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Sisters in Snow: A Woodland Garden in Latvia

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Sisters in Snow: A Woodland Garden in Latvia

December 3, 2013

Trees are the national symbol in Latvia. Or ought to be: half of the land within the borders of the country is forested, mainly with Scots pine, silvery birch, and Norway spruce. But there also are plenty of alder trees–black and gray–and ash and aspen and oak. So when Latvian architects NRJA were called in to design a pair of “sister houses” near Langstinu Lake, not far from the Baltic Sea, the first step was to figure out how to introduce the buildings gracefully to the surrounding woodlands:

Photography courtesy of NRJA.

Above: The two separate houses dubbed “Sisters in Snow” by the architects, are built on separate foundations and are joined be a common entryway on the first floor.

Above: Winter is severe and snowstorms common in Latvia; the houses were designed to look good against a backdrop of white.

Above: The bright red facade looks particularly cheery in December (when there is on average an hour or less of sunshine per day).

Looking for just the right shade of red? See The 8 Best Exterior Red Paints.

Above: A covered car park keeps snow from accumulating on autos.

Above: Built for two related families who wanted to balance togetherness with privacy, the houses are connected by a glass-walled hallway. The second floor windows have views of the lake.

Above: In summer months, the snow is replaced by a carpet of ferns beneath the trees.

Intrigued by the way red looks against a northern landscape? See Little Red Tree House in the Big Woods for a red house in the forests of Swedish Lapland.

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