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Territory

THE RIGHT OF WAY IS THE RIGHT TO THE CITY
Toronto, Canada

DREDGESCAPING TOLEDO

Toledo, USA

EN POINTE!

Kagran, Austria
w/ Lorena Del Rio Architect

CONSTELLATORY COVE

Porto Brandao, Portgual
w/ Lorena Del Rio Architect

RECON-FIGURE
Far Rockaway, USA

UNLOCKING AMERICA'S CORE
White Space, USA

IN GRID WE TRUST
Manhattan, USA

LIQUID COMMONS
Hudson Strait, Canada

ICEROADS/ TRUCKSTOPS
Contwoyto, Canada

OUTLINE OF THE CORE
Rotterdam, NL

PLINTHESIS
Toronto, Canada

THE NEW MONUMENTALITY
Passiac, New Jersey, USA

Architecture

VARNA PUBLIC LIBRARY AND ARCHIVE
Varna, Bulgaria

STEAM STRATUM
Liepaja Latvia

FIRE DEPARTMENT HEADQUARTERS
San Francisco, CA

CONSERVATORY HOUSE
London, UK

DRIFT HOUSE
Arctic, Canada

TORONTORIUM
Toronto, Canada

THE INFRASTRUCTURAL SPACE OF APPEARANCE
Toronto, Canada

BRUCE MAU DESIGN OFFICE
Toronto, Canada

Installations

SCAFFOLDIA
Oakland, USA

FORMWORKS
San Francisco, USA

RE-RIGGING AIR
Copenhagen, Denmark

GARDEN OF DISPLACED ROOTS
Grand Metis, Canada

ENVELOOPS
Toronto, Canada

INTERLACE
Los Angeles, USA
w/ MG&CO

Steam Stratum
Liepaja, Latvia, 2014
Awarded: Honorable Mention, Baltic Thermal Pool Park Competition

Geologic Building
Steam Stratum taps into the rich geologic history of Latvia and the presence of natural thermal baths. Conceived of as an extrusion of the sedimentary rock below, the building is organized into various layers, or strata. These layers are placed to separate and connect the differential programs in a precise manner — lifting to create higher ceiling heights below, or descending to connect directly to adjacent programs. As the topographic cut moves through the building it interacts with the different levels to allow for seamless navigation through the linear resort. Despite its appearance, the building is primarily glazed to allow for uninterrupted views of the surrounding natural landscape. To provide privacy, a series of vertical stone fins quarried from a local mine, are organized to line the glazed façade and provide the simultaneous sense of a monolithic stone that is rooted within its natural environment while being porous. Moving through the layers of the building, one flows through different strata of rock and air — carved out cave-like spaces that produced a contemporary sense of a primitive relationship to the earth.

Steam Park
The thermal baths are organized into one fluctuating datum that is carved into an overall terraced topography. This stone platform can be flooded to differential heights to allow for different pool sizes and configurations to enable flexibility during different seasons. Seating, movement paths, stairs, and bar areas are carved into the same topography to allow for an uninterrupted panoramic view of the city and sea. The depth of the pools creates natural temperature differentials and associated amounts of steam. The ceiling of the baths has a precise stepped carving to move the steam to various areas in the ‘cave’ to provide privacy and concealment for more intimate spa programs above. A series of skylights are deployed across the roof plane to exhaust this steam from the building and create a steam park on the roof. The atmospheric qualities of an ephemeral enclosure are leveraged to create a series of soft divisions along the roof park. When the skylights are closed, the ceiling plane is configured with areas of sharp topographic changes to cause a ‘rain’ drip curtains around the pools, providing a different type of soft enclosure formed from the atmospherics of a hydrological change of state.

Threshold + Consolidation
Steam Stratum is a proposal for a civic building that consolidates the various programs for the thermal bath and park and structures them within a line. This line serves as a threshold between the city of Liepaja and the Baltic Sea — allowing for a public as well as natural interface between the city and the sea. The building is located to minimize distribution to existing trees as well acts as a porous boundary. Parking is consolidated within the building to preserve the natural environment and minimize foot traffic on the site. The local streets Robežu iela and Kalèju iela act as alignments for extending the grid of the city into the site and marking major entry points for the building as well as access into the park. This path that stems from the city unbraids into various experiences that moves one from the city, through the building and eventually to the park and beach. Further, the park moves into the building in a series of courtyards, which contain replanted trees from the site, blurring the boundary between interior and exterior.

Project Team:
The Open Workshop
Neeraj Bhatia, Cesar Lopez, Blake Stevenson