Ziemeļi Coastal Holiday Home | Open AD architects

Contemporary take on vernacular homesteads Latvia / 2021

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26 Love 2,048 Visits Published

Latvian legislation safeguards the coastline from excessive building practices. While newbuilds are not allowed, existing foundations can be utilised. Open AD’s clients purchased a coastal property with the idea of transforming it and the studio agreed to the challenge.


The property consisted of four mismatched buildings – the main house, a cellar, shed and garden house. Open AD was able to preserve all elements, adapt their purpose and unify them stylistically to tie them in with the coastal 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 villages 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 flowing freely 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. Windows across all buildings ensure that the sea is always felt. Residents can also just enjoy the landscape from the comfort of the terrace.


Exuberance-free, the home reflects northerners’ reserved and modest nature. No element is purely decorative in order not to take away from the rugged beauty of the coastal landscape. Even pragmatic elements like drains and gutters are hidden or replaced with a rain chain. The shelving systems built into the façade of the garage and outdoor dining area assist in keeping the exterior tidy. They also allow expanding on the garden, which is designed by Galantus Gardens landscape architecture firm.


Team: Zane Tetere-Sulce, Dace Bula, Eva Heidingere-Jukama


Landscape: Galantus Gardens


Build: JK Flooring


Suppliers: Ruukki, Brikers, Flora, Kates Plates, LAT MET 

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    Latvian legislation safeguards the coastline from excessive building practices. While newbuilds are not allowed, existing foundations can be utilised. Open AD’s clients purchased a coastal property with the idea of transforming it and the studio agreed to the challenge. The property consisted of four mismatched buildings – the main house, a cellar, shed and garden house. Open AD was able to preserve all elements, adapt their purpose and unify them stylistically to tie them in with...

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