Latvia's BĀKA Lighthouse once served as a drainage pump station near the coast, but now it's an activities center that promotes water tourism. The marshy site had a dilapidated structure, which Latvian-based firm SAALS used as a basis to begin the renovation. The architects were inspired by the vast and scenic surroundings when designing the renovated and new structures, which draw people to the area to play tennis or volleyball, boat or meet for events. SAALS preserved historic artifacts and the pump as a visual reminder of the history of the site.
Before the Soviet-era development of the drainage pump station and fish farm, the site held a single-story silicate brick building, some old water infrastructure, and a pump. SAALS was tasked with designing the site to serve the needs of the public near Lubana Lake. The fish pond was turned into a water feature with a fountain, the pump was turned into an attractive sculpture, and an open-air stage was built under the derrick remains. BĀKA Lighthouse is now a water tourism center that consists of an exhibition hall, a kitchen with leisure room, locker rooms, a staff room, a conference room, hotel rooms and terraces with a roof view.
This red building was reconstructed from the ruins of the brick building and modeled in the same fashion. The black wood building nearby serves as a storage space for sports equipment. The site also contains a play area for children, a volleyball court, a tennis court, grassy lawns and parking. Materials were selected to blend in with the environment and reference the industrial and historic nature of the site while also paying tribute to its natural beauty. Inside, bright finishes help bounce daylight into the rooms, which were designed by Ausma Kibilde. Named for the third story glazed terrace, which resembles a light house, the tourism center enjoys great views of the landscape and makes great use of the natural space for recreational purposes.
Images ©Ingus Bajars and Maris Locmelis