TRAIL, CABIN, CAVE: THE SACO BATHS is a redevelopment of a previous project. My efforts for rethinking this architecture came form a personal disappointment in the development and intent of the past work. These drawings are a result of me taking my new experience as a designer and re imagining the possibility for such an architecture. 

CAVE: COMMON TEPIDARIUM POOL

Situated off the banks of Saco Lake in Crawford Notch, New Hampshire, this project aims to provide a quick retreat for backpackers and hikers who are traversing the Appalachian Trails. Conceptually, the work takes inspiration from elements of spaces familiar to such a user group; a lodging cabin, trails, and caves or caverns. Despite the running of Route 302 to the projects immediate south, there is a sereneness and rich natural forest context that I felt was worth preserving as much as possible. As such contextually speaking, the Baths present themselves humbly as a wooden cabin projected from the hillside which lightly floats above the water, which serves as the lodging and commons component of the project. Disguised and masked by newly planted vegetation, the Baths proper are removed from the lake and take on a monolithic cavern like quality. In this way the monolith from the exterior is treated more as background condition as to not distract from the beauty of the hillside. This material shift is an important parti divider for the work, as user experience shifts once the threshold from the cabin to the baths is crossed. The bating orchestration is loosely based on the Roman three pool structure of public, hot and cold pools. To coordinate a sensory experience in the bathing area, users are directed by the architecture to slow their motion and become more aware of themselves and of others. Shifts in ceiling height, as well as a circulatory wading pool intends to create a slowness of motion while bathers transition from the public pool to the more therapeutic hot and cold pools. A stone brise soliel system is employed in areas of the work to provide a dappled diffuse light quality from the walls and roofs, in attempts to invite a more experiential even spiritual experience which also adds to the cavern motif. Throughout the work, there is a primal rhythmic order to the spaces via walls, colonnades, or structural bearing components. This rythym is set up and first experienced through the constructed "trailhead" which connects the baths to the trails already present on site. This trail serves as the circulation system of the building, as a corridor of consistent width which permeates and connects the Cabin and bathing Cave together, along which the rhythmic procession of architectural elements exist. This idea of rhythmic procession was inspired by the experience of walking along woodland trails, as a continuous path which is  bounded by arcades {ie trees}. Holistically the Saco Baths intend to be a place which aptly responds to its rich tactile context by being externanally humble, while internally heroic in its spatial qualities. 
 

SACO SITE PLAN AND BATHS CONTEXT

FINAL BUILDING PLAN

TRAIL, CABIN, CAVE DIAGRAM: showcasing the trailhead as a continuous circulation route thrughoute the building

LONGITUDINAL SECTION THROUGH MAIN BATHING POOLS

TRANSVERSE SECTION; RELATIONSHIP OF CABIN AND CAVE TO THE SHORE

THE CABIN WATERWALK

EXTERIOR TRAIL CONDITION: WEATHERED STEEL PARTITIONS AND GABION STONE RETAINERS

CAVE: HOT POOL

BUILDING CONSTRUCTION: TIMBER FRAMING AND CONCRETE CASTING

To construct the baths on soft soil and a decent grade change, pured concrete pylons were chosen to provide the base for both the cabin and baths. The exterior trail is comprised of sandwiched weathered steel plates which are housed within gabion stone retainers which continue below grade. On the cabin side simple timber frame construction is mounted to the concrete base via sill plates, on which timber structure supports sub flooring onto which wood framed walls are built. The roof is comprised of exposed timber beams and wood purlins onto which insulated roof decking is laid on top. The baths are primarily made from poured in place concrete, which comprises most of the walls, roofing and plinth. The stone brise soliel and spritzing station components can be made precast off site to save time and efforts for install. In addition, the bespoke concrete columns which are expressed in the common pool bathing area are also  intended for precast construction which could then be shipped to the site for installation. The gabion stone walls of the hot pool are exposed to the elements, and as such the pool itself is also. Temperature changes are mitigated by the pools constant source of warmth. 

CONSTRUCTION SECTION OF TIMBER FRAMED CABIN WITH CONCRETE PYLONS

CONSTRUCTION SECTION OF TIMBER FRAMED CABIN WITH CONCRETE PYLONS

EXPLODED AXONOMETRIC DRAWINGS: TRAIL, CABIN, CAVE COMPONENTS AND RELATIONSHIPS

SPRITZING STATIONS: Customary to certain bathing rituals, in order to more acclimate the body to the temperature of the more extreme pools spray hoses would be provided for users to douse themselves with. Seeing as mechanical hoses would feel out of place for this project, instead the temperature controlled water would be pumped and then partially recirculated to conrete basins which appear to have water streaming from the wall itself. 

PRECAST CONCRETE SPRITZING STATION