Open AD designs a spa in Latvia with cabins coated with Corten



Latvian architectural studio Open AD completed the Ziedlejas Spa and Wellness Resort in the town of Sigulda, with a cluster of Corten steel and glass cabins dotted on a sloping site overlooking a pond.


Designed as a contemporary take on local sauna culture, the spa, which was shortlisted in the Hospitality Building category of the 2021 Dezeen Awards, features two independent steam rooms and three overnight cabins.

Above: three corten steel and glass cabins and an underground sauna were built in Latvia. Above: The cabins were built on sloping ground

All three cabins are at the top of the sloping site, while the underground glass sauna sits at its base, carved into the hill and overlooking the pond.

The second sauna, called the Smoke Room, is in a nearby wooded area, built using charred logs and topped with a weathered steel roof that references the shape of traditional sauna structures.

The front of the cabins was fully glazed
The cabins were placed on decked platforms

The Riga-based practice Open AD worked with landscape architect Landshape to draw all of these independent structures into a cohesive whole, connected by winding paths and stone steps that run through the site.

“Each structure is both an independent unit and an intrinsic part of the overall makeup … the journey from the sauna to the pond is short, and the Glass Sauna is accessible to people with reduced mobility,” the firm said.

Steel and Corten glass cabins at Ziedlejas Spa and Wellness Resort by Open AD
The smoke room has a charred log exterior

The glass sauna is covered with charred wooden planks, with Corten steel used to finish the parapet and two chimneys protruding from the hill.

A large window offers views from the wood-lined steam rooms directly onto the pond, with a small seating area in front of the sauna that can be used in the warmer months.

A window seat has been placed against a glass wall at the Ziedlejas Spa and Wellness Resort
The Glass Sauna is located at the foot of the hill

“Ziedlejas welcomes guests all year round, so solutions must work both visually and functionally in a range of conditions such as snowy winters, golden autumn, verdant summers and the gray times in between,” said declared the cabinet.

The cabins have been designed with an emphasis on creating minimal and “clutter-free” spaces, with tables that extend out of the ground and roll-away beds, with additional sleeping space on a mezzanine above.

The living spaces occupy the glazed portion of the cabins to benefit from an unobstructed view of the surrounding landscape, while the bathrooms are tucked away in the coated Corten portions for added privacy.

“[We] designed bespoke furniture and paired it with solutions from brands like IKEA, proving that a feeling of luxury doesn’t just come down to budget, ”said the practice.

Ziedlejas Spa and Wellness Resort has interiors clad in wood
The interior of the cabins has been designed with a minimalist look

Previous Open AD projects include two houses, House on Zaru Street and House in Marupe, both of which use blackened wood and dark steel.

Klein Dytham Architecture’s PokoPoko Clubhouse for the Risonare Nasu Hotel in rural Japan was also shortlisted in the Hospitality Building category of the 2021 Dezeen Awards.

The photograph is by Alvis Rozenbergs.


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