3GATTI imagines the pinecones resort as an inflatable eco-retreat in latvia

3GATTI imagines the pinecones resort as an inflatable eco-retreat in latvia


set within a natural latvian forest, the pinecones resort by interdisciplinary design studio 3GATTI translates into a floating retreat that inhabits the site with outmost respect. evoking the form of spaceships, these small tree-houses rest on the land without really touching it — giving the impression that they can fly away at any moment. the link to the latvian pine trees is forseeable, yet the resort’s design also links to the traditionally high and sharp roofs of local rural houses.

view from the lake to the guesthouse and the hot tup floating on the water



3GATTI has completed the resort as the blue clay country guesthouse and SPA. the unit distribution will develop along a wooden footbridge that crosses the parking and staff house to the more private zone of the guesthouse facing the lake with the floating winter tub and sauna. in the middle, therapy rooms and dining areas would encourage interaction between staff and guests. the highest point of the foot bridge will be reached under the biggest oaks to offer SPA units a charming setting of a treehouse. thanks to this fragmented layout with independent units, it is reasonable to imagine construction developing into different phases — building first the more urgent units followed by additional structures, depending on the client’s budget and schedule.

view from the guesthouse interior, watching the footbridge to the hot tub and sauna



although the team believes in a connection with the natural environment and local traditions, they also wish to portray contemporary demands and technologies. for this reason, an innovative and fast construction techniques is proposed to save time, money, and give better performances to the artefact. all construction components are small sized prefabricated pieces for easier transportation and cheaper fabrication. the main unit structure is composed of local wood elements that create a support frame for an inflatable roof that, when deflated, becomes very light and foldable.

birdview showing all the functions of the blue clay SPA resort



in the end, the entire process should make a significant contribution to the move towards green construction and sustainability. to improve thermal insulation and rigidity, the pinecone shaped roof will be made of ETFE, a 100% recyclable material that requires minimal energy for installation. afterwards, the structure would be inflated using a recyclable SPF spray eco foam. the membrane will also be printed using the mimetic color patterns of blue clay and the surrounding forest. even more, the softness of the units’ rounded skin will resemble the texture of blue clay — giving to the project a clear brand image and transforming the resort into a powerful latvian landmark. 

general plan and section of the connection from the public entrance to the private lake



additional approaches are also envisioned to let the complex be independent from external energy and water supplies. in other words, there can be geothermal horizontal, vertical and lake loops to exchange heat in winter and summer. a filtration system can also allow the lake be the first water supply for the SPA. the glass of all the units can be made using solar window technology so as to let transparent glazing act like electric solar panels. another important role is played by uniform and continuous thermal insulation surface — made possible thanks to the thickness and homogeneity of the foam inflated roofs;. this would increase in winter by a layer of snow that will bank till a certain limit on the whole roof surface thanks to the special grip shape of the spikes.

diagram depicting the fast and easy to handle construction process

detail of a typical unit with material and technology description

exploded axonometric of the typical pinecones units structure and elements

plan of the guesthouse for a family of four

the green choices of the projects, from insulation to the heating system



project info: 


architecture firms: 3GATTI, OFL

chief architect: francesco gatti

project manager: giuseppe conti

architects: francesco lipari, elsa sanfilippo (SPA consultant)

client: SRED global

location: kurzeme, latvia

design period: january 2017

materials: laminated wood, ETFE, eco foam, glass



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lea zeitoun | designboom

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