Rucka Micro Spa

Rucka Micro Spa, Cesis (Latvia) 2014

RTU International Architecture Summer School

Rucka Micro Spa was built by ten students in four days as part of the RTU International Summer School in Cesis. It is a micro-spa in the grounds of the Rucka Manor Art residency in the small town of Cesis in Latvia.

The project involved the conversion of a derelict 17th century subterranean ice-house into a sauna and changing area. We also placed on top a cantilevered timber truss sun-deck with an infinity pool looking out over the surrounding apple orchards. Above the entrance hang three bucket showers used by bathers as they exit the sauna below. A section of the deck can be rolled over the pool to form a cover when not in use.

The Building Works Unit chose to work in reference to historical phenomena — hydrotherapy establishments, which had gained considerable popularity in the 19th century in Cēsis, – and a Latvian Sauna culture as ancient as the place itself. We chose to explore the idea of a choreographed sequence of experiences that would combine to make a rejuvenating and therapeutic whole.

Client: Kaspars Goba (LV), Ieva Goba (LV), Rucka Artist Residency

Tutors: Niklāvs Paegle (LV), Thomas Randall–Page (UK), Theodore Molloy (UK)

Students: Austris Sauka (LV), Basak Kalfa (TR), Galina Mikhailova (BY), Kristina Dimitrova (BG), Leonique Winnen (NL), Lucas Facer (UK), Paula Negrut (RO), Tanya Chandra (IN), Tatiana Gurduza (MD), Tereza Vokurkova (CZ).

Research Question: When presented with a context of dereliction and decay, how can modest but well designed interventions act as catalysts and change perceptions of a place? We were also considering the viability of turning a fridge into an oven.

Links: Facebook, Project Page


11-50, Architecture, Client-funded, Collaboration, Days, Extra-curricular, Graduates, Latvia, Permanent, Postgraduate, Riga Technical Univ., Self-funded, Semi-permanent, Sponsorship, Students with tutor, Undergraduate