Published: Saturday, January 06, 2007
Detail of the wooden flooring and bench in the public bath.
The public bath installed at the Solitude palace gardens near Stuttgarth.
The 'BAD' Public Bath Equipment is a temporal architecture situated in the highly frequented leisure landscape of Solitude Palace Gardens close to Stuttgart, Germany. The bath is conceived of a 1,000-meter garden hose that plugs via a hydrant into the hidden existing infrastructure network and which can carry enough water to fill a bathtub for up to two persons to take a bath. Arranged in countless loops, the elastic hose forms the surface of a screen that catches the sun, thus heating the water in the hose. The used water is released to irrigate the surroundings.
View of the hose woven to create the surface of the bath.
The system interprets ways of inhabiting and interpreting the urbanized landscape, based on infrastructural realities and leisure conventions. It proposes an alternative, self-empowered form of leisure which draws on the anarchic expertise of everyday knowledge (the warming up of water in a garden hose) instead of investing in capital-intensive technology (like teflon-wear and carbon fiber bikes). The design brings together for a brief spatial moment the circuits that have become antipodes of the contemporary environment: infrastructure and nature. Without dogmatism it makes use of both of them, releasing their multiple potentials and extracting pleasure from the appropriation of already existing systems. Pushed to an extreme, beyond the criteria of efficiency, the subversive gesture explored further on the tectonic level. The rigid and elastic material qualities of wooden slats and the garden hose respectively are played out against each other and reintegrated.
'BAD' Public Bath Equipment - Manual instructions [opens in a pop-up window - 112 KB image]
'BAD' Public Bath Equipment - Hose Weave [opens in a pop-up window - 75.3 KB image]
Left: The system employs natural heating techniques to regulate the water temperature. Right: View of the bath system in use at the gardens.
The project was supported by the Akademie Schloss Solitude and the Architekturgalerie Am Weissenhof with all the materials as well as the CNC-milling being donated by individual companies.
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