A HOUSE FOR JANIS

A project undertaken as part of PUG

2017

Winner of 2nd Prize in Beebreeders' Blue Clay Country Spa Competition

 

Travel down the dirt road and through the forest until you reach the clearing - be careful not to disturb the deer - and there you’ll see what looks like a fallen tree. You have arrived at A House for Jānis.

June 23rd marks the festival of Jāni, the Latvian celebration of the summer solstice, a time when participants engage with their Pagan ancestry and encourage a primitive connection with nature. A House for Jānis is inspired by this and accommodates such a return to primitive and visceral connections with nature. The House provides a place for rest and relaxation; a place to immerse yourself in the Latvian landscape.

The House is inspired by traditional Latvian architecture. It employs a large roof as shelter and uses a series of enclosures beneath to define specific environmental conditions. The spaces between enclosures allow the landscape and wildlife to pass through, while also creating spaces for night time stories, songs, feasting, or meditation by a fire. A curtain runs the length of the facade and the closing procession is acted out every night at dusk.

A House for Jānis is built up in three layers: carvings into the existing landscape; enclosure objects placed on the site; a big roof covering all.