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la casa del pellegrino
place:vana-vastseliina, comune rurale di võru, contea di võru, estonia
project:kaos architects
buyer:vastseliina piiskopilinnuse sihtasutus
foreman:toomas adrikorn, margit argus, margit aule, kaiko kerdmann, laura ojala
in the southeast of estonia, climbing the steep slopes of the ancient glacial valleys dug by the piusa river and the meeksi stream we reach a complex of buildings that includes the ruins of a castle of the fourteenth century, an old pub and the modern pilgrims’ house. the episcopal castle of vastseliina is a place rich in history. it was once a pilgrimage site because of the miracle that was said to have occurred in 1353. today it has been revitalized to rediscover the atmosphere of the medieval era. the pilgrims’ house of kaos architects was completed in 2018 as a recent addition to the castle complex. the project respects history and landscape, questioning the meditative spirit of the pilgrimage. the house is nestled on the slope, but it doesn’t stop you from seeing what’s left of the castle. the kaos project shows an architectural vision capable of balancing imitation of historical forms and modern thinking. lucciola o lanterna of the wall lined with lime, like a candle, make a lukewarm light on the pilgrim’s bed, lighting up the pillow and the tall, austere rooms. inserted in wall stairs or secret niches, guide those who do not rest at night. the small windows that open here and there, in the mostly blind walls, in memory of the first castles, offer panoramic views. flakes of light illuminate the reddish-brown steel fabric cover of the pilgrims’ house, intoning itself to the red brick and granite of the castle ruins. on the walls, black and white graphics inspired by the ancient engravings, give back to the guests fragments of a distant time. spotlights recessed in the wood of the ceiling mark common and transit areas. the monochromatic aesthetics of the whole leave the ancient and the modern to merge into each other. the ascetic minimalism of the interior invites the guest to linger and retreat from the hustle and bustle of the world.

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