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Haven
Cape Kolka, Latvia


Comptetition Design: Shaner & Co.
Area: 1,500ft²
Awards: Highest Jury Score, Third Place Overall, Sustainability Award


Shaner & Co. has been awared third place in the BUILDNER International Architecture competition from a pool of more than 1,000 applicants. The competition entry garned acclaim within the jury, receiving both the highest total score as well as the Sustainability Award.

Competition Text: “A retreat in the middle of a Latvian bog that touches the ground lightly, Haven is in concert the qualities both physical and phenomenal that are characteristic of its surroundings. Just as the practice of Yoga seeks to cultivate the union of mind, body, and environment, so too does Haven aim to be the union of architecture with it’s context.

Haven deploys a lightweight but robust lattice system for the roof canopy and an interlocking timber grid for the second floor and plinth. Columns are pushed to the perimeter and stabilize the two techniques. As a beacon of sustainability and an amplifier of the material qualities of its context, Haven recycles felled timber as well as weathered metals. The tonality, rhythm, verticality, and tactility of the timber slatting allows the project to blend seamlessly into its surroundings. The thinner wood and bamboo members used for the roof canopy’s plenum space creates dappled lighting that exists in the rest of the forest. In addition, Haven harnesses the potential of the elements by capturing solar energy and rainwater, converting the two into sustainable sources for self-sufficient, environmentally conscious operation.

Haven hopes to allow for the properties of the Latvian bog in which it lives to propagate through its spaces and materials. In this way, the visitor feels both sheltered from yet fully supported by and integrated with the elements and their context.”