The atmosphere of a building does not come necessarily from over exaggerated formal moves but from its allowance of phenomenology into its consideration coupled with expression of detail and craft. From the weight and material of a door and its weathered bronze handle, the cool smoothnessof stone steps and the warmth of a satin timber handrail, crackled cream tiles on the wall and echoed sound of trickling water. With the architect’s allowance of phenomenology to enter and affectthe building and attention paid to the finer elements of a building, the spirit and atmosphere of the architecture is communicated to and absorbed by the inhabitant. The architects’ caring and idea is communicated and can run throughout the building. One can begin to be transformed from the urban or natural realm into another worldly realm through a liminal experience.
The project is a new civic bath with gardens and a small hotel. Visiting baths in some countries are still considered a civic event. A place for people to gather and meet, to discuss political events as well as family affairs, to socialize and gossip, discuss business, exercise and relax and recharge. Baths can also host local events such as music venues. But baths can also be a phenomenological event, a place of heightened physical sensory experience further intensified by the lavishness of detail. It is a place of soothing heat and refreshing coolth. Of smooth shiny brass and matt stone meeting water, of refractions of light of sound and smells. The design and atmosphere can also be infused with the natural, historical and urban context that the edifice is positioned in as well as redefining that context.