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2017 | 20 | 70-81

Article title

Veselības pils. Tērvetes sanatorijas būvvēsture, arhitektūra un dizains) Source: Mākslas Vēsture un Teorija (Art History and Theory


Title variants

The Palace of Health. Construction History, Architecture and Design of Tērvete Sanatorium

Languages of publication



The Tērvete sanatorium of the Latvian Red Cross (LRC) was the largest and the most modern newly built sanatorium in the interwar period in Latvia. It was also the largest sanatorium in the Baltics and was able to accommodate 250 patients. From 1918 to 1940 the Latvian Red Cross was the most important and wealthiest humanitarian organization in Latvia. As a result of successful and well considered commercial activities, the LRC could afford to construct modern buildings with the characteristics of modernist architecture and which met the requirements of construction development at that time. Examples include the Tērvete sanatorium (1930–1932), the orthopaedics workshop and medicines storehouse in Riga (1933–1934), the contagious diseases unit in Rēzekne hospital (1933–1934) and the nursing school in Riga (1935–1936). All of them are characteristic examples of Latvian Functionalism and were built by the eminent modernist architect Aleksandrs Klinklāvs (1899–1982). The sanatorium for the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis was established in the countryside village of Tērvete because of the extensive surrounding conifer groves, hilly terrain and the specific climate of the region (the lowest rainfall level in the country and many sunny days). The structure of the building was characterized by features of Functionalism – planning according to function, horizontal spatial and façade composition, ribbon-like fenestration with large windows and the use of reinforced concrete. A regional approach to modernism is also visible, which permits a comparison with the Paimio Sanatorium in Finland designed by architect Alvar Aalto (1898–1976). In both cases the architecture was closely linked with the surroundings; for example, pine groves were kept very close to the building and the architectural composition blended harmoniously with the landscape. However, the sanatoriums do not resemble each other either in terms of volumes or in spatial configuration. The Tērvete sanatorium also reveals the principles of the Latvian local cultural milieu – the building shows the visible impact of the nearby Classicist manor houses in Zemgale.


  • Institute of Art History of the Latvian Academy of Art, Akadēmijas laukums 1-302, Riga LV-1050, Latvia


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Publication order reference


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