The Bathing House

Project

The project is a bathing house near or on the Lake of Lucerne (the so called Vierwaldtstättersee). The design includes: changing rooms, a platform to bath as well as a full functioning restaurant. The concept is that of a floating cube.

Interview

What prompted the design response to the brief?

As I researched the site thoroughly, I discovered that the built structures in the surrounding are lacking the connection to the water area. This specific site is also a nature reserved area. Thus considering these aspects, I decided to take on the challenge to design a structure that would be attractive and proximal to people wanting to experience the water without overusing the landscape. You will discover in the following the design process of this floating cube as well as how it provides visitors views from Mount Pilatus to the widespread of the Lucerne Lake.

Do you see this as a site specific project or does it have the potential to become a more ‘generic’ lake plug in?

I see this project not limited to being only a site specific project. I can also imagine this project stretching to becoming a more generic lake plug in for future development. However, at this point, it is a site specific project.

Does it exist in isolation or could you imagine a network?

Currently I can only imagine this structure to exist in isolation. It’s a unique structure with views to the lake and easy access from the land area. Given that point, I also think a network is important later in time as it depends on several supplies like refill for the floating platform and port for waste removal.

What previous floating architecture did you look to in terms of inspiration and reference?

A very important reference is the expo.02 project from Jean Nouvel. It is a monolith which is floating in a lake and for exhibition use. I found it to be very expressive and an interesting concept of floating architecture and applied few of its idea in my own project.

What were the biggest challenges you faced? 

The most challenging aspect was to make the platform float. This required estimation of the weight of the building and by the building rule of Archimedes I was able to find out the right size of the floating base for the platform to float. Furthermore, the whole organisation and practicality issues had to be addressed. My school paid serious attention to practicality and functionality. All in all, the interdisciplinary work between architects and engineers is a essential step to this project.

How did you undertake the various experiments to test materials and the technicalities of a floating architecture?

As my focus in this project was to produce my structural design, although I paid close attention to the use of material by obtaining recommendations from engineers and professional builders, due to time constraint it wasn’t possible to undertake any material experiment.

What mediums and tools did you use throughout?

* ArchiCAD

* Photoshop / InDesign / Illustrator

* Cinema 4D

What defined the various drawings through which you choose to reveal the project? What importance does the section hold in relation to the plan?

The various drawings in my project are presented in the steps as follows:

Landscape – geographical location, Axonometric section, Overview, Interior Lake level, Interior Restaurant level, Floor plan & Cross-sectional view

I decided to produce them in this flow as I wanted to initially reveal the geographical settings of my project so it is easier for the readers to grasp why this structure is needed there. Then one can see also different sections where more information can be acquired about what is build within.

What defined the language of representation of the project?

The very precise use of primary colours hold all the drawings together. It is a representation made as simple so that even a non-architectural person can understand. As you can see, the water is blue, plants are green, the wood is brown etc. So my intention was to produce an easily understandable plan and cross section.

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