Project: KRM House / pavilion-style weekend house
Architects: Open AD
Team: Zane Tetere-Sulce, Jelena Ozolina-Jelisejeva, Beatrise Dzerve, Zane Araja
Landscape architects: Landshape
Buider: Delta Construction
Carpenter: Uldis Ceplis
Size of home: 181,52 m2
Photographer: Alvis Rozenbergs
Text and photos: Courtesy of Open AD
Brands: Focus Fireplaces, Ferm Living, NORR11, Herzbach, DCW editions, lett
KRM House is a pavilion-style weekend house informed by the ancient Latvian farmstead – the viensēta. The extravagance-free holiday home encourages a mindful awareness of place and time. It sits within a sparsely populated area of Gauja National Park in Latvia where animals cross more frequently than humans. The natural surroundings enthrall, inspire and provoke without the need for distracting entertainment like a TV. Life flows seamlessly between the exterior and interior, the windows and terraces ensure a constant connection between the two spaces.
Since traditional farmsteads have a yard shaped by the home and its outbuildings, Open AD introduced a terraced garden instead of utilitarian buildings like a barn, shed and sauna. It cleverly disguises the garage beneath. The resulting yard-like area creates a pocket of privacy within the landscape and strengthens the owners’ sense of belonging and ownership.
The building has a timber and metal frame, and Open AD repeated this combination of materials in the facade and interior. The external cladding is tar-treated pine and the decking is larch. The grey colour scheme is inspired by the aged timber and stone of old buildings, as well as the melancholic grey Latvian weather. Rather than crying out for attention, the home is a modest and respectful addition to the landscape.
Another similarity with historical farmsteads is the custom-made nature of many of the home’s features. Open AD worked with skilled local artisans who brought the designers’ ideas to life, for example, the kitchen, corridor shelving units and master bed. Bespoke pieces are accompanied by icons like the Bevel table from Ferm Living, the Barfly bar chair from NORR11 and Bathyscafocus by Focus Fireplaces.
This is a relaxing and rejuvenating weekend retreat for a family whose daily life goes by in the city. Their holiday home allows putting their responsibilities on hold.