Competition for a visitor center, camping ground, and amenities in the Great Kemeri Bog National Park, Lativa. This proposal explores the formal problem of establishing a small area of program on a larger site by designing path like forms that creates a sense of procession. The paths and buildings are connected by a double skin pattern that disrupt the solidity of the building by abstracting the surrounding forest.
Great Kemeri Bog Visitor Center
Architecture is typically perceived as in opposition to nature; an object alien to its environment, but this project aims to take on a new position where architecture and site are not opposites, rather the built environment becomes an abstraction of nature. This proposal works through the problem of establishing a small program area in a large site through the creation of a path that weaves up and down the site generating a sense of procession throughout the project. This path takes visitors from the parking area, through ticketing, the museum and exhibition spaces, café, courtyards and camping amenities as they continue on track, to end at the entrance to the road that leads to the Bogs. This project aims for the experience of the natural bogs to not only be limited to the off-site attraction, but to extend that into the site and its program. A series of buildings nest along the sides of the track in a bar typology which accentuates the circulatory nature of the project, and allow for views into the forest, while retaining a sense of connectivity to the interior of the project. The buildings formal language produces a relationship between the sloping site and the way the buildings dip into the ground, not to mimic but rather to emphasize its qualities. The paths and the buildings are connected by a double skin whose pattern extends into the ground to generate a laced visual quality that disturbs the solidity of the building and represents the visual complexity of the surrounding forest. This project does not aim to reproduce nature, rather it aims to elevate the concept of nature by exaggerating qualities of lightness and using them as driving design factors, where the artificial and natural are not in opposition but rather work to form a more coherent experience.