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House of Ruins

The House of Ruins in the Sakas Municipality is a product of the Latvian ruin preservation cult. The structure, shaped by several generations of people, both communicates and fuses with the surrounding environment. The strikingly scenic character of the building is not just a question of the architects’ aptitude, but also part of the building’s destiny. Architects have savoured the presence of ruins and found a way to use the stone walls, the only remains of the 19th century farmer’s house that was destroyed in World War Two. Neither the original house, nor its initial function was restored. The glass house inside the ruins, which stands unattached to the old walls, is a contemporary holiday home owned by businessman Andris Vītoliņš.

Thanks to the reduced functionality of the building, more space is afforded to contemplation. The house is designed as a single-level structure with a glass-walled living area, which has an adjacent terrace and an inner courtyard, encircled by the ruins. The close-up view of the ruins from the rooftop terrace is arresting. The choice of materials is limited: glass, concrete and wood. And the goal, harmony between the form and the requirements of new functionality, has been achieved.

Jānis LejnieksV*X Latvian architecture since 1991. (Nucleus, 2011), 87-89





















House of Ruins Near Pāvilosta

It does not occur very often to my colleagues, architects: an opportunity to engage in architecture as a pure yet inconspicuous activity, as was the case with the House of Ruins. The only times they can do it is when constructing abstract installations and models for exhibitions. Which is why this object is not an example of practical construction, not an expression of new country house functionality, determined by the comfort and status requirements of a client or a social group; it is rather an intellectual manifesto that promotes an original interpretation of time and space. The new architecture of the House of Ruins does not imply efforts to create a nostalgic reconstruction of the order of things as they once were, nor it is an attempt to refresh the environment so that it would appeal to a practical Latvian. The moment that captures the place as it is now, not as it could be or could have been, has been turned into an asset worth preserving. It is a conservation of the sense of place rather than a sentimental reconstruction or a futuristic renovation: that is why the modest, even trivial container inside the ruins is more akin to ‘contemplative’ buildings, such as bird-watching towers, bases of Arctic explorers or the space station Mir, rather than a beachside bungalow with girls and champagne.

Vents VīnbergsV*X Latvian architecture since 1991. (Nucleus, 2011), 24-26


Images by Karlīna Vītoliņa




PROYECTO ARKOS 2013-08-22 18:40:39
I think a very interesting project. It poses a rehabilitation system using anastylosis. The structural design also can (and should). www.arkos.es
:) 2012-01-21 11:04:52
O, my God! :) Ar iereibušu Stībeli. Visa pasaule vaļā šiem cilvēkiem, bet kā ir patiesībā? Kas nosaku Tavu patieso vērtību, cilvēk?
:) 2012-01-21 11:04:46
O, my God! :) Ar iereibušu Stībeli. Visa pasaule vaļā šiem cilvēkiem, bet kā ir patiesībā? Kas nosaku Tavu patieso vērtību, cilvēk?
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