Register: MAY/03/2019, Submit: JUN/18/2019, Eligibility: Architects, designers, enthusiasts, companies, students; individually, teams up to 4 members, Fee: Architects, designers, enthusiasts, companies 90 USD, students 70 USD (NOV/13/2018 – JAN/08/2019); architects, designers, enthusiasts, companies 120 USD, students 100 USD (JAN/09 – MAR/01/2019); architects, designers, enthusiasts, companies 140 USD, students 120 USD (MAR/02 – MAY/03/2019), discount for 3+ registrations from one university/school, Awards: 1st Prize: 3,000 USD, 2nd Prize: 1,500 USD, 3rd Prize: 500 USD, BB Student Award: 500 USD, BB Green Award: 500 USD, 6 Honorable Mentions
The Teamakers Guest House competition is a collaboration with Latvian teamakers Ozolini, who draw on generations of knowledge and experience to create unique mixtures of herbal teas. Ozolini owner’s Brigita and Dima Lukini are opening their doors to those looking to escape the non-stop pace of the city and retreat back to nature.
Ecotourism, as defined by the World Conservation Union (IUCN), is “Environmentally responsible travel to natural areas, in order to enjoy and appreciate nature (and accompanying cultural features, both past and present) that promote conservation, have a low visitor impact and provide for beneficially active socio-economic involvement of local peoples.”
Rather than simply sightseeing tours in beautiful, natural locations, ecotourism places a strong emphasis on conservation, education, traveler responsibility and community participation. In order to class as ecotourism, it must be sustainable and have a positive impact on the environment in which it occurs.
While some forms of ecotourism act to raise funds for conservation efforts, some focus more on educating the traveler or to build community connections and respect for the environment, different cultures and human and animal rights. Ecotourism also promotes green activities, such as recycling, energy efficiency, and water conservation, as well as creating economic opportunities for local communities.
LATVIA – ONE OF GREENEST COUNTRIES IN EUROPE
Latvia has long been known as one of the greenest countries in the world, and was ranked second after Switzerland several years ago. Since the publication of the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) survey, one of the top priorities for the Latvian government has been promoting and encouraging green living, particularly through its “homo ecos” campaign.
Latvia benefits from a rich and diverse ecosystem, with comparatively large areas of pristine nature. Approximately 54% of Latvia is forest, making it one of greenest countries in Europe. The wildlands are home to a wide variety of species such as black storks, lesser spotted eagles, otters, beaver, lynx, and wolves, and great concentrations of deer, wild boar, elk and red fox.
Roughly 20% of Latvia is protected land, with four national parks, 42 nature parks, 260 nature reserves, 355 nature monuments, seven protected marine areas, 24 micro reserves and a biosphere reserve. However these resources are finite, and so significant measures were taken to preserve them not just for the their own sake, but for the economical benefits that they provide in terms of tourism.
Participants are tasked with designing eco-friendly and cost-effective guest house accommodation for those visiting the Ozolini teamakers in Latvia. Surrounded by forest and Lake Bezdibenė, it is becoming increasingly popular for those attending meditation or eco-fitness retreats.
The Teamakers Guest House will need to have three separate bedrooms for guests, capable of accommodating two people per room. Ensuite bathrooms are not required as a common area for bathing should also be included with two separate WCs and two separate showers. The guest house will also need a functioning kitchen and a large open concept living room that can be used for various purposes, such as gatherings, small events, as well as meditation and yoga sessions.
Guests will have the opportunity to take part in tea-making, organised by Ozolini, in which they will cut, dry, and pack the tea. Therefore, there will need to be a dedicated area for tea-making workshops that should be large enough to provide a comfortable working area for up to 12 people. The workshop space should provide plenty of natural light and ventilation and include 1 m2 of workspace per person for cutting and mixing. In addition to this a 15 m2 space for the tea drying and packing is required.
THE COMPETITION SITE
The Ozolini retreat is located 100 km from Riga, in a long-inhabited patch of landscape which features a mixed-species forest that was once extensively grazed and selectively logged trees. The landscape also features wetlands, meadows, pastures, and solitary trees alongside small arable fields and old farms.
The stone barn itself was built in 1850, and had been used for various purposes – with the latest being for drying and storing the tea. Within the two-storey interior of the building, only the stone walls remaining on the ground floor. As part of the building has already been demolished and participants can decide whether to retain the stone barn to its original form, or to reimagine its structure in a new way. Information on the existing structure of the barn can be downloaded from the competition website. Coordinates: @ 57.0359152, 25.4116774
- 3 bedrooms for guests (2 people per room)
- Common area for bathing (2 showers, 2 WCs)
- Large open concept living room
- Tea making workshop area for 12 people (12 m2) + 15 m2 for the tea drying + 15 m2 for the packing
The building programme is flexible, open for modifications and improved development strategies.