Saco Lake Bathhouse

48-205,  Architecture Design Studio: Material
Professor Jeremy Ficca, Carnegie Mellon University
Second Year, Spring 2013

What humans build is always provisional within the framework of something more permanent. While permanence is often attributed to the natural, this project explores what would happen if the permanent and the provisional were both conceived by us, the architects.

The project consists of a long procession through a series of monolithic, rammed-earth and concrete walls that alternately frame and obscure views of the landscape and architecture. The bathhouse itself consists of semi-conditioned circulation and reflection spaces suspended between massive concrete piers containing core programmatic elements including private reflection space, changing rooms, and hot and cold baths. Axial shifts between cores are mediated by the tapering structural ribs and align to Saco Lake’s most striking geologic features.

The resulting architecture is a profoundly contemplative, simple, and sophisticated series of spaces that are both geologic and architectural in materiality, scale, and experience. 

Collaboration with Avanti Dabholkar and Nikhil Sambamurthy

Plan at lake surface

Bathhouse plan

Section from lake

Section through lake