NAAU has completed a proposal for a new hotel on the beach side of a resort in Jurmala, Latvia. The design is located a short walk from the beachfront and includes 130 rooms, a restaurant, conference and health club facilities. The brief called for a design based around the theme of music that reused an existing tower on the site. The ground floor is to be constructed from a curved timber LVL framed roof structure, which was drawn from the waveforms of Handel’s ‘Water Music.’ The tower reuses the existing concrete structure with a new curtain wall featuring a white ceramic interlayer pattern.
The existing site of hotel has a number of significant trees and other vegetation that is well worth preserving. The key site strategy is to identify these key moments, and celebrate them The key site strategy for the project was identifying where to locate the building, but rather identifying where not to build – moments of preservation within the site. These zones are subtracted from the extruded wave form, creating courtyards within the building, drawing light deep into the floor plate and providing entry and car parking facilities.
The tower re‐uses the existing tower structure on the site, but proposes the integration of a new additional lift core to provide a service lift for the hotel. The design calls for the removal of the existing facade and the provision of a new fully insulated and thermally broken curtain wall system. Within the new hotel, basic and family rooms are located to the bottom floors, with the large suites located at the corners of the building and the upper floors. The ninth floor is fully reserved for a presidential suite with a customized layout and orientation toward the sea views to the north.
The façade of the public areas is a conscious reference to Iannis Xenakis, famous for his integration of architecture and music, in particular his undulating (or harmonious) glass facades developed for the Saint Marie de La Tourette monastery. These techniques has been adapted for waveform hotel, with the Handel waveform translated into the compression and expansion of the mullions along the façade – effecting a subtle visual rhythm and articulation.
Although the ground level public areas of the building appear formally dynamic, the construction technology to achieve this effect is conventional and therefore cost effective. The waveform roof is a simple extrusion along the short axis of the building, allowing for the use of curved Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) beams and a simple column grid as the primary structure, supporting timber roof purlins, layered plywood and roofing membrane as the roofing surface. Insulation appropriate to the climatic conditions to be integrated into the roof construction to ensure thermal comfort and the environmental performance of the building.
The tower façade translates the Waveform motif vertically, though the application of a ‘fritted’ ceramic interlayer embedded in the glass. Although an extremely conventional glass curtain wall, with all the advantages of ease of construction, integration of insulation and cost, the façade is strikingly original and visually arresting.
Ben Milbourne, John Doyle, Laura Martires
Completed Concept Design