Nature City

Invited masterlanning workshop in Mangasala, Latvia.

Mangasala, Latvia
Sector: Masterplanning
Client: Juras Kap Ltd.
Project Status: Competition

Nature and the City sounds like a contradiction. Yet the opportunity has arisen in Riga to create just that. A beautiful stretch of coastline with direct access to the beach and connected to the City of Riga in less than 20 minutes is being proposed for a development of high quality low density housing and associated leisure activities in over 80 hectares of land. The concept is to live in nature, surrounded by nature, enjoying and being inspired by nature, yet part of the City.

Our approach to the site is one of environmentally sensitive construction that ‘touches the ground lightly’ using sustainable principles throughout. We aim to keep as much of the existing landscape as possible whilst inserting the requirements of the brief for various housing types and other programmes using natural systems to influence the outcome of the master plan.

We carried out initial analysis of the site looking at solar, wind, flood levels and existing trees. From this analysis we overlaid the data to establish multiple locations for construction with the least environmental impact and best environment for each house. This identified a number of locations across the site but not sufficient for the density required. We subsequently set out to establish both a framework and methodology for locating each site individually based on the natural systems of the site, and a delicate and appropriate intervention based on flooding, tree locations, sunlight and daylight exposure, and wind.

The overall quality of the master plan is to provide a highly inspirational and permeable environment in which to live that is positively organic in its approach and organisation. The flexibility of this approach allows the houses, beach and forest to co-exist in the edge of city condition.

This proposal was awarded Second place by the Jury. 

Gianni Botsford


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