Jury feedback summary
The first place project LINK for the Amber Road Trekking Cabins was chosen for its strength as both an architectural and landscape proposal. The project introduces a series of wooden moles, structural piers used as breakwaters, to connect the coast to the interior terrains of the Latvian landscape. By creating a network of narrow passages leading to the trekking cabins within the forest, LINK pursues an alternative mode of conservatism - creating low impact architectural interventions within the native ecologies of the site to preserve the natural landscape. Through the use of pre-defined paths within the wilderness, there is no disruption of the wildlife or environment of the site.
The cabin itself is successful in its contemporary re-appropriation of Latvian vernacular architecture. While the exterior figure of the cabin mimics the archetypical form of the primitive hut, the interior spaces of the cabin subvert this initial reading. Each cabin is derived from a morphology that enacts both collective and individual modes of inhabitation. The center of the cabin is in fact a voided exterior space, a booleaned cylindrical hearth that carves out the interior of the proposal. This circular outdoor space is surrounded and sheltered by four interior rooms, one at each corner, allowing for private space for each hiker. It is this adaptation of the iconic form of the vernacular archetype into a new spatial typology of collective habitation that creates a productive tension between the shared space of the hearth and the private space of the cabin.