Amber Road Trekking Cabins
Inspired by our team’s affinity for outdoor adventure, we participated in an international design competition to create a trekking cabin on the proposed Amber Road along the Latvian coastline. The team met together to develop ideas, stemming from abstract concepts and working those concepts into a physical form. After weeks of working through the architectural process, a modern gem-shaped pod emerged, built of traditional Latvian materials, providing shelter for 4 hikers. We presented Uz Jūru, meaning "to the sea."
"A backpacker spends the day trekking over rough terrain, carrying his camp on his shoulders. It is rewarding yet strenuous activity. A place to rest awaits along Amber Road, a place to find shelter and repose. A gem-shaped pod is nestled into the shoreline, resting lightly on the slope, built of traditional Latvian materials, designed and constructed of modern ideas. The primary folded form, nudged from a basic A-frame into an angular shape, is contrasted by the push-and-pull of window boxes and rectangular bunks.
Latvia’s rich cultural history has influenced local architecture built from natural materials, harvested from the surrounding forests. Uz Jūru’s folded structure is made from birch paneling and topped with thatch. The pushed ends are luminous through high performance translucent and transparent walls.
During the winter, dirty or wet gear can be hung up on hooks inside the door. Socializing and dining is encouraged by the positioning of bench seating next to the wood-burning fireplace inside and the spacious sheltered deck outside the door, where the folded plane extends toward the sea.
Uz Jūru rests lightly into the natural landscape, providing everything trekkers need, essentials without waste. The cabin offers safety and comfort, respectful of its environment and cultural setting with little necessity for maintenance."