Twana Gul & Karolis Macernis
The skeleton is located in the nature surrounded by rivers, trees and wild nature. Kalsnava arboretum, the largest collection of woody plants in Eastern Latvia is located around the site. From early spring to late autumn it is possible to see 2500 different species of trees and 4500 species of plants. Surroundings are diverse and suitable for long walks. Therefore, we wanted to bring the arboretum inside the skeleton so that the visitors could get a bigger sense of the area and what it is preserving. The existing road is preserved and extended towards the skeleton with the aim to offer physical access and visual experience. The sauna has indoor facilities and an outdoor hot tub which offers the visitors more experience of the surroundings and is operating also during the winter. It is located in the private area surrounded by trees away from the public space.
The design preserves and emphasizes the history and original state of the building through rebuilding the demolished old part and giving it a new function. A winter garden which hosts an exposition of samples from the Kalsnava arboretum is constructed where the original part of the building used to be. It educates the visitors about the surroundings and why it is important to preserve these species.
The entrance hall with the reception is located under the winter garden next to the newly created stair for vertical circulation.
The main hall is located on the top floor of the building where the gable roof structure allows to have a continuous space without obstructing bearing elements or side windows and lets the practitioners stay more focused and calm. A lounge area which also serves as a library is located next to the meditation hall.
The winter garden is visible when approaching the skeleton and has physical and visual access from all the public areas of the building, creating a continuous flow.