Reflection in the Garden

A proposal for a country spa in Latvia

…And the gardens sensed
That I had come to them
On a high holiday — 
And they greeted me, 
Unfurling flags
And kissing my cheek. 
Gardens marched past me on parade, 
But I stood beneath
Ever fresh, 
Ever shifting
Pollen winds.
Suddenly the flags dipped,
And they unveiled a monument to me.

 

Linards Tauns, Mūžigais makonis, 1958, trans. by Baiba Kaugara

 
 

Kilometers outside of the city, encircled by grasslands to the east, forest to the west, and water to the south, stands four tall oak trees. The four trees, with their broad canopies and hearty trunks, have a story to tell visitors from afar; the story of the site’s natural history – the formation of its landscape, the hum of its wildlife and the rhythm of their daily cycles.

As nature protects and encloses these oaks, the buildings of the Blue Clay Country Spa, too, reflect this relationship – hugging the western edge of the forest line and opening out to the eastern grasslands. The circle, which historically represents a natural form of unity, draws the outer landscape toward a common center – a center in which the four oaks become its hearth.

 

 

 

Upon arrival, guests of the Blue Clay Country Spa will find that they are not simply ‘inside’ the walls of a spa complex. Traditional distinctions between architecture and landscape, inside and outside, man-made and natural are softened. In blurring these boundaries, personal health is infused with environmental well-being. Nature and architecture are unified; providing guests with the space to revive both mind and body, and at the very least a quiet spot to sit and reflect beneath the leaves of an ancient oak.

 

 

Upon arrival, guests of the Blue Clay Country Spa will find that they are not simply ‘inside’ the walls of a spa complex. Traditional distinctions between architecture and landscape, inside and outside, man-made and natural are softened. In blurring these boundaries, personal health is infused with environmental well-being. Nature and architecture are unified; providing guests with the space to revive both mind and body, and at the very least a quiet spot to sit and reflect beneath the leaves of an ancient oak.

 
 
 

Mineral pool view into the central Oak court

winter garden and yoga studio view from the open-air promenade