Saldus Music and Art School
by Made

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Separate schools for art and music are contained within the glass and timber walls of this academy in Latvia by Riga architects Made (+ slideshow).

Saldus Music and Art school by Made

Previously housed in independent buildings, Made created a single home for the music and art institutions that pupils in the west Latvian town of Saldus attend on top of their standard educational programme.

Saldus Music and Art school by Made

The facade is constructed from large timber panels fronted by glass profiles, which help to heat the air trapped in between and insulate the structure.

Saldus Music and Art school by Made

"Building structure and materials work as passive environmental control and at the same time exhibit [the building's] functionality," said the architects.

Saldus Music and Art school by Made

Chunks missing from the two-storey volume create sheltered patios on the ground floor and balconies on the first floor.

Saldus Music and Art school by Made

Bright colours distinguish the areas used by each faculty. Green denotes spaces for the music school and the blue zone is occupied by art students.

Saldus Music and Art school by Made

Staircases, walls and doors are coloured in these bright shades, which contrast with the exposed concrete walls and flooring.

Saldus Music and Art school by Made

Practice halls and libraries are located at the building's centre, along with a double-height auditorium surrounded by rippled panels to improve acoustics.

Saldus Music and Art school by Made

Classrooms and studio spaces are situated around the perimeter so they benefit from the light coming through full-height windows.

Saldus Music and Art school by Made

The external walls are lined with lime plaster, absorbing humid air that could damage the musical instruments.

Saldus Music and Art school by Made

We've also published a primary school sports hall in Latvia inspired by chunks of amber washed up on the Baltic coast.

Saldus Music and Art school by Made

Our latest stories about schools include offset gabled volumes that form a new classroom and play area at an English infant school and angular concrete structures used to extend a Portuguese secondary school.

Saldus Music and Art school by Made

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Photography is by Ansis Starks.

More project details from Made follow:


The building of Music and Art school comprises two schools working separately until now. The classrooms are placed on perimeter, while practicing halls and libraries in the middle of the building.

Saldus Music and Art school by Made

Light courtyards are the result of the compact plan, providing a lot of daylight and reflected light in the middle of the school, and at the same time being spaces for both schools to interact.

Saldus Music and Art school by Made

The green colour in the interior marks the music school, while blue is for the art school. Large thermal inertia of the building and integrated floor heating deliver an even temperature regime.

Saldus Music and Art school by Made

The facade consists of massive timber panels covered with profile glass and is a part of an energy efficient natural ventilation system, preheating inlet air during winter.

Saldus Music and Art school by Made
Site plan - click for larger image

Massive wood walls with lime plaster accumulate humidity, providing a good climate for people as well as for musical instruments inside the classrooms.

Saldus Music and Art school by Made
Ground floor plan - click for larger image

Building structure and materials work as passive environmental control and at the same time exhibiting functionality.

Saldus Music and Art school by Made
First floor plan - click for larger image

Inner concrete walls and massive wood walls visible through the glass exhibit their natural origin, which we find an important issue especially at education institutions.

Saldus Music and Art school by Made
Long section - click for larger image

There is no single painted surface on any facade of the school building, every material shares its natural colour and texture.