Bird Valley

A fundamental issue of the soviet large scale residential complexes is the standardization - the lack of character and identity. The identity of a place is an important part of the inhabitants perception of their neighbourhood. It determines the way in which one feels connected to the environment and how one relates to it. Our project proposes to built the recognisability of a quarter in Liepāja upon the names of the surrounding streets - bird species.


The names of surrounding streets add character to the neighbourhood. The courtyard is divided into areas each with its own placemark: Stork, Sparrow, Skylark, Magpie. Large scale bird silhouettes function as guides within the vast couryard space.


The configuration of the planned courtyard is formed by circular fields of various sizes, which are enclosed by curved pathways. The curves are a new element within the dominating orthogonal geometry of the quarter. It is important to create visual divisions in the lenght of the courtyard to brak down the feeling of a hallway. A view tower serves as a vertical mark, which allows to take a look at the area from a higher viewpoint.

The spatial configuration of courtyard - the elongated shape with open ends evokes a feeling of being in a hallway. The space has a dynamic character which suggests movement instead of lingering. Circular shapes break up the linearity of the courtyard. Circle as a finite figure creates a plaza like space, a self-sufficient entity. The sizes of circles are adjusted to the corresponding functions and create user friendly spaces for relaxation.


Location: Liepāja, Latvia
Client: City of Liepāja
Architecture: GAISS (Arnita Melzoba, Kārlis Melzobs)
Year: 2014
Awards: Open competition 1st prize