In celebration of SCI-Arc's 40th
anniversary we are pleased to present some work from the archives.
Beach Bathing Pavilion: An Investigation 'In' the Bath, 1995
attempts to re configure the socially normative interpretation of the body.
Bathing - as
an act and architecture - is where the body has been most clearly defined by
social forces. Erecting and policing
boundaries of many sorts, such as those between male and female, between mind
and body, and between pleasure and hygiene, has been fundamental to the social
organization of the body. By shifting,
transgressing, and inhabiting some of these boundaries, this project seeks to
use the activity and architecture of bathing to redefine the possibilities of
has been given to defining questions of site and cultivation and "culturalization" of a natural condition.
Sustainability and autonomy are concerns engineered towards the
regeneration and preservation of the natural condition. The site is along the coast with the
architecture situated in the tidal margin.
This interstitial space is typically unoccupied - merely the edge
between the built and "natural" environments.
By occupying the shoreline, however, the architecture constructs a "site-work" for the manipulation of water.
The normal opposition of the mechanical and natural has been
transgressed by developing an architecture that embodies and celebrates the "environments" of the site.
The bath works
proposed are a series of bathing episodes or "themed" cleansing environments
that expose the body to a variety of situations. Unifying these episodes is a strategic
interest in the relationship between seeing and being seen, scopophilia,
voyeurism, and other modalities of the visual.
By harnessing these "scopic" tendencies, just as in a carnival, the
architecture licenses a delirium that is meant to surprise and amuse. Recovering pleasure from limitations of the
contained consumable product, the project attempts to transcend oppressive
forms of fantasy. Episodes of the
absurd, the sensual, and the social offer opportunities to break from normal
expectations of pleasure, and attempt to conceive a new language of desire open
to multiple interpretation.
Sylvia Lavin, Advisor