DEREK PIROZZI DESIGN WORKSHOP LLC
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THE THERMAL FALLS
BALTIC THERMAL POOL PARK
RESULTS : HONORABLE MENTION
LOCATION : LEIPAJA, LATVIA
TYPE : 2014 HMMD INT. ARCHITECTURE COMPETITION
YEAR : 2015
“The city where the wind is born….. and an oasis is discovered"
Creating a unity between the natural and man-made, thermal falls in Liepaja Latvia forge the ultimate celebration and discovery of a sanctuary along the coast. Defining the existential qualities of a city seeking to embrace the elements, the proposal begins the adaptation of a deeper more intimate relationship with our surroundings. Fabricating a heightened visceral experience with the context, the architectural language begins to act as a network of stitched seams, expressing and enhancing the rich natural qualities of the site. Only through an established harmony between the environment and the occupant can we begin to adapt a stronger sense of authentic tranquility and serenity resulting in the optimum resort vacation.
Composed of three thermal bath cambers at the heart of the complex (salt, mud and amber) all uniquely alluring and powerful, each of these secluded spherical vaults house the extracted heated springs. The massive heavy elements of the baths and spa begin to carve into the earth, creating pools and caverns filled by the waterfalls overhead. A welcomed transition from the earth’s core to the chambers above, these full thermal vaults overflow and trickle down to the basins and gardens below. Utilizing and enhancing the dynamic spaces sculpted by the structure, the waterfalls enrich the spaces with adulation and joy, exploiting man’s deep devotion to a terrain harmonious with water. The composition of falling water begins to evoke the notions of a timeless utopia; the thermal falls are simultaneously powerful, yet pleasing. The bold architectural forms and thick raw materials sculpt the earth establishing a deeply rooted connection between land and spring.
Acting as counterpoint to the waterfalls, guest accommodations become virtuously absent from contact with the immediate preserved context, interlacing light tectonic huts amongst the protected tree groves. Floating in the forest, like a series of lanterns in the woods, each cabin has been arranged to provide unobstructed views towards the coast as well as the thermal falls. The character and tectonics establish a delicate unity with the environment. The elevated condition initiates a deep respect for the site while allowing nominal impact on the landscape. The resulting experience is reverent and respectful while creating a heightened understanding of the role played by the Latvian environment.
The proposed concept seeks to establish clarity of composition through the strong character of each component. Nodes created throughout the site allow for a deeper unity with the various accommodations. Detached to the south, the rotunda restaurant anchors the intersection between coastal and urban movement, inviting locals and tourists from trail and beach. Formally, the parti is a balanced integration between natural elements and the interplay of mass and weightlessness. There is a unity with the landscape, where the elements of land, water and sky intertwine to create a narrative that expresses the rich and powerful qualities of the Liepaja coast.
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