The Pavilosta Poet Huts competition called on designers to submit proposals for a writers community in the small coastal fishing village of Pāvilosta, Latvia, historically a port serving the nearby city of Liepāja. Pāvilosta is defined by its beaches and local fishing industry - visitors often make this a destination to spend time in nature and fresh air.
The competition sought designs for a small writers retreat where selected poets with free board can visit for short periods to produce their work. In addition to a set of five poet accommodations of various sizes, the designs were requested to include: plans for a multifunctional space able to accommodate small exhibitions, performances, readings and meditation sessions; a common kitchen and dining area; and host accommodations. ‘Huts’ were to house basic amenities including a bed, desk, kitchenette, washing station, and storage. Visitors are also expected to have access to outdoor meditative spaces and covered terraces.
In line with the location of the site and the intended program, participants were asked to consider strong connections with nature, the use of sustainable materials, and simple, cost-effective methods of construction.
The jury was impressed by the well-rounded response to this call for proposals. The submissions included a range of building typologies, such as isolated cabins scattered across the site, single buildings focused on the community experience, and even towers offering views to the surrounding region. Upon review of the materials, the jury members selected a set of winners that offered strong proposals for communal complexes that captured both the ability for writers to work in isolation, as well as interact with fellow visitors.
Bee Breeders would like to thank all the designers who participated in this design competition.
Jury feedback summary
‘A garden within a garden’ references traditional Baltic architecture using local materials such as timber, and resourceful building methods. The design collects all of the program within a single structure. It offers a distinctly modern rectangular block form, articulated by a grid of vertical and horizontal lines of alternating thicknesses giving hierarchy to the form. The facade is defined by a square clerestory window set on horizontally-oriented rectangular facade panels. The project’s take on a courtyard-building typology lends to its intent on creating a sense of community for users. It intelligently mixes interior and exterior spaces under a common roof, and provides views to both the interior shared space of the courtyard and the exterior site. The structure uses repeated assemblies for ease of construction. The dark exterior cladding is black-stained timber, while the interiors are light and simple to provide clean spaces for work and living. The project conveys its ideas clearly using simple drawings and thoughtful renderings. The jury believes the project could be strengthened with an image depicting the relationship between the interior courtyard and the exterior site.