As a firm, Dominek Architecture entered the 2017 Amber Road Trekking Cabin Competition put on by Beebreeders. The competition invited design teams to investigate and develop a short-term use cabin for the future Amber Road Trail, which will travel along the coast of Latvia. The mild climate, not dissimilar from the Oregon coast, sandstone beaches, and aspen forests provided a unique opportunity to develop a design language that was both intriguing and respectful of the natural setting.
Inspired in part by recent viewings of 2001: A Space Odyssey in 70mm at the Hollywood Theatre, our team developed a prototypical cross-laminated timber (CLT) "box" which could be oriented and arranged throughout the various sites in unique and interesting ways, engaging with the different terrain in sometimes surprising fashion. The way these monoliths would appear in the landscape in the traveler would inspire curiosity and delight. Outside the CLT was treated with Shou-Sugi-Ban charring while inside, a delicate pattern of traditional Latvian symbols was etched into the wood; a wonderful tactile experience both inside and out. Frameless windows of highly reflective black glass accentuated the seamless look of the cabin and framed the views of the Latvian landscape for the occupants.
Below are the final competition boards.