Transformable House


Building Type: Hotel
Location: Latvia
Status: In process
Scale: Medium

Architects : Nima Keivani – Sina Keivani – Hadi Noor Hosseini – Shahrzad Shirvani
Client: Latvia Government

The main focus of our design is the compatibility of the building with its surrounding nature. We decided to design a building that could be transformable as the nature itself. This conceptual framework expects the building to transform with the change of seasons and ecological alterations and eventually adopts itself with the surrounding environment. Through the process of design, the nature inspired us as it made us think of the ways in which a bird raises its feathers to create pockets of warm air and enhance insulation during cold winters. Subsequently, this inspiration resulted two interrelated ideas: First, a dynamic building that can alter its form, and second, a dynamic interior design that can move and transform internally in order to create a significant spatial quality for every season. Furthermore, energy evaluations made us decide to use local materials that could best provide insulation and a better compatibility with the environmental changes. The result of these evaluations was the design of a double-skin building. The interior plan includes dynamic cubic modules with various dimensions that can easily move on fixed rails to transform the inner spaces. The cubes differ in heights and surround the embedded central courtyards with trees and therefore provide a dynamic form even in the design sections. The outer layer of the double-skin design can open up in some parts to bring in light, and to let the cubes move easily both inside and outside the initial plan border lines. This material that is decided to be used for the outer skin layer is wood covered by solar panels. In summers the cubes provide a natural circulation of the air and cool the spaces by protruding from the surface of the outer layer walls. A reverse readjustment occurs during winters while these cubes move back on the rails and retract to enclose the spaces. Besides environmental contribution, these cubes facilitate the adjustment of interior spaces for the users. They easily move on rails, therefore, users have the option to alter the interior spaces based on their tastes, preferences, and atmospheric feelings. The insulated cubic boxes save a considerable amount of energy and lower future costs by enhancing the notion of versatile design. The eventual architectural product thus intensifies the notions of transparency, layering, and adaptability for an ecological design.

Glass is widely used in the design of the façades and profiles to control light and heat. This material helps to provide comfort zone and fresh air in the living spaces through conducting better internal ventilation. Solar panels oriented towards the sun, and wind turbines produce the required electricity, which is subsequently stored in Tesla Power Wall for the times of demand. A damp proof and energy efficient insulation technique is to insulate wooden frames and empty spaces in between the grids of the shed floor base. Floor joists fitted with damp proof membrane can help avoid rising damp. Collecting and using rainwater can be a great way to conserve and supply part of the required water resources. Furthermore, the local lake water has the potential to be filtered and purified for drinking purposes. In addition to all these, gray water purification system is also embedded in this design.