The Truffle Baths, situated within the hill of Sneinton’s ‘Green’s Mill’ is a project depicting a civic place in which two cultures collide: where East meets West. Inspired by traditional Turkish Baths, the concept of the project flourished from the Entoloma Synautum located on site.
Formed of various Hammams to establish a civic atmosphere, the numerous baths enhance the multi-sensorial phenomena for the bathers, prompted by different functions of each environment. Factors that differ include luminescence, temperature, haptics, dimensions or reverberations – curating distinct experiences.
With the project built primarily underground, there is a focus on the penetration of light into the spaces to attain the desired atmosphere. The oculus’ located across the landscape unite the outside with the subterranean domes, emphasising the atmospheric changes of spaces through depth of light, where no two experiences are the same. Each attendance, every hour of every day over the course of the year will radiate different lighting within these sunken baths. The importance of light to enhance senses has pushed the project to focus on ambiance, in connection to the Context Module.
There is a continual memento of traditional bathhouse culture within the project through the consistent presence of arches throughout the architecture. Both literally and subconsciously, a user will appreciate that the route through the tiered baths circulates to form an arch, which is visible in plan but purely sensed in existence.
The materiality is carefully sought through expressions of traditional Hammam ethos, which enthused me to use hammered copper, a surface that refracts light with each punch.
The design of a civic realm is exemplified through the embodied combination of cultures, where the notion of civicness is enhanced through the fluidity of spaces without boundaries for all genders, class and ages, yet the design is not overwhelming.