Kurgi Farm, located in the North Vidzeme Biosphere Reserve, is sited at one of the most scenic locations in Northern Europe. Its location positions it for visitors from nearby neighbors at the University of Tartu, the town of Valka-Valga, and Ergeme village.
Known for its breeding of Latvian Ardennes, a rare horse breed near extinction, the farm is focused on saving the breed and educating visitors about their heritage. The farms’ owners looked to the design community to create an ecotourism concept that would meld the horses’ therapeutic experience with the breathtaking views of the Reserve. The tower was required to be five-stories, offer 360-views throughout the first four-stories, and have a fifth-floor guest space concealed in glass to take advantage of the views and have the ability to be occupied during any season.
The Cline Design team imagined a tower that originates from three rural forms, an entry portal and two horse stables, that shape a unique arrival experience for its guests. The three forms are wrapped in locally harvested wood, paying homage to the early Latvian wood architecture while capturing the self-reliant Latvian culture.
The three forms collide to form a hexagonal shape, rising through the tower, encouraging guests to embark on a journey to reach the sun. Along the journey, the carefully crafted view portals are carved out of the facade, reminding journey-goers of the significant views and structures that surround them. As they arrive at the pinnacle, the observation deck, the tower blooms, opening to uninterrupted panoramic views of Kurgi Farm and the North Latvian Biosphere Reserve. It provides guests a moment to reflect on their journey and embrace their natural surroundings.