Check out the competition entry for the Pape Nature Park Gateway in Latvia designed by Nick Grimaldi and Rachel Landsberger. Rachel and Nick enjoy working together creating a research and development atmosphere that both inspires and teaches.
The entryway’s form is derived from traditional Latvian framing that forms the structure of houses and barns, combined with the grand entry concept found in gateways, entries, and arches all throughout the world. The result is a humble, distinct framework that not only creates a striking entryway, but also a landmark for Pape Nature Park.
The Visitor Center provides shelter and amenities to those who are camping for several days or simply passing through for a day. Amenities include an information center, a camp site, an outdoor kitchen, water closets, showers, and even a playground for children.
The Center relies on solar and wind power to generate enough electricity to satisfy any electrical needs. Due to the amount of rainfall in this region of Latvia, ample rain is harvested to provide for all water needs, such as drinking and showering.
Construction and materials are simple. All materials are, locally sourced, renewable, and easily transported; there is no glass or metal framing members. Materials consist of wood and corrugated metal. All elements can either be constructed modularly offsite or constructed on site, laid out into place, and then assembled like a traditional barn raising. Manually-operated louvered walls, inspired by the simple shutter, enable the visitor center to be fully opened in pleasant weather or closed during inclement weather.
Through the intricate design and use of operable louvered walls, the interior and exterior spaces are joined together. Visitors can journey through the entryway, stop into the information center, enjoy a promenade along a stone path through wildflowers, and rest at the cozy pavilion.