GARDEN PROJECT

Description. The guest house "Annas Hotel" is situated in a beautiful hilly country area, which borders a lake and has two large ponds and a forest inside the territory. The territory used to belong to a manor house, which is not preserved to the present time unfortunately. After large scale excavation works remains of the manor house have been found under the ground and the whole basement floor of the house has been uncovered. There are other buildings survived to nowadays though - the main hotel building is situated in the former barn of the manor house complex.

 

Client's requirements. The client appreciates the natural, ecological and historical heritage of the property. Furthermore, the client has performed a deep research into the history of the site. The hotel building is reconstructed with proper respect to the historical architecture and the newly planned household building is designed within the same concept. The client's requirements were to design a landscape project, which would place emphasis on the natural and historical values of the territory at the same time, when designing a multifunctional recreation territory for all customer target groups. "Annas Hotel" is a place, where the authentic antique values meet the modern contemporary lifestyle of today's society.

 

Garden design - garden project, country guest house garden with 2 ponds

Design concept. There are 6 different aspects upon which the landscape design concept is based: functional, visual, historical, symbolic, psychological and ecological aspect. The main goal of the project is to create a multifunctional, comfortable environment for family recreation, which emphasizes nature, the cultural and historical identity of the landscape, the unique character of the country landscape, the emotional comfort of the guests and huge exploration and activity opportunities.

Garden design - garden project, country guest house garden with 2 ponds, layout plan

Functional aspect. The functional aspect of the landscape project is mainly subordinated to the functions of the buildings and different objects on the site. Different activity areas have been connected within a network of interaction. The plan has been developed according to the functional zones of the site: representative zone of the hotel, household zone, parking area, sport zone, several quiet recreational areas, including the forest path, creative handcraft area, boat halt area, sauna recreational area, stage surroundings, children's playground and memorial site.

Visual aspect. The visual aspect emphasizes the historical architecture of the manor site and the beautiful nature values of the territory.  New landscape elements are matched with the rural character of the landscape, combining natural materials with contemporary landscape solutions.

Historical aspect. The historical aspect of the project takes care of the layout of the landscape, which has maintained the historical structure of the manor complex - the placement of the buildings, the character of the architecture elements and the spatial organization around the central yard of the manor house.

Symbolic aspect. The symbolic aspect contains the symbolic concept of the project, which is based on the historical research of the site and the surrounding area. Symbolic elements of the site combined with the layout of the terrain tell a story, which introduces the visitors with the unique meaning of the manor complex, historical and folklore values. In the symbolic story the manor ruins are the main element of the site, where the story begins, and it develops further into the steps of the writer Garlibs Merkelis, who has lived and worked in the manor territory. Thus the landscape complex of the hotel has not only a recreational, but also an educational function.

Psychological aspect. The guest house landscape is designed by taking into consideration the psychological needs of the guests - the environment provides complexity, the sense of control, which is so important for psychological comfort, flexibility of functions and landscape elements, wide exploration possibilities as well as sense of safety. The main aim of the psychological planning is to create a maximum of psychological comfort for the guests within the territory.

Ecological aspect. The ecological aspect is very important in a territory of great natural values. Ecological thinking penetrates not only the landscape planning of the hotel, but also the recreational concept itself of recreation in a natural area - the hotel has self grown eco-product cuisine, it also has ecological fruit tree stands and a kitchen garden of spices and tees. The ecological considerations in the landscape envisage to maintain the natural biotopes of the site and to not intrude with artificial elements into them. The newly designed plantings should be based on ecology principles by composing plant groups from appropriate savage plants. The main ecological idea is, that nature dominates in the surroundings of the hotel, but by coming closer to the hotel buildings, garden plants appear in the landscape composition and design dominates in the hotel main building area.

Garden design - garden project, country guest house garden with 2 ponds, manor house ruins

The ruins of the manor house. The manor house has been historically the central element of the landscape complex and it should remain as the central symbolic and historical element also nowadays. There is a historical road circle around the manor house, which is also kept in the new composition. The ruins of the manor house act as the dominating element in the representative zone - they attract the first view of the visitor, when entering the hotel yard. Above the ruins a glass surface is planned to protect the ruins and to create a transparent visual frame for the historical heritage. At night the ruins would be marked out with proper lighting. As the ruins are placed on the highest point of the territory, a wooden terrace is designed above the glass frame to serve as a view platform, from which the surrounding landscape with the water, terrain and the layout of the manor complex can be seen. There is a monumental view from the view platform towards the Annas lake, which invites the visitor to start his journey into the symbolic history and culture landscape path and proceed forward to the next symbolic element of the path - the writer's Garlibs Merkelis memorial site. 

 

The Legend Forest. The path from the manor house ruins towards the Annas lake is situated down the hill, from which there is a magnificent view towards the Annas lake. The path penetrates through an audio object "The Legend Forest". The object consists of several wooden poles, which symbolize trees. When the visitor walks through the object, there are sensors, which start an audio record telling the visitor tales of famous national legends. On the pole, from which a certain legend is being played, the visitor can read the name of the legend. When moving between the poles, the visitor can hear different legends from different sides of the installation, thus creating a live "Forest of sounds". 

 

The Life Story Road. The ruins of the manor house are connected with the Garlibs Merkelis memorial site by a straight "Life Story Road", which forms also the main symmetry axis of the landscape composition. On both sides of the Life Story Road there are historical linden avenues. By moving forward to the Garlibs Merkelis memorial site, the visitor can become aware of his or her own Life Story Road. We all have our individual life story, our convictions and our heroships just like the people beside us. When living in the Annas manor, Garlibs Merkelis was observing the life stories of the people beside him and based his creative and revolutionary work on these observations. On the "Life Story Road" we can observe other people's life stories, which are projected in a sliding projection on the ground under a contemporary pergola. The sliding effect creates a perception of time flow. Each visitor can also put his or her unique life experience in this memorial site by writing a message and putting it into the Life Story box. The written life story will be projected under the pergola in the individual hand writing, which makes it even more personal. This is also a way of using the landscape elements for public relation purposes - it is a dialogue with the client, the client writes down his or her message and is interested to come back next time and read his life story in the moving projection. 

 

The Garlibs Merkelis Memorial Site. The memorial site is dedicated to the writer and revolutionary activist Garlibs Merkelis. In the center of the memorial the famous stone is placed, on which Garlibs Merkelis used to work. The columns of the memorial site are made of stone to match it with the manor house ruins and to symbolize the flow of time, during which the ruins remain as the story from the past about values, which we should be aware of nowadays. Two opposite walls of the memorial building are used for projection of materials with biography and quotations from G. Merkelis work. The memorial site is the beginning of G. Merkelis life story, which is exposed further in the landscape path through the territory. 

 

The Garlibs Merkelis Life Path. There is a beautiful terrain from the Memorial Site by the Annas lake up the hill into the forest, where the Garlibs Merkelis symbolic Life Path is situated. The path symbolizes the life story of G. Merkelis, starting down the hill with his childhood and developing upwards the hill just like his life story by passing through all the creative steps of his life pictured in symbolic landscape installations.

The first installation on the path is called the "Father's bookshelf", which is dedicated to G. Merkelis childhood, where he educated himself by reading the books of his father's bookshelf. In such way he learned French, English, Italian and Latin languages as well as got acquainted with the ideas of Enlightenment. By moving through the symbolic bookshelf the visitor moves through the education step of G. Merkelis life.

The next step on the path is the "G. Merkelis classroom", dedicated to the period of his life, when he worked as governor in landlord families. The installation is formed as an open air classroom.

The next installation "Latvians" is dedicated to a breaking point in his life, when he tried to publish his most significant book "Latvians", but he didn't get any support here, therefore he moves to Germany. The installation is placed over the waterfall passage, which symbolizes a transition point in his career. It consists of stones placed in the pavement with names of the ancient families living in this area engraved. By stepping on these stones the visitor can realize, what was the destiny of the people described in G. Merkelis book, who lived and worked in the landlord households.

"The Rising" is the name of the next installation on the path. The visitor has crossed the waterfall as a barrier in G. Merkelis way, after which he published his book in Germany in 1796. There he gains admittance as a famous writer. Due to G. Merkelis book the depressed people as stones under our feet start to rise up out from the ground and towards the sky.

"Creation" reflects the most productive step in G. Merkelis creative work. He studies in Germany, gives lectures and continues writing as well as issues several newspapers. The spiral forms of wooden poles symbolize the creative development towards G. Merkelis most famous works, where at the end on each pole is the name of one book engraved.

"Fulfillment" is placed in the middle of the manor cemetery and it has an especially emotional meaning. It symbolizes the end of G. Merkelis fight against the feudalism - from 1817 till 1819 the feudal system, that he fought against, is cancelled. The "Fulfillment" is a monument to the cancellation of feudalism in a form of a peak, which symbolizes the peak of G. Merkelis achievement. On the 3 sides of the pyramid the years are engraved, when the feudalism was cancelled. Vessels with live fire are placed around the monument to symbolize eternal memory of the G. Merkelis achievements.

"Look Backward" is dedicated to the last step in G. Merkelis life. An ark over the path shows meaningful quotations from his autobiography. It also symbolizes the entrance to another world.

"The Paths of Influence" display the different influences, which have risen from G. Merkelis path. Several paths start from the main G. Merkelis Life Path and move away in different directions. There are several writers, who's creative work has been influenced by G. Merkelis ideas.

At the end of the G. Merkelis Life Path a monument "In Memory" is placed with engravement "Garlibs Merkelis 1769 - 1850".

Garden design - garden project, country guest house garden with 2 ponds, entrance pavement ornament

The hotel entrance. The entrance area of the hotel is the main representative area of the territory. The entrance is accented by symmetrical planting of sculptural forms. The concrete walls on both sides of the entrance are planned to be overgrown by climbing plants to create a connection between architecture and the surrounding landscape. On both sides of the entrance it is planned to place two antique boxes, symbolizing the hope chest of a bride. The barn used to be the place, where young girls stored their hope chests - the decorative boxes by the entrance will show the ancient function of the hotel building. There is a decorative pavement in front of the hotel, which has an ornamental folklore drawing made of colored pavers. The ornament symbolizes protection and it comes from ancient national folklore. 

 

Recreational area. The recreational area of the hotel includes different recreational functions: quiet recreation area, active recreation area, swimming zone, picnic area, gymnastics area as well as the open air office area. Separate recreational areas are placed by two big ponds in the territory. Annual flowers similar to wild flower areas are planted in big areas in the recreational zone to provide partial shelter for undisturbed sunbathing and to bring more color into the landscape. On the border between water and lawn a landscape installation "Flower Boats" is situated. It consists of wooden boats, planted with overhanging annual flower compositions. They are mobile and can be moved around during the season. At the end of the pond there is a pool for swimming in the healthy spring water, which comes out of the ground there. The fireplace is situated in a circle of stones and it is framed by a round form stone, symbolizing a mill stone. 

 

Children's playground. The children's playground is situated near the grownup's recreational area for a better possibility of supervision. It is divided in two areas for age groups up to 6 years and from 7 to 14 years. The small children's playground includes several round form sandpits, framed by birch logs all around. In some of the circles moving wooden animals are placed. Further down the slope there is a playground for bigger children. The main idea is to introduce flexibility and imagination in the children's play and to use natural materials for the playground equipment. Different elements in the playground can be used for different purposes and all kinds of games can be invented to play in the playground. Several "Nests" of different sizes made of willow twigs are placed down the slope. It is a place for children to sit together and discuss their own children's business. Continuing the ecological playground theme, there are cubes made of hay placed all around the playground. The children can climb over them and arrange them as they want to build walls, houses or any other objects, that they can imagine. The central element of the playground is a composition of wooden walls, which become higher towards the centre. It can be used for all kind of chasing, hiding, climbing and role games. 

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

Garden design - garden project, country guest house garden with 2 ponds
Garden design - garden project, country guest house garden with 2 ponds
Garden design - garden project, country guest house garden with 2 ponds
Garden design - garden project, country guest house garden with 2 ponds
Garden design - garden project, country guest house garden with 2 ponds























Garden design - garden project, country guest house garden with 2 ponds, forest
Garden design - garden project, country guest house garden with 2 ponds, forest
Garden design - garden project, country guest house garden with 2 ponds, forest

Nature values, the forest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Garden design - garden project, country guest house garden with 2 ponds, lake

View towards the lake

 

 

Garden design - garden project, country guest house garden with 2 ponds, sketch

Ruins with a terrace

Garden design - garden project, country guest house garden with 2 ponds, sketch

The "Legend Forest"

Garden design - garden project, country guest house garden with 2 ponds, sketch

The "Life Story Road"

Garden design - garden project, country guest house garden with 2 ponds, sketch

The G.Merkelis memorial stone

 

 

 

 

 

 

Symbolic Life Path:

Garden design - garden project, country guest house garden with 2 ponds, sketch

"Latvians"

Garden design - garden project, country guest house garden with 2 ponds, sketch

"The Rising"

Garden design - garden project, country guest house garden with 2 ponds, sketch

"Creation"

Garden design - garden project, country guest house garden with 2 ponds, sketch

"Fulfillment"

Garden design - garden project, country guest house garden with 2 ponds, sketch

"Paths of Influence"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recreational area:

Garden design - garden project, country guest house garden with 2 ponds, sketch

"Flower Boats"

Garden design - garden project, country guest house garden with 2 ponds, sketch

Spring water pool

Garden design - garden project, country guest house garden with 2 ponds, sketch

Fireplace

 

 

 

 

 

Children's playground:

Garden design - garden project, country guest house garden with 2 ponds, sketch

Playground, up to 6 years

Garden design - garden project, country guest house garden with 2 ponds, sketch

Hay cubes for construction

Garden design - garden project, country guest house garden with 2 ponds, sketch

"Nests" for chatting