steven christensen architecture wins liepaja thermal bath competition
 

steven christensen architecture wins liepaja thermal bath competition

 

 

santa monica-based studio steven christensen architecture has recently been awarded the american architecture prize for their winning competition proposal for the liepaja thermal bath and hotel in latvia. the dome, as an architectural and socio-political construct, served as the impetus for the design. as a symbol that has appeared throughout the globe spanning back as far as human record can be found, the circle, or dome, has been utilized as a powerful symbol of unity and gathering, specifically within the context of public baths. in the earlier part of the 19th century however the dome became utilized by more negative political forces as a sign of hierarchy and power. the liepaja thermal baths seeks to renew the symbol of the dome to reinstate unity among guests. 

stevenchristensenarch_liepajathermalbaths
the elevation illustrates the use of the dome in contrast to the orthogonal housing structure
image © steven christensen architecture (also first image)

 

 

the structure inhabits a regular rectangular footprint extruded four levels, with a series of spherical voids of varying sizes cutting into the concrete volume. with bedrooms lining the south and east sides of the floor plan, the center is a series of circular chambers creating social gathering spaces for both the baths and eating/seating areas. in between these spaces, auxiliary  support areas contain the mechanical/administrative rooms serving the public program. the resulting interior ambiance is a cavernous, sky-lit environment where the characteristics of the dome are understood on a multitude of scales. steven christensen continues the dome into the ground plane to create the various pools while completing the forms as patios that extend beyond the structure’s outer envelope. 

stevenchristensenarch_liepajathermalbaths
various intersecting domes form acavernous interior lit by circular openings in the walls and ceilings
image © steven christensen architecture

stevenchristensenarch_liepajathermalbaths
pools are clustered in a continuous hall dotted along the ground level while spherical voids form the roof-scape 
image © steven christensen architecture

stevenchristensenarch_liepajathermalbaths
image © steven christensen architecture

stevenchristensenarch_liepajathermalbaths
image © steven christensen architecture

stevenchristensenarch_liepajathermalbaths
image © steven christensen architecture

 

 

 

 

project info:

 

 

location: liepāja, latvia
team: steven christensen (principal), devon montminy, cori gunderson, ingrid lao
status: competition entry

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  • Ermm… how about awarding the prize to Steven Holl’s Ocean Pavilion ( 2014 ) instead of this imitation?

    KC

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