8 Blacks by NRJA


Initially planned as a holiday house, at the end of the design process – socially active family’s living house complex at the River Venta near Kuldiga.

The place drags in to live there.

8 BLACKS consists of:

1. A group of buildings for daily living, located around the paved courtyard and creating center of gravity for the complex,

2. Guest house and Sauna house located at a distance,

3. Cellar sat within relief and ancillary buildings.

4. Football and Volleyball field

8 BLACKS is a modern approach for traditional living complex in Kurzeme adopting the archetypal cross-section as a common element for all buildings. Union of traditional and modern in the image of the house entail sense of inheritance and belonging at the same time providing the necessary comfort for active living.

Expressive nature of the terrain – a swift river, remarkable relief, wind – defined the minimalist form of buildings; they do not compete with nature.

Using one material for both – walls and roofs – homogenous look of the building is achieved; surface texture and details are reached by the finish of raw wood planking.

In contrast of 8 BLACKS the inner courtyard is connected to garage building, made of white polycarbonate and operating as a large lamp and illuminating the yard.

8 BLACKS – 8 black painted wood planking buildings forming a complex.

Large windows of the buildings provide a visual link with the surroundings; the terraces of various sizes offer an opportunity to go out while being in the house.

Indoor space is formed following a principle of ‘box in a box’ – free-standing room blocks with built-in furniture walls. The space above the ceilings is used as extra sleeping area.

Two-storey volume separated by a gallery and a terrace from the rest of the residential building contains a fireplace room on the ground floor and owner’s working room on the upper level. Construction of walls in this building is different from other volumes – metal frame construction with glass fill and rare wooden siding creates light games in the interior. Wooden boards, opened up towards the river, allow watching it.

Placed within the existing relief the cellar volume is ending up the planed garden with a solid rock wall. More over the garden within the gully will be protected from prevailing winds. The cellar is located at a distance from living complex, while the visual link is provided through an opening in the garage building. Final volume of the complex – the gate house – will visually complete the private courtyard; it will place a wide, comfortable main entrance with a place for dog and technical equipment room.

8 BLACKS identity sign that appears on the main entrance wall, is made by modifying site plan and thereby obtaining the sign of the complex. By multiplication and combination, one gets a drawing, which will be set up on the white wall of master’s bathroom.

Architects: NRJA – Uldis Luksevics, Ieva Lace, Linda Leitane, Ints Mengelis
Location: Kuldigas, Latvia
Project area (living space): 461 sqm
Project year: 2004 – 2011
Photographs: Gatis Rozenfelds, NRJA

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