International Architecture Competition

Blue Clay Country Spa

Results

Foreword

The Blue Clay Country Spa competition pursues provocation of a decisive contemporary issue. The rise of sweeping urban migrations of the last quarter century coincides with a disciplinary preoccupation of architecture and the city, manifested in theory and praxis. This has all but left the vast expanse of any non-urban territory virtually uncertain. The competition invites students and professionals to contemplate the economic, cultural, and architectural implications of inhabiting the non-urban, through an ecotourist facility in Latvia.

Viable submissions interrogate the inherent tensions between subject and object, building and site, leveraging established programmatic and site constraints. Particularly successful projects engage the agency of typological form — including for instance, the courtyard, shed, garden and pavilion. This is particularly significant in a landscape unadulterated by buildings. Selected entries establish social collectivity through circulation and parti, while prescribing distinct individual and programmatic experience through space, material, and form.

 

1ST PRIZE WINNER

Project Name

Blue Clay Country Spa Portugal

Project authors

João Varela
Ana Isabel Santos
João Tavares
Paulo Dias

jury commentary

The first place entry for the Blue Clay Country Spa is successful in its reprogramming of a spatial archetype, the hortus conclusus, or walled garden. The primary gesture of the project is a circular promenade that unites each functional space of the spa. The wall circumscribes an interior garden and orchard, enclosing the spa with a colonnade that functions both as wall and social space. This formal armature of the circle allows each room of the spa - sauna, public bath, and guest house - to individually reflect its unique programmatic demands without detracting from the unifying identity of the project. Each space, simply detailed with native woods and exposed structure, fulfills the particular programmatic requirements of water, heat, light, privacy, and views. This circular space of ambulation marks the territory of the spa while still retaining the trace of the clearing in the forest, perpetuating the memory of Baltic vernacular architecture. With an ethos of minimal interference and simplicity, this hortus conclusus pursues a new type of ecotourism, one in which the spatial diagram of the spa enables a new environmental, cultural, and social agency. 

 

NEWSLETTER

ARCHITECTURE COMPETITIONS
AND AWARDS

2ND PRIZE WINNER

Project Name

A House for Jānis United Kingdom

Company

Whatispug ltd

Project authors

Graham Burn
Alex Turner
Will Fisher

jury commentary

The success of the second place proposal for the Blue Clay Country Spa competition lies in its strong response to the site and its playful reinterpretation of vernacular form. The project consists of a primary linear structure: a thatched roof longhouse spanning from the forest edge to the lake and rooted in the traditional Kurzeme typology typical of the region. A second linear element - a strip of productive landscape containing gardens, outdoor dining, a pool, and other ecological services - intersects the longhouse at an angle and divides the site into disparate quadrants. Within the structure, a series of whimsical follies contain the program and the remaining space is effectively open to the outdoors, creating a blurred threshold between landscape and interior. This linear parti, combined with the calculated rhythm of enclosed elements, define an interior procession from the forest to the lake, while the porosity of the structure allows for visitors to filter into the landscape. The strength of the linear strategy is further emphasized by the scale of the traditional thatched roof, forming a long opaque bar against the backdrop of trees, isolating the separated landscape spaces and creating peaceful, intimate realms while allowing permeation through the building and its inner world. 

3RD PRIZE WINNER

Project Name

Reflection in the Garden United States

Project authors

Miroslava Brooks
Amy DeDonato

jury commentary

The strength of the third place entry lies in its combination of three architecture typologies, the courtyard, pavilion, and promenade, to generate a spa experience that is simultaneously containing and exposing. The project employs a circular promenade to create a defined perimeter within an expansive, rural site. The rigid perimeter is strategically broken down by the program contained within, creating a surprisingly outwardly engaging experience. The interior program of the spa is organized around a central gathering courtyard. The courtyard extends and crosses the perimeter promenade to create and define the building entry. The major circulation corridors pinwheel off from the central courtyard extending past the promenade to the landscape breaking down the program into isolated structures. Each structure contains a key programmatic element that is separated as a pavilion within a carved out courtyard. The pavilions take on distinct architectural forms defining unique spatial experiences for the programs they house. The small pavilion courts directly engage the perimeter promenade focusing the user to the exterior of the site while inviting the wanderer to simultaneously look in. The project creates a closed loop of retrospection allowing the visitor to reflect outwardly to the landscape while inhabiting each individual spa space, simultaneously reflecting back inwardly while wandering the exterior promenade.

BB STUDENT AWARD

Project Name

Boxes! Uruguay

University

Facultad de arquitectura diseño y urbanismo - udelar

Project authors

Federico Rodriguez
Alejandro Lobo
BB GREEN AWARD

Project Name

Blue Clay Country Spa - Garden Spa United Kingdom

Project authors

Ashley Clayton
Mangyuan Wang

Honorable mentions

Project Name

Blue Brick Albania

Company

Studio-rebus

Project authors

Redman Toska
Ilirjana Bozo
Kelina Gega
Gentian Topciu

Project Name

The Blue Clay Temple Ukraine

Company

Architectural bureau zotov&co

Project authors

Viktor Zotov
Dmytro Matviishyn
Roman Slyadnev

Project Name

Wooden Cave Poland

Project authors

Lukasz Marjanski

Project Name

The Shelter of Silence Italy

Project authors

Andrea Guidi
Emiliano Diotaiuti

Project Name

Blue Clay Spa Latvia United Kingdom

Project authors

Edward Swift
Paul Maich

Project Name

From one Greenhouse to another France

Project authors

Tarabon Chloé
Millefiori Aurélien
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