmentally-sensitive beach huts in Pavilosta, Latvia

Organised by Bee Breeders, the competition seeks innovative proposals for five coastal cabins which will provide all-weather accommodation for poets and other people visiting the historic Baltic port of Pavilosta.

The call for concepts aims to raise awareness of Latvia’s coastline as an international tourist destination and provide a space where writers can draw on the area’s natural beauty to create new poetic artworks.

Pavilosta, Latvia

Pavilosta, Latvia

Pavilosta, Latvia

According to the brief: ‘The Pavilosta Poet Huts architecture competition is tasking participants with delivering designs for residences for visiting poets. The key function of the complex would be to offer free residence to selected poets where they could live and work for a defined period of time.

‘The Pavilosta Poet Huts will be operated by the family who are the current landowners. As such, participants will need to provide a comfortable home for the family as well. The host’s private accommodation must be separate from the poet huts. It can be under the same roof, however the circulation must clearly divide the two areas.’

Contest site

Contest site

Contest site

Located on the western coast of Latvia at the mouth of the Saka river, Pavilosta is a small port town hosting several trawlers and featuring a sandy beach popular with windsurfers.

The contest seeks proposals for five ‘poet huts’ capable of hosting a resident writer, additional visitors, and also providing a space for exhibitions and poetry readings. Proposals must feature two single, two double and one four-person hut offering subdivided sections for both resident and visitors.

Concepts should feature a dining room and kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, living room layout and a multifunctional 40m2 space inside the structure. A roof terrace and secluded meditation space will also be required.

The winner, to be announced on 25 June, will receive $3,000 USD while a second prize of $1,500, and third prize of $500 will also be awarded along with a $500 student award and $500 green award.

How to apply

Deadline

The deadline for submissions is 11:59pm (GMT) on 4 June

Fee

Early bird registration from 25 October to 4 December: $90 professionals / $70 students
Advance registration from 5 December to 12 February: $120 for professionals / $100 for students
Early bird registration from 13 February to 16 April: $140 for professionals / $120 for students

Contact details

Email: hello@beebreeders.com

View the competition website for more information

Shipwreck Lodge case study: Q&A with Nina Maritz

The founder of Nina Maritz Architects discusses lessons learned creating a series of cabins for Namibia

Nina Maritz

Nina Maritz

Nina Maritz

How did your project deliver an iconic series of contextual cabins for rural Namibia?

We immersed ourselves in research on the local environment in terms of climate, history, patterns of life, literature, physical demands, and so on. The concept was born from the resultant understanding of the spirit of place, through an integrated process of rational and intuitive thinking, where the factual knowledge gets overlaid by the metaphorical, cultural and inspirational aspects that speak to the heart and emotions. The philosopher Pascal’s ‘Le cœur a ses raisons que la raison ne connaît point’( ‘the heart has its reasons that reason cannot know’), counterpointed with Descartes’ ‘I think, therefore I am’, explains this process quite well.

Shipwreck Lodge by Nina Maritz Architects

Shipwreck Lodge by Nina Maritz Architects

Source: Image by Denzel Bezuidenhoudt

Shipwreck Lodge by Nina Maritz Architects

Which architectural, material, visual and other methods did you harness in your design?

Our design process is so layered that it is difficult to isolate specific methods. We combined passive design, threshold (spaces to pause in), practical matters such as suitable materials, etc., forms that evoked but did not literally copy wreckage, fun references (porthole windows) and scenic views. Colours came from the surroundings (the cabins will weather to grey, like driftwood and fog) and a host of other approaches. We created prospect-refuge: a curved wall and low roof at your back while looking out to sea. We considered haptic and full sensory experience: openings placed to drift air through certain locations, entries giving sudden shelter against the wind, morning sunlight entering in shy little strips, while the setting sun floods the space with changing light.

Shipwreck Lodge by Nina Maritz Architects

Shipwreck Lodge by Nina Maritz Architects

Source: Image by Denzel Bezuidenhoudt

Shipwreck Lodge by Nina Maritz Architects

What advice would you have to contest participants on designing new poet huts for Pavilosta?

Try to understand the place very well – don’t aim for an iconic image right away, but immerse yourself in the genius loci as much as you can to find inspiration in what is there already. Put yourself into the skin of a poet – what would she need physically, mentally and emotionally to become one with the landscape and free the creative spirit? Be respectful to the place, the planet and the people. Be flexible. And be practical – there is nothing wrong with architecture that works.

Shipwreck Lodge by Nina Maritz Architects

Shipwreck Lodge by Nina Maritz Architects

Source: Image by Denzel Bezuidenhoudt

Shipwreck Lodge by Nina Maritz Architects