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THE NEW MODERN HOUSE by Jonathan Bell and Ellie Stathakia4d.lv 11/10/2010archeb.com 5/10/2010archello.com 4/10/2010archdaily.com 29/09/2010a4d.lv 20/09/2010a4d.lv 07/06/2010LA BURTNĪCA Nr.90/2010.08/09LA BURTNĪCA Nr.90/2010.08/09LA BURTNĪCA NR. 88/2010.04LA BURTNĪCA NR. 87/2010.02LA BURTNĪCA NR. 87/2010.02db # 032010

THE NEW MODERN HOUSE by Jonathan Bell and Ellie Stathaki (LAURENCE KING PUBLISHING LTD, UK).

THE NEW MODERN HOUSE

PRIVATE HOUSE by ARHIS, LATVIA. (Skatīt projektu...)

ARHIS’s house in the Melluzi area of Jurmala, designed by Andris Kronbergs, Barbara Abele and Ansis Zitars, is the extensive reconstruction of a 1950s building. While markedly different from the local vernacular (characterized by ornamented gables, turrets and traditional carpentry), the Jurmala house retains essential original details – such as the central staircase (‘a testimony of the mastery of a previous generation of Jurmala carpenters’) and fireplace, the latter shifted from being a fundamental part of the house’s function to a focal point for family gathering.

The external ‘skin’ of grey boarding serves to unify the massing of the house, giving a modern look to what is in effect a very conventional form. The use of the same material on both walls and roof, together with a walkway that runs right around the house, helps to draw attention to the deep-set windows, the depth of the reveal demonstrating how flimsy and frai the original, uninsulated structure was. At the rear, a glazed conservatory cube opens up the living space to the garden. The reconstruction also allowed for the creation of a new studio space in the attic, an open-plan space at odds with the traditionally small rooms of the old house.

The grey skin was chosen for the way it evokes the tarred and weathered hulls of the traditional fishermen's boats, once arranged en masse on the shores of the Gulf of Riga along which the resort of Jurmala spreads out. Like Simon Conder's rubber-clad house in Dungeness, England, the house in Jurmala is a modern interpretation of an abandoned aesthetic, battered by natural forces and economic shifts. The architects write that 'the house's identity and its specific qualities distinguish it from most of the other Jurmala development and make it more similar to a fisherman's farmstead from the last century'. The house was completed in 2007.