Grössling Bath Competition Porposal
Year ︎ 2020
Outcome ︎ Competition proposal
Location ︎ Bratislava
Team ︎ Lilla Árkovics, Boróka Bán, Bernadett Csendes, Attila Róbert Csóka, Virág Kiss, Szabolcs Molnár, Dávid Smiló, Marek Svoboda
The Grössling Bath competition aimed to place a library and a public bath into a historical building of Bratislava, that formerly only served as a bath. The brief stated that the combination of a library and a public bath is eligible as the main concept of linking these two functions is „the immersion“.
We wanted to take this parallelism of the functional concept as highlighted in our design as it is possible. To imagine, that having a bath in a public spa and reading a book in a library has similarities, let us to figure out a spatial concept for this special institution that are able to express the very idea of the competition. The diagram and the geometry of the new building also strengthen the wished linking of functions to each other without mixing them.
That is why we respected the given layout of the existing building as seriously as it is possible, and decided to overwrite the given diagram of it at the same time. Hence our concept set up two parallel functional diagram in this one and only building complex. One diagram for the bath, and another separated for the library.
On one hand our concept is ultimately conservative as we kept all the spatial boarders that are exist in the building now. We applied dozen of new opens and doors between on these boarders obviously, but we did not moved a historical structure away, and we applied a few modification only in the contour of the original building.
On the other hand our concept is ultimately radical, as we introduced a new structural element into the given spatial situation. One large wall in a shape of a circle that divides the existing complex into two boldly different part: Inside of the circle there is the bath, outside of the circle there is the library.
The applied circle wall in the exiting building, on every level serves as a filter between the two functions that concept are both about immersion. Those people who immerse into the fictional world of books are able to sense the people who immerse into lukewarm water and vice versa. In a fragmented way they are able to serve as each other’s background. Trough the holes they are able to see each other.
The application of the circular wall is total. Thanks to this total approach the wall goes through the historical pools as well, creating an outstanding spatial experience for every visitor.
No library can exist without representative spaces. We are sure that if we do not use the spaces of the historical pools as a part of the library, that it would be impossible to create the elevated quality for immersive reading. We keep the historical pools as the key parts of the institution, but we redistributed it between the library and the bath. Thanks to this, both the visitors of the bath and the library are able to enjoy that unique quality of the pools. In the bath the pools are filled with water, in the library are filled with bookshelves.
Concept of dual “immersion”
The Library and The Bath