The House of the Flying Trees (HOFT) – a residential building
Location: Riga, Latvia
Team: Zane Tetere – Sulce, Kristaps Sulcs, Undine Linde, Zane Legzdina, Dins Vecans. In collaboration with KROKS architects
Photo: Open AD
The House of the Flying Trees (HOFT) combines a respect for history with contemporary functionality and an understanding of the human need to feel a connection nature. We added a new residential volume to the remaining 20th century facade. Every apartment has a balcony overlooking a central courtyard. This secluded outdoor haven is designed to inspire residents to connect and encourage a sense of community.
The ‘flying’ trees are both an homage to Art Nouveau with its nature-inspired motifs, and a way to bring nature into the city. Grown in a special nursery, the conifers and bonsai trees are particularly robust and resilient. We designed special stands and boxes for them to ‘fly’ at many levels and be constantly present.
Since HOFT is lucky to face some of Riga’s most striking examples of Art Nouveau, we embraced the location in our design. All front-facing rooms benefit from large windows, so the opposite buildings become like a painting and an integral part of the room. Indoors, we interpreted Art Nouveau in our choice of shapes, materials and the overall flow of the space.
HOFT is a residential complex for the 21st century, proving that city centres can still be very liveable.