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Emphasizing the local specific. Tourist retreat in the Apuseni Mountains

Emphasizing the local specific. Tourist retreat in the Apuseni Mountains

Authors: Alexandra-Oana Creț

Tutor: conf. dr. arh. Iulius Cristea,
asist. dr. arh. Anca Păsărin Ferreira
Universitatea de Arhitectură și Urbanism „Ion Mincu” București
Facultatea de Arhitectură

Authors’ Comment

The project started from some personal questions about architecture. Specifically, most architects live in cities and design in the urban environment. But who takes care of the village? Who takes care of the values of the village and the tradition of the place? How can we as architects adapt the qualities of the rural environment to modern needs? The topic of the diploma project refers to an intervention in the rural environment, in the commune of Gârda de Sus, Alba county, to find a solution through architecture to raise the community's standard of living and to capitalize on local qualities. Also, through architecture, part of the necessary conditions can be ensured for the locals to stay in their native village, and at the same time, other people can be motivated to move to this landscape.

The project aimed to improve the relationship between locals and tourists through spaces intended for both categories in a nature-friendly manner. Thus, the proposed spaces help the community by creating new jobs, spaces for selling local products, but also with areas dedicated to local traditions and customs.

Following on-site studies, a number of sites with potential for development were identified, and the eight proposals were fleshed out in a master plan for the extended area. Among them, there is a tourist retreat that includes accommodation areas and horse-riding spaces, combining tradition, materials and the specifics of the place to offer visitors an authentic and comfortable experience in the middle of nature.

For this, two volumes were proposed for the two main functions (accommodation and stud), both located according to the level curves. Both buildings have a wooden structure, using glued laminated timber to allow a wider opening. The two volumes were developed mainly horizontally, taking into account the steep slope of the roof and the skylight specific to the area.

Accommodation spaces are located in the upper part of the main volume, being double rooms, apartments on one level, but also duplex apartments on the last levels. On the ground floor of this volume there are craft workshops and shops with local products to bring the cultural context closer to tourists. The basement opens to the landscape both through the restaurant area and through the spaces for the pools. From the finishes point of view, wood is used both for the interior and exterior through the use of shingles and decorative elements specific to the landscape.

The stud includes the necessary spaces for the horses, including individual stalls and the veterinary area. At the upper part, an intermediate level intended for the storage of hay, but also for craft workshops, was made. The interior spaces open to the landscape to create animal-friendly areas, and the volume is completed by a menage for training and recreation.

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