Strathclyde Country Park, Motherwell, United Kingdom2017_1st Year_Prof. Sonia BrowseIn this project we were asked to develop an architectural proposal for a small community bath house to serve the local population of Motherwell. The site for the project is located within the Strathclyde Country Park, on the east shore of Strathclyde Lake, characterised by woodland which spreads to the edge of Motherwell, and near the mouth of South Calder Water.Water is the beginning of all that exists, the vital element of human existence, having been the subject of different cultures. The triple symbolism water- body-bath is as old as humanity itself, and its reference as creative element of the world, in the various civilizations and cultures, allows to show not only its importance, but also its symbolic complexity.This project was developed through iterations and derived from a study of the relationship between Man and Water, and intends to rediscover some of the ritual and tradition of water and baths that were lost throughout time, returning them to their original character, in their therapeutic, social and playful dimensions.The proposal takes shape in the construction of a building that embraces the landscape and appears as it has sprung from the ground. The metal pillars branch out towards the roof to resemble the trunks of trees that surround the site. The architectural vocabulary is simple and identical, concrete walls support a concrete roof which is extended to the lake and the ground  floor opens to a covered porch. Glazing is covering the south and east sides making a fluid space for the reception area which comes in contradiction to the hidden main bath spaces.

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The different types of rooms are organised around an indoor pool in the underground floor. The bathhouse is designed to give different experiences for people as they move through the various areas. Light is refracted through the pond and a feeling of enclosure is created. Spaces change from being bright through the light that goes through the glass box to darker spaces only being top lit with skylight. The design is articulated in a sequence of interior and exterior spaces which stretch from the main path close nearby the lake to the water of the lake. At first the light and open spaces on the ground floor encourage socializing, but as one goes deeper into the underground floor, the darkness and the water above create a shift of focus and privacy.

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