By creating a visual reference to an aquatic plant, the Bog Arum (Calla Palustris) that one occasionally finds on lake shores around Latvia, the Design Studio H2E team created special angling spaces on Lake Aluksne. In a unique way, these anglers’ seats combine a functional aspect with information about species of fish in the lake and the richness of the culture and nature of the surrounding area.
The lake is located in the town of Aluksne and its shoreline forms a peculiar symbiosis of natural and urban life. Lake Aluksne contains rich freshwater fish fauna, which the town believes make the lake a potential venue to develop the sport of angling. Therefore, the town has been decided to install angling and leisure areas to encourage more active use of the lake and to make it accessible to various groups.
The biggest challenge for the designers was to create an installation that could be used functionally, and which would at the same time blend in with the town’s unique environment, as well as integrating an educational and conservation element. Local angling rules stipulate that anglers can keep their catch provided that the fish in the catch do not exceed the permitted size. Therefore, a measuring instrument in the form of a liner was integrated with which anglers could use to measure the size of their catch.
Another challenge for this project was to position the shores of Lake Aluksne as a territory with quality infrastructure, as well as a contemporary leisure and recreation area by the water. At the same time, the team needed to create an installation that generated the potential for an increase in visitor numbers to the lake shore, while at the same time causing as little harm to the natural habitat as possible.
An additional task for the Design Studio H2E team, was to reflect Aluksne’s cultural and historical heritage and to tell a story associated with the site. The function of these angling sites were combined with an imaginative storyline about the town and the lake.
A bright color was deliberately chosen for the angling site design elements, forming various associations with the landscape of nature during Latvia’s four seasons. In seeking the most suitable structural solution for the design concept, special attention was devoted to ensuring that the metal structures could withstand the force of the wind, as well as to balancing the environmental burden, which was anticipated would increase as a result of landscaping.
This functional object has become an important leisure and tourism point, which gives visitors the chance to enjoy quality time by the lake. It is an environmentally friendly solution that helps the town to manage the flow of visitors and provides the town with attractive user-friendly infrastructure by the lake.
As a result, the lake has become an attractive tourism destination and offers the town a potential source of economic growth. The town has succeeded in attracting anglers, proof of which is provided by the growing demand for angling licenses.
Holgers Elers (principal in charge), Girts Arajs (3D designer), Laura Lorence (graphic designer), Dagnija Balode (project manager)
"Serving as a place to create memories and a tool of education, this project provides color and playful aesthetic to well-needed place."
"Combining the creation of a series of extremely imageable micro-environments with what might also actually serve as functionally designed little fishing stations is a fun form of civic intervention."
"This project strikes a beautiful balance between creating a welcoming attract while still integrating into the environment. The seemingly simple forms are emotive and inviting, communicating function, purpose and a broader narrative of place."