thermal bath pool
Design for the thermal complex in Liepāja, Latvia. The Circle is the Protagonist

Design for the thermal complex in Liepāja, Latvia, designed by Architect Steven Christensen, it won the annual AAP American Architecture Prize, which recognizes the most important architecture in the world.

The design for the Liepāja thermal bath and the hotel stems from a strong interest in the formal associations of the dome during the architectural history, and more precisely on its role within the typology of the public bath. 

thermal complex organic forms

The dome has been an important organizational structure and representative in the history of the public bathroom, playing a central role in the most technologically innovative Roman seaside facilities, through the numerous examples of medieval and atmospheric Ottomans and continuing in countless previous Renaissance and Baroque . The semiological and organizational roles of the dome in these structures are closely aligned: strengthening the centrality and singularity, the form makes the primacy of the circle of space directly below unequivocally explicit.

thermal complex organic forms

The efficiency of representation of the dome has made it a favorite among customers with an interest in strengthening the concept of a centralized and singular power system, whether such a system is an absolute monarchy, monotheism, hegemonic dictatorship, etc. Not surprisingly, the form acquired more problematic political associations in the early part of the twentieth century and, despite the light of postmodernism with classical form, the dome has never been completely cleansed of its fascist design.

thermal complex organic forms

The project seeks to undermine the conventional symbolic performance of the very malignant hemisphere by challenging its centripetal tendencies and its hierarchy. Working with its primitive generative sphere, the studio proposes a multiplicity of domes, both in a vertical and in an inverted position, as a formal and organizational creation of a contemporary democratic public, horizontal and increasingly on the web. Exploiting the apparently serendipitous intersection of these friendly spherical forms and the unique spaces within the pocha, the project uses its socio-political conceptual foundation to serve an unorthodox spatial experience that is both witty and atmospheric.

thermal complex organic forms

The AAP American Architecture Award shall launch a series of exceptional projects in 41 categories in three disciplines: architectural design, interior design and landscape architecture.

thermal complex organic forms

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