INTERIOR DESIGN- GSA '18
Dockyard nº1 is a public bathhouse which takes a holistic approach to individuals' wellbeing.
"I'm proposing a sanctuary space which will immerse users in an experience which would cleanse mind and body." By engaging bathers physically, mental oppressions might also be released on a subconscious level, leaving the experience in complete harmony with water.
"The urban lifestyle can push individuals into bad habits. A constant cycle of sleep, nutrition and fitness is necessary for our bodies to be utilised efficiently. When a single element of this cycle is disturbed for a period of time it has a knock-on effect that I feel can be genetically programmed into oneself- there's a distinct lack of holistic wellness within the city of Glasgow."
The bather roams from chamber to chamber, sampling different thermal sensations – warm and cool, hot and cold, as well as olfactory and aural water experiences which reconnect us to the ancient meaning of spa. The journey focuses on the freedom of imagination, allowing each user to wander the space, disregarding time.
"I feel the power of the space is amplified through its emptiness, scale and depth. The brutalist voids represented a symbol of authority, so the layout and design had to be in-keeping within the format of this subterranean structure.
By focusing on sculpted structures and altered states of water I was able to compose a network of paths and passageways that would force the user to make decisions based on feelings of intrigue. The sensory qualities inside the space, slithers of light, heat of the space, temperature of the water and sounds generated from each environment all synthesise to give the user an individual experience of the space, depending on the bather's emotion."
Due to the sub-level nature of the dock, the usual vertical facade is absent, pushing Damien to hide the interiors beneath a horizontal cap of water. Although elements of the bathhouse protrude out of a flat roof, it hints at being non-existing and illusive, hidden under a veneer of water.
The symmetry balances the space evenly, allowing for a dramatic and powerful entrance. "As you descend, the sound of the wind travelling down the River Clyde fades, and the passing of motor vehicles ceases to exist. You slowly become surrounded by a misty environment, and the sound of continuous running water. Whilst walking further down, you become surrounded by the dock's curvilinear forms and pools of cold water, but looking straight ahead, you glimpse at the scale of the space and its illusive interior forms."
"There are endless numbers of routes which navigate the bather around the bathhouse. I felt that creating this freedom of movement was essential to truly relax in the space, but with a sense of the unknown, a fathomable labyrinth."
You can see more of Damien's work on his website, www.damienloch.com.