23/11/2012 material found and prepared by Natasha M
The city of Sun and The city of Fairy Tales
A Latvian billionaire created a housing development in Cēsis, Latvia, where he purchased over 3000 hectares of wild forest, a terrain rich in hills and water. The resulting residential community is comprised of three-story houses that are made of environmentally friendly materials constructed with the topography. The design of the houses makes the windows of each house not visible to other houses, and each design is unique. Near each of the 300 homes is a small lake and forest, all of it included in cost of land. All houses are equipped with central sewer that is laid under the roots of pine and fir trees, high-speed Internet, and electricity. The homes use geothermal heat pumps that convert the warmth of the earth into heat for the house; the geothermal wells have boreholes 90-100m deep, and the amount of heat produced is enough to heat the house and water all year round. Wood heat is provided as a backup for severe winter, with fireplaces in every home. In this unique forest development, fences are prohibited and dogs are allowed only in the houses. This is to allow roe deer and other wild animals to roam freely across the acreage. Sun City is about 80 km from Riga, the Latvian capital city.
Community Rules The whole community is devoted
to residential buildings made of natural materials such as wood frame,
log or brick for siding; roofing from cane, jagged wood chips, clay
tiles or cement, or thatch; and additional decorative materials
including paving stone, decorative wood paneling, painted plaster, and
Conservation and tree preservation All
development must be careful to preserve trees and native plants such as
moss, lichens, heather, and forest animals are protected as well. Noise
is controlled so that the community remains peaceful and quiet, with
only the sounds of nature. Fireworks are prohibited due to noise and
because many homes have thatched or cane roofs. No motorized water
vehicles are allowed on the lakes and streams, to both protect the fish
and other aquatic wildlife, and to prevent loud noise.
"The idea of the village came to me when I realized my desire to live in a facilitated, picturesque and forest enclosed property near the lake. Amatciems is the result of this idea and now home for me, my children, friends and other person who holds the same views regarding to the place of residence. I admit - initially I developed the project to fulfill my selfish desire to live in the environment that is suitable for me. The Internal rules were developed basing on the experience of similar villages in foreigner countries and my vision how to live in the facilitated village and get on well with nature, wild animals and other inhabitants of Amatciems. The Internal Rules are provided for like-minded people who do not consider them as restricting their action but promoting peace and silence. They determine that there are no fences in the village, during the evenings and night time it is not allowed to make a loud noise and remind that dog is a friend of people and can not be chained.
My purpose is to maintain the natural environment as much as possible. Near the lawn, I leave also meadow with wild flowers and do not turn forest into park. I leave dead or wind cracked trees and tore roots of trees in the forest as pleasure and covert for wild animals – woodpeckers, squirrels or foxes. The visual image of the village displays the environment where a man lives in harmony with nature. In the lawn you will not find the glow-worm but when the darkness fells in Amatciems you can find hundreds of small “eyes” that glow in the grass. During the summer time in the ponds resounds the chorus of green frogs that is a great honor for me because the green frogs live only in a very clean and unpolluted environment.
Here dominates nature. Not a man."
If you are a discerning person, looking for a different lifestyle, and a
place of beauty surrounded by nature, then Amatciems
is for you. This is surely the most unique village in the whole of Latvia, the Baltic States and possibly the rest
The village has already attracted those who value simplicity and
uncomplicated living. The plots do not have fences, which allow the free
movement of wildlife including Deer, Foxes, Birds and other wildlife within the
Marvelous views of rolling hills, lakes, fields and forests bring a feeling
of peace and tranquility.
The same as a real nature
is experienced at Amatciems, so is a real convenience. Each plot is completely
connected to electrical, sewage, water and internet supply. This has all been
planned to retain the ecological balance of the environment. The heating system
for the most part of the houses is earth heating pump in order to reduce the
amount of emission in the atmosphere.
All dwellings are designed to be in harmony with the environment.
There are three different construction types that can be chosen. These are, wood framed, or structures of horizontal logs or brick building. The most popular construction is that of horizontal wood logs that can be supplement with ornamental wood boarding, coloured plastering or glass decoration. We allow three types of roofing. These are thatched, wood chip, clay or cement tiles, and finally grass covering.
We will also consider individual projects in other materials.
In some of the areas, which are for sale the construction of the living house has been started. The price of these houses consists only of the expenditure used for construction. It gives each owner the option to choose the style of further construction and decoration. It is possible to realize individual wills in the layout of house basement and attic.
In the areas for sale where the construction has not been started then the construction project has to fit in with the overall general impression of the village and follow the construction rules laid down by within the Amata area. It is always possible to choose of the suggested standard projects and adapt it to your own personal needs. There are interesting log house projects which fit in perfectly with the surrounding landscape. Standard projects combine minimal construction with maxim room space. It is possible to make a home to your own exacting standarts and wishes, which fits in perfectly with the surrounding landscape and complies with the local rules and regulations.
You are welcome to inspect our homes which are truly connected to the sights, smells and sounds of an organic environment. Size of plots range from 4,000 to 10,000 square meters.
Gravity Is a Force to be Reckoned With by Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle — North Adams, Massachusetts