A true escape to nature, Ziedlejas is a wellness resort located in a secluded section of rural Latvia. The retreat is designed to be a hidden oasis where people can reconnect with Latvian heritage while decompressing from the stresses of everyday life. Guests can stay in private cabins made with glass and wood, an homage to historic architecture with a modern twist, and partake in traditional spa rituals on the property.

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long dark building built into a hillside

“The Ziedlejas story is all about maintaining Latvian heritage but not being afraid of going with the times,” the designers at Open AD said. “It is and will be a place to get a sense of the local spirit and an understanding of local ways. Guests can learn about traditions and folklore. Everything here is as local as can be with a deep respect towards craftsmanship, the environment and the growing human desire to reconnect with nature.” The firm has already completed two saunas and is currently working on a third, each with its own unique features and holistic elements.

Related: Sustainable arctic sauna frames views of the midnight sun

weathered steel and glass cabins in a meadow
wood chair near black fireplace

Baltā pirts, or the “white sauna,” was built by embedding concrete into the hillside to maintain privacy; directly adjacent to the sauna is a natural pond where guests can enjoy after-treatments. The second melnā pirts, or “smoke sauna,” is more traditionally built from spruce wood and tucked into the forest that surrounds the property. The third aitas vilnas pirts (still in production) translates to “sheep’s wool sauna” and will have its own unique set of healing properties, according to the designers. Paths to the saunas are blocked while in use to ensure privacy, although all of the spa’s buildings are built into the hill so as not to interfere with views for overnight guests.

large, low-lying table in room with glass walls
On the left, wood sauna room. On the right, bed in gabled cabin with glass walls and ceiling

There are four multifunctional guest cabins made from weathered steel, wood and glass, converting from teahouses during the day into bedrooms at night. Guests can pick their own herbs from the neighboring garden for tea with the help of the staff, who are all specially trained and knowledgeable about the different blends and plant properties. The herbs are also used in the bathing rituals and for interior décor. In the future, the owners hope to add a central pavilion to host events and provide a dedicated space for yoga classes.

+ Open AD

Via ArchDaily

Photography by Alvis Rozenbergs via Open AD

series of weathered steel and glass tiny cabins on a hill