Hotel Liesma

2011 - Riga - Jurmala, Latvia - Competition

A music themed Hotel

design a Music themed hotel... what does it would mean ? A- Shall we have to create a sort of “Hollywoodian resort ” of Music? B- Shall we try to transcribe a Bach Fugue into a three-dimensional object?

- Or shall we need to discuss and analyze and criticize what could be a “Music – related space”? 

First of all Music is a pure, individual experience: whether you are a composer,  or just a music lover. Music is able to produce amazing inspirations or amplifying our feelings. These sensations will be related forever to the specific place and time where they have been conceived. So:

A- It’s  clear that it would be very common to explicate Music through a succession of themed rooms inspired by composers or symphonies. A museum or a good shopping mall can do the same.

B- Trying to materialize the complexity and intensity of a musical text in a building, it also would be a pathetic attempt. 

So what could be a “music related “ space ?

We started out our project by analysing the concept of Space as Interval. Space is a word coming from Latin : Inter – Vallum. The pause between two “ Vallum “ generate the space . Such “interruption “  is an essential component in music as well :

Music stands in a succession of atmospheres, a progression through different sensations.  Music is about the diversity and at the same time the proximity,  framing in a period of time different conditions (mental and pysical). We have at the same time to deal with a multi –shaped landscape in which different conditions take place.

Music and space are both individually experiences.

The “I-tune” library: a free succession of spaces without an imposed route, a composition of atmospheres and materials where the user can choose whether passing through in a predetermined way or even in a “shuffle” mode, in his search for inspiration.


Landscape as the main source of inspiration  : the leading element in the new hotel design.

The starting point was the recognition of the natural rhythm of Latvian landscape on Jurmala coast. We discovered a musicality in the varied succession of the strips in the linear structure along the coast. An order we can clearly read and decompose. An alternation between sea, sand beach, dunes, pine forest, linear city, meadows and river.

We play with these different ecologies.

The conceptual operation represents the inspirational process: cutting a landscape section then rotating it and intensifying it in a smaller scale. The result :  a new perception of the territory. As creating a musical text we recompose this fragments in new sequences whose rhythm every people can create on its own changing his route through it.  An open system in which different materials coexist.

The new building settle above these strips being influenced by them.  framing inside the glass patios part of the different landscape. The strips became the main structure of the big space of the lobby: sand, water and forest behind glass walls instead of corridors and windows.

As in Stockausen’s compositions music is created from possible interferences between unrelated elements.

The existing volume participates to the structure of the new hotel with its connection spaces: at the ground level staircase and elevators enter in the new lobby that form a platform enveloping the two main towers. In this platform are located the public spaces of the auditorium, the bar, and the gym, plus administration offices and the service sector, separated by the glass patios in a spread composition.

The multifunctional auditorium in particular takes advantage of its position on the ground having direct connection to the garden and a separate access in case of open events with a foyer, wardrobe and toilets. It can even be totally opened towards both the interior and the exterior, or even separated from the rest of the hotel thanks to its movable walls. The leisure area also have a strong relation with the exterior: the pool appear to be totally immersed in the forest with large glass windows, while the sauna allows to continue the wellness walk in the meadows outside, especially in winter with the snow.

On the platform rooftop (+ 3,3 m) a new open air arena is created.

The restaurant and the kitchen are set on the top of the existing towers (+25 m and +28 m) acquiring an unequaled view on the sea and the forest, offering a scenographic location for concerts.  

The wood polished panels covering the façade of the exisiting towers makes clear the character of the hotel as a musical instrument or a speaker. New large openings are created varying in proportion and sequence according to room typologies disposition on every floor.  

Every room is reformed according the new dimensional criteria. The large windows are different for every typology and create different spatial condition and space utilization. Each room should be suitable for a private music experience, whether playing  your own instrument at the window or watching at the landscape while listening to your favorite music ambient diffused. Thus every window typology allows in it a range of variations to receive comfortably a different musician, such as a guitarist, a violinist, a cello player or even a DJ.

Nature is a temple in which living pillars / Sometimes let slip indistinct words; / There, man passes through forests of symbols / Which observe him with a familiar gaze. /

Like long echoes in the distance , blend / into a shadowy and profound whole, / Vast as the night, vast as light, / Fragrances, colors, and sounds respond to one another.