. G . A . R . C . I . E . M . S .

Latvia Garciems detached house reconstruction Latvia Garciems detached house reconstruction veranda The summer house in Mezciema Street, located within easy reach from Riga next to the shore of the Baltic sea, has been and still is an outstanding place to get inspiration, do creative works and simply relax during the summertime.

Below you can find:
  • a short report on the history of the location,
  • the story of the remodelling of the house and the site,
  • how the house looks today.
  • and last but not least how to find the place
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    The H I S T O R Y

    Latvia Garciems Langa Baltic sea map Modern Garciems as a settlement is relatively new. There are almost no historic data on the development of the place. In the plan of Riga dating from 1627, one can see how Langa river flows parallel to the sea shore, connecting Kisezers (or Die Stint Sehe ) and the river Gauja (or Aa ) and serving as a natural runoff. The german name Langa still exists in the placenames Garciems ( the Long Village) and to Garupe ( the Long River), although none of them can be considered as being long..

    On both banks of Langa small houses are located. These houses, which most probably are those of fishermen, can be considered as the early beginning of the present settlements. The beach there is even a road from Riga going to the fall of Gauja in to the gulf (Der wegt am Strand vom Riga nach der AHA ).

    Pines in the dunes were intensively cut out for shipbuilding and export during XVII - XIX centuries. The dunes began to travel, entombing whole villages and settlements. Up till 1930ies new pines were planted, to make their roots to hold the sands together.
    Latvia Garciems Langa Baltic sea map The more recent map dating from 1927, shows Langeciems. The surrounding is rather marshy - the wetland was called Eimura march. Next to the beach one can recognize the famous parabolic dune. There is no railroad yet, as this branch will be constructed just in 1937 (http://www.railwaymuseum.lv/linijas.htm). Part of Langa from Kalngalaciems (present Kalngale) till Langeciems (or present Garciems) divides into several wetlands, proving that the whole land around Garciems is low and flat.

    Eimura channel, which sometimes is even considered as fall of the Langa river into the sea, in fact was dug out by unemployed in 1930ies, to drain the Eimura marsh. As during strong winds the water from the sea was blown up the channel, in 1940 the pumping station was constructed, allowing to pump the water from the marsh continuously.
    Latvia Garciems Baltic sea map Latvia Garciems Baltic sea map Another map, dating from 1970ies, is much closer to the present situation. Railway together with the railway station "Garciems" has appeared. The road from the station to the sea has not been constructed yet; also the settlement between the railroad and the sea is much smaller than today.

    And finally on the right is the present view as Google maps shows the place.

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    The C O N S T R U C T I O N

    The house was constructed in 1971 as part of the settlement of the Academy of Sciences. So initially there were lots of workmates living together, helping each other with the materials, workmanship and other construction issues.

    The orignal project was more or less typical and unified and it was "tied" to the place (I love the term..). So it turned out, that the entrance to the garage was initially not from the street, but from the garden. Also the living room was located on the noisiest side to the street, while kitchen - to the sunny and silent yard site.

    The images on the left and on the right show the house prior to remodelling. The door of the garage has been relocated already.
    Latvia Garciems detached house architecture reconstruction Latvia Garciems detached house architecture reconstruction The process of the remodelling started with a small scale model. The planning of the house was adjusted to the site. Kitchen was moved next to the entrance - so from the kitchen one see, who is entering the gate. By removing the partition, kithen became part of the living room. Main living area was extended to the South by adding a glazed veranda. Fireplace became the central element of the living room.
    Latvia Garciems detached house architecture reconstruction Latvia Garciems detached house architecture reconstruction Remondelling of the house was done in several stages. The first and most extensive was the 1st floor. Photographs show relocation of the entrance, blocking of the huge, unnecessary, street oriented terrace, making the aisle in the 1st floor wall and opening of the 2nd floor.

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    The R E S U L T

    Latvia Garciems detached house architecture reconstruction Latvia Garciems detached house architecture reconstruction Latvia Garciems detached house architecture reconstruction Before.. and after (the yard side)
    Latvia Garciems detached house architecture fence Latvia Garciems detached house rhododendron .. and views from the street. Although extensively remodelled, the street facade kept its original architecture. The finishing of the facade - plaster as if it would be eaten by worms, was kept unaltered, and the blocked up parts where plastered to mach the original.

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    The L O C A T I O N

    Latvia Garciems Baltic sea Flight Pine wood sand In case you approach Garciems by plane from the sea, the most notable mark is Eimura Chanel, which falls into the gulf on the shore between Vecaki and Carnikava. From the sea just look for the place where the channel breaks the even horizont of pine forest - it is the only such a place in the whole beach from Vecaki to Carnikava.

    If you have a closer look at the image on the left, you will recognize (from bottom to top) the sea, the beach line, the belt of pine forest, the bunch of houses scattered as if in the forest, then there will is Garciems itself (in fact the part of Garciems we live in is called Mezciems). Then come a line of fields, and then you can recognize several lakes (from left to right - Baltezers, Juglas ezers, Kisezers.
    Maps Garciems location Baltic sea Maps Garciems location Baltic sea If you do not have a plane, or your yacht is currently in the repair shop, the next most covenient way to get to Garciems is by train. We are ca. 22km from Riga and you have to take a ticket towards Skulte or Carnikava. The trains go pretty regular. After getting out of the train just take a ca. 15min walk towards the sea (opposite way to the railroad) and watch for the house on the left side of the road.

    If coming by car, from the centre you should go towards Carnikava through Sarkandaugava, turn to Viestura prospekts, bypass Milgravis and drive around Kisezers. On a half way there will be a turn to Carnikava (don't miss it!), next bypass Kalngale, go across the railroad and - voila! - there will be Garciems railway station. Then you should turn left towards the see and follow the same directions as above.

    Just in case you are fond of good walking, you can try to reach me on foot. It should be a nice walk and take ca. 4 hours, but, to be true, I have not given a try...

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    Teksts un attēli Text and pictures
    (c) Arturs Lapins 2010.
    Teksta un/vai attēlu izmantošanas gadījumā atsauce uz autoru obligāta.
    If any part of text and / or pictures are used, refering to the author is mandatory.