Zeimuls, Centre of Creative Services of Eastern Latvia
ZEIMULS was developed as a proposal for an architecture competition for a place next to the castle mound of Rezekne with the aim to create an innovative, creative environment for children and young people in Rezekne that would stimulate the young graduates to return to live and work in Rezekne town after their studies; to create a unique, new leitmotif to serve the town’s development in the beginning of a new era.
The volume of the space is bent around the local dominant – the castle mound of Rezekne; it is embodied in the terrain of surroundings with open views towards the castle mound and the church. The “pencils” stuck in the green volume serve as the foreground for the existing soviet period buildings.
“A dramatic landscape on the edge of the town center facing an ancient castle mound with medieval, state-preserved ruins- the main tourist attraction of the town. It was the site itself that suggested the building should settle deep into the ground and that the fifth facade – the geometrically triangulated green roof – should become the main feature of the structure. The building is a structure of exposed, monolithic concrete, plastered on the exterior. Still, most of the rooms are rectangular in the plan – the dramatic ceilings of exposed concrete and variable window geometries create the amazing diversity and uniqueness of space. The shape of the roof not only creates a feeling of safety and protection for the children but also allows for an ample and diverse flow of natural light through various openings into all the rooms, halls and corridors, while from the outside it shines mysteriously in the darkness. An intimate inner courtyard on the ground floor brings light into activity rooms located further from the surface.
The landscaping around the building, in both concrete and green surfaces, continues the same geometric principles as used for the roofs with the surprising sculptural feel and artistic touch in every detail. The new structure became an integral part of the existing dramatic landscape, and even a part of local legends and fairy tales, extending the popular imaginations. It is an example of contemporary design emerging from physical and emotional surroundings, from the local spirit and traditional archetypes, providing a warm and friendly new environment for the kids. Despite its 6000m2 area, the building feels human and homely, compatible with the small-scale historical buildings of the town’s center.”
A10, *48, Anita Antenišķe
Architects: SAALS Architecture
Location: Rēzekne, Latvia
Architect in Charge: Rasa Kalnina, Maris Krumins
Design Team: Ansis Auzins
Area: 4400.0 sqm
Type: Cultural center
Photographs: Jevgenij Nikitin, Janis Mickevics, Ingus Bajars