When: Jan-March 2017
Who I worked with: Done under Prof Jeremy Ficca.
What I learned: This was my first time thinking about phenomenology as well as the role of materiality in architecture. The process was heavily based in rapid model-making to understand both the material and lighting affects of the space, which then allowed for the development of a feedback loop that meant easy and quick prototyping of new spatial affects.
What this was: A bathhouse on the edge of Saco Lake, New Hampshire.
While the architectural implementations and cultural significance of
public baths and spas have shifted over time, the therapeutic benefits and primitive connection to the
natural world remain. Building upon this rich heritage, I developed an architectural proposal for a Wellness
Center to compliment the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) Highland Center Lodge located in the rugged and
majestic white mountains of New Hampshire. The AMC seeks to expand their resources to include a facility that
offers physical and mental respite through the healing properties of water. The project references ancient
traditions that utilize water of various temperatures and states to rejuvenate and heal. Of particular importance are the various environmental conditions necessary for
the functionality of the facility and the architectural potential inherent in these circumstances.
Water is central to the operation of this project and the culture of bathhouses. It is present across the site and is as much a material for you to consider as concrete and wood. Water is essential for the sustenance of all known forms of life. It constitutes nearly 70% of the human body and its natural presence has supported the emergence of civilizations throughout time. Water is one of earth’s most common substances, yet is also one of the most mysterious. With earth, air, and fire, it constituted one of the four classic elements. Together, these served as the basis of all known natural things. The ability of water to change states from solid to liquid to gas and capacity to shape the surface of the earth over millennia, have placed this substance at the center of cultures throughout time and across the globe. Most major religions reference the symbolic and actual purifying capacity of water and since the ancient Greeks, the therapeutic and healing qualities of temperate bathing have been central to daily life. Selecting materials, structural systems and types of construction involves a complex set of considerations that are motivated by a host of issues from form to economics to aesthetics. This negotiation is a fundamental component of the design process and is critical to the successful realization of any built work.