The aquatic complex Les Bains des Docks (animation here), designed by the 2008 Prtizker-prize winning architect Jean Nouvel has just opened in the historical Port of Le Havre. Inspired by the Roman thermal baths, the 5,000-square-meter complex offers an eerily beautiful atmosphere of tranquility with the fantastic play of natural light soothing the eyes, the masterful acoustics pleasing the ears, and the pools and treatment areas taking care of the rest of the body.
Although the main “color” of the complex is white, each section’s distinct atmosphere and hue is created by flowing water curtains, color walls, and various textures and surface treatments. Each pool – lap-pool, children’s pool, whirlpools – is designed, shaped and lit to create a unique “private space” for its specific users. These seemingly enclosed areas help minimize echoing and sound carriage – an annoying aspect of most aquatic centers -- as do the varying-height floors and ceilings, and the acoustic false ceilings. Saunas, a hammam, cold and hot baths, and a spa area with hydro-massage and aquagym areas complete the atmosphere of pampering and care. An external lagoon makes the summer use of the complex even more appealing. (to find out more..)
Bits of Therme Vals flashed through my head while watching the animation. Nonetheless, love the cubist expression throughout that results in the very pure, highly static realms, and water (& people) becomes the absolute source of liveliness and dynamics.
passage & images from: http://www.thecoolhunter.net/design/Le-Bains-des-Docs/
posted by afterrabbit