‘We started, sketching and day-dreaming about the way the dwellings will enter Valley 21, like trouts swimming up the brook. Slowly moving, looking carefully around and enjoying the brightness of the water and its surroundings’
Landscape is leading in the process of identifying the qualities of Valley 21 into a concept identity. For the identity of Valley 21 we went all the way back to its origin: the river and her changing stream that shaped the Valley during centuries to the form it now has.
Water is so much more for Vama Buzaului: here the water is so clean, it can almost be bottled without purification. Besides that, the importance of water (the rivers) as gathering place for local people or for tourism can not stay unnoticed. These existing qualities we instantly put to use for our design.
The essence of the Valley is set by its slopes and the river-bed. The slopes exist of a variation of forest and grassland that we emphasize by strengthening the difference of the plots into open and more close by adding trees in long lines along the slope. By adding these lines in two plots, leaving the other two open, we differentiate the phases within the valley that will influence the urban design and architecture.
We define the river through Valley 21 as the main structure for tourism in the valley. Therefore the position of the Hospitality Centre at the entrance of the valley but also in direct contact with the water is genius. Here the first contact with the quality of the valley is established. Along the river we can add ‘islands or drops’ of activities (pools, recreational areas, sport etc) as a necklace of beads along the riverbank. Thus the identity and activity close to the river increases.
The gradient along the slopes are much like the flow of the water between the stones of the river-bed. We organize the urban design of the small clusters of villas accordingly along the curves of the valley and leave enough landscape in between to have the clusters nest themselves comfortably along the slope, each overlooking their own specific view. Please notice how the plots where the treelines meet the clusters landscape and urban design meet in another way as they do in the open fields.
Access to the plots is in our idea plural. The hotel can be a stand-alone and his own entrance, while communicating with the hilltops, while the plots in the valley are accessed by a small road leading up the slope. The last exclusive plot with maybe 10 to 15 villas can have his own entrance through the valley itself. We expect a strong functional relationship between the hotel and the hospitality centre but this especially by the people working there and providing luxury and services to the valley.
The architectural scheme of the villa origins from the idea of the trouts swimming up the river. By developing two components: one providing living area and kitchen and the other the bedrooms, we have two forms that we can connect to each other in different angles, thus creating movement and diversity in position and view, according to the location. We will use this idea as the initial concept of the villa and develop variations on it to see what will happen if we combine this with texture and material. Wood will be one of them. Naturally because of the presence of wood nearby and the beautiful craftsmanship that this region has in the use of wood in its architecture.