The Ecology of Bathing: A Spatial and Social Investigation in to the History, Culture and Landscape of Bathing Can the Social Landscape of Public Bathing be rejuvenated for our 2013 Prudish Insular Society?
Megan Townsend Year 5 BENVGA05 SN: 704021 Bartlett School of Architecture Shibboleth Shechter
Abstract This study into the ecology of bathing is a historic and cultural investigation into the past bathing habits of England and more specifically London. I will be focusing on the architecture and landscape that created and surrounding these spaces, and the social history that was born out of the act of public bathing. Through learning about this I will then, by proposing a public bathhouse design for 2013, understand if society today could embrace a new form of social architecture that uses public bathing as its inspiration. Can public bathing in its modern form be rejuvenated today as a new form of social and community architecture? The main hypothesis for my thesis this year, is to propose a radical method of experiencing the every day and potentially mundane. Today, in 2013, we have such advanced methods of allowing us to inhabit the natural world; the boundary between the ecosystem of the landscape and the â€˜typicalâ€™ human environment of the protected indoors is becoming blurred. Our understanding of ecology and the natural environment is advancing to an extent that there is a merging of inside and outside, and the creation of an inside ecology is the next natural step. Artists have been experimenting with bringing nature inside, and subsequently controlling it for our mutual benefit and pleasure. No longer do we need think of architecture or dwelling as a closed and contained system or infrastructure, but a construct of interventions within a landscape. My study concludes that, through questionnaires distributed, people are more open minded about a community proposal through architecture of experience than I previously thought.
Contents: 1 – Introduction Pg 4 2 –Greeks and Romans:
3 – All You Need is a Clean Shirt:
2.1 - Social Sweat and Masculinity 2.2 – Medicinal spas and springs 2.3 – Ritual, Religion and Worship
3.1 – Ideas Behind ‘Dirt is Best’ 3.2 – A Guide to Staying Dirty – from 1550 to 1750 3.3 – A British Eccentric’s Holiday Guide
Pg 6 Pg 6 Pg 7
Pg 9 Pg 9 Pg 10
4 – A 50’s Icon: Pg 11
4.1 – A 50’s Icon 4.2 – ‘Clean’ as a New Concept 4.3 – No Longer a Commodity - Bathing as a Commercial Venture 4.4 – The Bathroom and High Design
Pg 12 Pg 12 Pg 12 Pg 14
5 – London’s Bathing Relationship
6 – Conclusion - A Prudish Modern Society - Bathing Today in the UK:
5.1 – Historic Landscape of Bathing in London - Enfield Lido 5.2 – A Modern Translation of the Culture of the Bathhouse in London - Marylebone Bathhouse
6.1 – The public’s thoughts on Bathing Together 6.2 – A Cultural Public Bathing Experiment - Landscape - Structure - Harnessing Ecology - Education - Bathing as a cultural Instruction Manual 6.3 - Ecology and Weather as a Third Person
Pg 17 Pg 20 Pg 21 Pg 21
Pg 25 Pg 26 Pg 26 Pg 27 Pg 27 Pg 27 Pg 28 Pg 30
Concluding Thoughts Pg 31 Bibliography Pg 32 Image References Appendix
Pg 34 Pg 36
The Ecology of Bathing: A Spatial and Social Investigation in to the History, Culture and Landscape of Bathing Can the Social Landscape of Public Bathing be rejuvenated for our 2013 Prudish Insular Society?
1 – Introduction
The bath; an object of superstition, to be avoided at all cost; an environment to delight in and revere; a shrine for religion; a symbol of wealth and status or just simply ‘the bath’, to have one and to take one has meant contradictory things throughout the social history of Britain.
Not simply a mechanism for cleaning oneself. Social meeting spaces, business and family activities once revolved around the public baths. From the Greeks and Romans, first ‘labeling’ the bath as the sumptuous and lavish environment enjoyed today in spas, expensive hotels or abroad in hotter, more ’cultured’ climes - sport and wellbeing were seen as a process within the bathing culture. From the times of the Ancients, the bath has been central to a social history and culture of its own, not just through its use, design and social status, but also periods of a lack of water and washing when the fashions dictated that dirt was best. The bath has been the central symbol to many social movements. The bath today is defined as; ‘Bath, n. a large container for water, used for immersing and washing the body’1, a notion so simply put, it does not comprehend the numerous conditions that define bathing as a practice, that beyond the practice includes landscape, architecture and social culture. In the 1800’s full body submersion was scowled upon: As ‘The Devil’s Dictionary’ by Ambrose Bierce shows in the definition of the same term: ‘Bath, n. A kind of mystic ceremony substituted for religious worship, with what spiritual efficacy has not been determined.’2 Bathing has not just been an action and a performance that one must carry out in specific surroundings, but also a sensory ritual, with the eyes and noses of society judging each other on their standards of cleanliness. From the Romans and Greeks to the 1950’s, bathing has not just incorporated water and washing the body as a necessity, but also therapies and order with actions that follow a strict and exacting protocol. The rules of which vary incredibly in their practice, it is these practices that create the spatial and architectural qualities of the buildings they reside within. The process informs the function of the spaces, and therefore each space has its own atmosphere and design. The ‘Meander’3 as Peter Zumthor calls it when talking about Therme Vals baths in Switzerland, the design of the building is carefully planned so as to reflect the mountains the building is situated in, adding to the experience of being at one with nature and the landscape. “Mountain, stone, water – building in the stone, building with the stone, into the mountain, building out of the mountain, being inside the mountain”4 (Peter Zumthor)
In these atmospheric spaces landscape is key and there is a wider context of bringing the landscape and ecology into the building and its fabric. Landscape provides the means to bathe, the reason to bath, and the enjoyment of bathing, whether that is alfresco, or a designed interior landscape, the bath’s surroundings are just as important as the bath itself. Each need one other to form the architecture of public bathing. Within this study of public bathing, its environment, culture and landscape; the aim is to look into social aspects of washing and its effects that mold these spaces. From this, how, (in 2013 and beyond), society could embrace a new form of social meeting space that once again incorporates the historic and healing activity of public bathing. Can this social landscape be rejuvenated for the 2013 prudish society? And how could a proposal like this reflect and mould attitudes towards water usage? I propose, within my design project sited on an outcrop of land at Bow Creek in East London, between some of the largest and most diverse communities in modern London, a new form of bathhouse and social space. Not only promoting ecological awareness, an experience of different bathing cultures and an awakening of public bathing as a community space, but a practice that’s been all but lost within London for 2013 and beyond. In a landscape that has an ever-changing ecology, and with the climate of England set on a course to reach a more tropical environment within 50 years, awareness and usage of water is not only going to become more relevant, but also key to the future of our architectural designs. By studying the past, as well as investigating possibilities for the future: the history, culture and landscape of bathing could suggest a new ecology for social discourse.
1 2 3 4
Della Thompson (ed), The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English, Ninth Edition, (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1995) p 107 Ambrose Bryce, The Devil’s Dictionary, ‘Bath’, http://www.thedevilsdictionary.com/?B accessed (11.01.13) ArchDaily, The Therme Vals – Peter Zumthor, http://www.archdaily.com/13358/the-therme-vals (Accessed 25.01.13) ArchDaily, The Therme Vals – Peter Zumthor, http://www.archdaily.com/13358/the-therme-vals (Accessed 25.01.13)
2 - The Greeks and Romans
2.1 – Social Sweat and Masculinity
The Greeks and Romans are, in Europe, regarded as the market leaders and pioneers of bathing culture, incorporating space for social and community interaction as well as technologies including water transportation, and the creation of a bathing landscape that spread eventually throughout Roman Britain and beyond. These baths were the epitome of social experience and architecture, with people travelling and making pilgrimages many miles across the country to the more renowned baths. Bathing was not restricted to the large public baths and higher classes washed in private also. People were expected to wash before praying and making offerings to the Gods, the Greeks would wash before setting out on a long journey, as well as when they arrived. If at another’s house, it was customary to offer the traveller water in order for them to wash their hands, then a bath, which was usually taken within the kitchen or parlour. Unless these people were of a higher class, or lived in a larger villa within the countryside then they may have their own bathroom, viewed as a shrine with its own type of divinity, and coveted within the household. In the Greek tale The Odyssey, Odysseus emerges from the bathroom after his travels; ‘looking more like a God than a man’5. The Greeks believed that any respectable relationship demanded cleanliness, and that is why they carried out libations at birth with submersion of the mother, as well as at death, with washing and anointing the body for the afterlife. The public bathhouse, varied from town to town, but started off as a basic structure with one large circular room, with recessed bathtubs in the floor around the circumference and servants would pour the water through spouts. Games and conversation took place and so was the birth of the social centre that soon became a culture and necessity.
In the Athenian period, men would bathe and wash off the dirt within a bathtub, shower, or standing with cold water at a basin. Cold was preferable, as the Athenians thought that the ‘weakening and feminizing effects of hot water’6 was undesirable, the manlier cold option was favoured, with the architecture needed for this being of lesser importance. As bathhouses became more popular and a way of life for a larger section of society, it demanded more specialised spatial requirements to suit, with the more sophisticated construction of aqueducts, water transportation systems and hypocausts. This is when the wider public became interested in these monumental
constructions, and drawings and architectural details were noted. The Greeks revered the sport and intellectual expansion their baths offered, and these establishments were definitely male orientated. Plato and Aristotle “were part of working gymnasiums, but to the Greeks it was a natural combination.”7 The Romans, however, much preferred the more social aspect of bathing, and is the key reason why people would visit, whether it was the humble balnea, or imperial thermae. One very popular type of bath was the natural spring baths - taking the water was one of the only therapies in the apothecaries’ arsenal, and was prescribed for many illnesses. These facilities were immense, and were constructed using the landscape as a guide. 2.2 – Medicinal spas and springs
“Beyond the simple enjoyment of the experience, can any more specific reason(s) be found as to why people visited baths in the first place? …Indeed, baths and healthfulness were closely associated in the Roman medical consciousness.’8
A Roman’s life expectancy was extremely low, death happened suddenly and due to any number of unknown diseases. The prevention and treatment of ailments was a vast subject, but baths and bathing featured heavily within medical treatises. Springs of varying mineral makeup, and different temperatures, were prescribed by physicians within the Roman period for a selection of ailments, ranging from; “fevers, inflamed intestines, liver complaints, small pustules”9 amongst others. The warm water was a bonus and there was a plethora of local accessible springs; meaning landscape resources were readily available. The addition of heat, steam, and cold plunges in the open air meant the architecture had to become more complex accommodating the new style of bathing, and incorporating the social and learning spaces people came to expect. The baths offered healing, cleanliness and splendor, a far cry from reality, and enough to make an individual feel as though they are being cured from the conditions of the urban fabric of the time. “Pliny’s health-related letters include references to the sick man dreaming of baths and springs.”10 The elaborate mosaic floors, marbled plinths, and the prescription of this delight by a physician, was a combination that would serve to make the dirtiest and most disease ridden user feel better.
5 6 7 8 9 10
The Odyssey, cited in; Katherine Ashenburg, ‘Clean : an unsanitised history of washing’, (Profile Books, 2007), pg 24 Katherine Ashenburg, Clean: an unsanitized history of washing, (North Point Press; October 28, 2008), pg 24 Katherine Ashenburg, Clean: an unsanitized history of washing, (North Point Press; October 28, 2008), pg 24 Garret G. Fagan, ‘Bathing In Public In The Roman World’, (The University of Michigan Press, 2002), pg 84 Cited in; Garret G. Fagan, ‘Bathing In Public In The Roman World’, (The University of Michigan Press, 2002), pg 86 Garret G. Fagan, ‘Bathing In Public In The Roman World’, (The University of Michigan Press, 2002), pg 84
2.3 – Ritual, Religion and Worship
The Church since the 4th Century competed with the cathedrals of water. Church offered religious and moral teaching, the baths offered physical pleasures, causing concern over the immoral activities taking place inside. Many establishments doubled at brothels - men could relax, but also eat and play games. These two cathedrals clashed in their differences in morality. The Churches cause was not helped by the bathhouses’ cleaver architecture. Already these monolithic constructions were impressive, with subtle persuasion laced into their interior architecture, a worship of its own kind happening under its roof to rival any Church. Construction and design was incorporating more religious carvings, where people could worship cleanliness, health and purity with monastic impressiveness. “[I]nscriptions recorded the setting up of statues of Asclepius and Hygieia in bathhouses or proclaim their part in ensuring that water healed thankful dedicators – one tells of the restoration of a bath to fulfil an oath to the healing God.”11 These statues would adorn the recesses of the Greek baths, where people would be subliminally reminded by the architecture that the baths were good for them. The early Christians emerged under the Romans, cultures clashed, with each cathedral of beliefs posing problems for the other. “In its first centuries, depending on local conditions and the beliefs of the current bishop or pope, Christianity negotiated a tentative coexistence with the Roman custom.”12 Even those most Christian believed the bathhouse safeguarded health, as the body was “intended to be the temple of God”13, therefore justifying the enjoyment and necessity of washing. It was also customary to baptize Christians on the eve of Easter, being carried out at monastery baths, miles away from the luxurious surroundings of those who were criticised for shunning the Church. People’s reliance on the public bathhouse would not have been possible in some cases, without their subsequent reliance on the landscape. This can be seen with the Roman’s complex knowledge and engineering feats with water, culminating in the widely constructed infrastructure of the aqueduct, a constant reminder of the role water played in the architecture of the day. “The Virgo was a low pressure line that in antiquity originally supplied the Baths of Agrippa”.14 Originating at source, spring or mountain, the Monks “devised complicated, gravity-based water systems”15, allowing water to be piped within wooden or lead pipes, regulated with a tap at the point of discharge into a sink, trough or bath at the monastery, all inspired by the Roman’s designs. Today Strand Lane Baths in London is the Oldest remaining Roman bath and is comprised only of a simple stone surround cold plunge fed from a fresh water spring in the area, its usage being widely documented throughout history. From references of Anne of Denmark having used them to Dickens within David Copperfield, but its peak usage was throughout the 17th and 18th century, when later in the period it was used mainly for drinking water. Now it’s hidden below a modern office block, but is maintained by the National Trust. Another, recently found by Network Rail whilst clearing a site for construction, is located on the corner of Borough High Street and London Bridge Street, and comprised of a cold plunge bath and rooms with an hypocaust system.
After studying the Greeks and Romans one can only scratch the surface of their bond with landscape, water, bathing and the architecture that housed this love affair. There are many clues within their society that could influence a social bathing intervention proposed for 2013 becoming a success. Many cultures now inhabit the areas surrounding my proposed site with religious issues playing a part. The connection with and use of the landscape worked harmoniously for the ancients, and so this winning formula for the creation of sumptuous environments is epitomize my bathhouse design proposal.
11 Garret G. Fagan, ‘Bathing In Public In The Roman World’, (The University of Michigan Press, 2002), pg 90 12 Katherine Ashenburg, ‘Clean: an unsanitized history of washing’, (Profile Books, 2007), pg 56 13 Katherine Ashenburg, ‘Clean: an unsanitized history of washing’, (Profile Books, 2007), pg 58 14 Katherine Wentworth Rinne, The Waters of Rome: Aqueducts, Fountains, and the Birth of the Baroque City, (Yale University Press January 11, 2011), pg 38 15 Garret G. Fagan, ‘Bathing In Public In The Roman World’, (The University of Michigan Press, 2002), pg 66
3 â€“ All You Need is a Clean Shirt
3.1 – Ideas Behind ‘Dirt is Best’
During the Medieval period, after such a fanatical period of bath building and use, the tradition of keeping clean was watered down. People’s cleanliness on the street was strangely, cause for concern. The way of life that was promoted some 500 years previous by the Greeks and Romans was becoming a distant memory. Instead of only the rich washing and regularly enough to make a difference, the practice was re-invented, with inspiration taken from crusaders returning to England from the East, with ‘the news of a delightful new custom – the hamam or Turkish bath.’16 “The first medieval bathhouses, which were stripped down adaptations of the hamam, combined a steam bath…usually in a separate room, round wooden bathtubs, bound with iron that might seat six.”17
These baths were not taken regularly, with the general public using them once every few weeks, so unlike the Greeks and Romans people didn’t frequent these establishments or spend a significant part of their social or learning time there. They were a place for deep cleaning and became a melting pot for all classes. Bakeries and establishments that used heat to operate, were frequently sited adjacent to the bathhouses, and as a parasite used the excess heat from furnaces to heat the bath water. In this sense the bathhouse started to become part of a mercantile and community landscape. Rather than a cathedral type building, they started to become integrated into high street life but had its hidden secrets! As the ancients had previously experienced, the situation within these bathhouses became so dire, Henry II was forced to reconsider their status. They swiftly shifted from bathhouses to ‘stew houses’ and again were destined to disappear from society.18 After this, the parlour or the room housing the fire was becoming the new bathhouse of the day. New provisions were used for this ‘at home’ bathing phenomenon, including means for heating water and wooden or metal tubs. The surroundings, however, were less desirable than those of most public bathhouses, as much of society were poor with most not being able to afford this new ‘luxury’. The bubonic plague hit England 200 years after Henry II closed down many of the worst bathhouses and declared Southwark as a red light district. Starting in 1347, The Black Death was spread from rats coming from Asia on boats, and can be accredited with finishing the bathhouses off within England. This changed people’s thinking irreversibly for many years. Dirt became key to staying disease free. When the plague arrived, many theories were devised as to where such horrors had arisen. The Parisian Medical Faculty to investigating the plague concluded; “a disastrous conjunction of Saturn, Jupiter and Mars that caused disease-infected vapours to rise out of the earth and waters and poison the air.”19 Thus, people began focusing on the baths as a source for spreading the plague, where hot water and relaxing was said to allow the disease to penetrate the softened skin. People would run the streets begging others to close the baths and not attend for their own safety. This was misguided, as the discrediting of the bathhouses created dirty people, which in turn created more bacteria that attracted the flea. This lack of washing changed the architecture and landscape of bathing at this time. With bathhouses being shut down, a fabric of dereliction was becoming common throughout London. The once functional buildings were being shut and not developed. Gone were the grand spaces and indulgent atmospheres of the baths, in their place, a phase of private disregard for cleanliness. Bathing as the public knew it would not re-emerge within England, in the same way again. 3.2 – A Guide to Staying Dirty – from 1550 to 1750
Between 1550-1750 the plagues were still sweeping across European countries annually, with many dying from their unwielding symptoms. The fashion of staying dirty became more extreme. The focus shifted from personal washing towards water becoming ornamental, with the rich lavishing in a new architecture; the fountain. In the summer, one perspired to the point of offense, the solution; for a woman, to change her undergarments and skirt. For a man, a change of shirt was all that was needed. Clean linen was taking the place of bathtubs, soaking up the sweat until saturated and yet another change. To a man in this period, his clean white linen was his most valuable necessity. As Savot exclaimed, ‘linen…serves to keep the body clean more conveniently than the baths’.20
In relation to the architecture and landscape of bathing at this time, it did not exist! When washing her feet, a lady would retire to her room and wash within a small tub up to her ankles. When washing her hands, a small dip using a jug and bowl would suffice, all would happen in one private room. It is ironic how appearance was everything, but cleanliness was not categorised under this heading. The most important areas were the visible ones that advertised class and status, and so needed to be presented immaculately. As Savot explained in 1626: ‘We can do without baths…the Greeks and Romans needed baths because they failed to understand the cleansing properties of linen.”21 16 Katherine Ashenburg, ‘Clean: an unsanitized history of washing’, (Profile Books, 2007), pg 78 17 Katherine Ashenburg, ‘Clean: an unsanitized history of washing’, (Profile Books, 2007), pg 79 18 Katherine Ashenburg, ‘Clean: an unsanitized history of washing’, (Profile Books, 2007), pg 87 19 Katherine Ashenburg, ‘Clean: an unsanitized history of washing’, (Profile Books, 2007), pg 93 20 Katherine Ashenburg, ‘Clean: an unsanitized history of washing’, (Profile Books, 2007), pg 107 21 Katherine Ashenburg, ‘Clean: an unsanitized history of washing’, (Profile Books, 2007), pg 107
3.3 – A British Eccentric’s Holiday Guide
A succession of publications from varying doctors appeared, with guides on personal hygiene within a new era of cold-water bathing. Claims were made that cold water could not only clean, but also a cure many illnesses. The most extravagant suggestions were made by Floyer, who suggested that this was an important aspect of life now, but also proposed the radical activity of salt-water bathing, suggesing this to be carried out by those with many different ailments. The sea was regarded as dark and foreboding, many scared of the unknown creatures of the deep. Attitudes started to change, and although still pensive about the sea, a publication by Edmund Burke, named ‘Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful’, which took the sea, its incomprehensible and unknown mass, and “glorified what was dark and alarming”22, changing the stubborn view of the English. After this publication reached the middle classes and above, the fear hadn’t diminished, but instead of finding the sea ‘ugly’, people found it ‘sublime’ because they feared it. The culture and landscape of bathing was gravitating once more, but with caution, (like the Roman’s use of springs), towards architecture of nature. The new revolution of bathing in nature boomed around the mid to latter eighteenth century in England, when machines became popular amongst the rich. Put down to ‘English eccentricity’, these bathing machines became the new architecture of bathing amongst the middle to upper classes, and were: “four-wheeled carriages, covered with canvas, and having at one end of them an umbrella of the same materials which is let down to the surface of the water, so that the bather descending from the machine by a few steps is concealed from the public view, whereby the most refined female is enabled to enjoy the advantages of the sea with the strictest delicacy.”23 The use of this new portable architecture was simple but designed to conceal the user’s modesty. The user would enter the machine, and in this simple room, change into their swimsuits. As Evelyn Sharpe wrote in the Guardian in 1906; “I have always found [bathing machines] equally uncomfortable, stuffy and ill-lighted, and I have never been able to understand why neither is improved by the simple method of making the roof of ground glass and inserting a skylight in it…The fact is it is very difficult to make ideal bathing arrangements for the million. The only enjoyable way to bathe is to live on the seashore, use one’s bedroom for a machine, and swim whenever inclined.”24
The machine had large wheels and was pushed into the water by horse and driver, with later developments using a cable and steam engine. The culture progressed, so did design, allowing user and landscape to merge easily and stress free. ‘Dippers’, or strong attendants of the same sex as the bathers, would be stationed within the sea to help. Segregated bathing was abolished in 1901 and so the demise of the bathing machine began, with almost none surviving to 1920. Afterwards they were parked on the beach and became static bathing huts. At this time, being an eccentric Englishman, meant being visibly dirty. Within 200 years, the culture of bathing had been revived, from almost dying out, with a distinct lack of architecture and design surrounding the activity, to a complete revival of a new culture. This new bathing, was seen as a holiday or pleasure activity when at the coast, and not for everyday participation at home or within public baths. The bathing machines created the feeling of being solitary when in fact; many were partaking at the same time. The landscape incorporated a new architectural device, and a seaside culture that lives on today.
22 Katherine Ashenburg, ‘Clean: an unsanitized history of washing’, (Profile Books, 2007), pg 132 23 W. C. Oulton, The Traveller’s Guide; or, English Itinerary, Vol II, (Ivy-Lane, London: James Cundee), p. 245. 24 Evelyn Sharpe, How To Dress In The Water, http://century.guardian.co.uk/1899-1909/Story/0,,126381,00.html, Saturday 26 May 1906, (Accessed 22.03.2013)
4 – A 50’s Icon
Fig. 3 (Above)
Fig. 4 (Below)
4 – A 50’s Icon
Throughout the 20th century there was a massive shift from water being a rarity within private homes, to a general consumable. Sir Arthur Newsholme states that because of this, they needed to consider whether every house needed a bath.25 Bad housing26 and child mortality rates meant people had to seriously consider this suggestion, as health was linked to cleanliness. “In the second half of the century cleanliness was medicalized as ‘hygiene’ when germ theory connected cleanliness to the prevention of disease.”27 Even after an increase in knowledge, there were, many long-standing objections to the idea of washing, as Campbell explains: “The opinion held by many of the older generation that to take a bath is in itself a dangerous proceeding, will probably vanish in the course of time.”28 This shift was not instantaneous causing much debate. Within the book ‘A Report on Public Baths and Washhouses in the United Kingdom’ by Agnes Campbell (1918), commissioned by the Government, found there was a shift in bathhouses well into the 40’s, of private bathing facilities within public bathhouses. “The change from cold bathing to invigorate the blood system to warm bathing in tubs to remove dirt came about because of the spreading understanding of the skin’s function in the removing of wastes’ (Bushman 1223). Thus, bathing as a curative for illness was joined to the idea of bathing as a ‘curative’ for perspiration. Washing drifted in and out of fashion until it received the imprimatur of science.”29 The debate: were provisions supplied by the local government going to be more effective at ‘cleaning a nation’ than the installing of private bathrooms in the home? In the 1845 edition of Thomas Webster’s domestic encyclopaedia, bathroom furnishings did not even make an appearance. There were many inventions to ensure that each part of the body could be cleaned without the need for total submersion. There was the choice of a footbath, leg bath, hipbath, later on gas baths and showers in many differing forms. Bathing culture was on the rise, and with it, the invention and commercialisation of many different methods of washing. Suddenly the environment you bathed in was once again the focus of new and immaculate social standards, with judgements on the family being based on the cleanliness not just of the body, but the architecture and environment that housed the practice. In the early 19th Century the consensus was all bodily ills were carried on dirty and stagnant air with Louis Pasteur and Joseph Lister as pioneers in the field. 4.2 – ‘Clean’ as a New Concept
Water became more common within the home, and the site for washing immigrated into the interior, with more emphasis on cleanliness and washing. Not only cleanliness, as a status symbol or means of determining one’s class, but levels of hygiene were becoming scrutinised by the surrounding community. As running hot water was more available, people were viewed suspiciously if their personal level of cleanliness did not live up to the new and improved sanitary conditions. Society of the time determined that women were at the heart of this new movement, and the new architecture of bathing was built around this figurehead. As thoughts surrounding the bathroom and the means and reason for its use, as well as the new ideals of design and environment that were being created within the home, changed, America lead the way in its commercialisation and popularity as a theory and practice. Unlike the lavish Turkish baths, hamams, Greek and Roman establishments of the past and in many European countries, the American tenement bathhouses were associated with the lower classes and disease and were there purely for functional purposes. The ‘floating baths’ that could be found within rivers of the city as floating wooden structures, were criticised heavily as being tantamount to ‘floating sewers’. 4.3 – No longer a Commodity - Bathing as a Commercial Venture
The novelty of the new room within the house was not only an on-demand private space but was also viewed as the germ of design and innovation by which the rest of the house would follow. “While moderne and art deco styles ‘expressed’ modernity, the aesthetic of the bathroom embodied it. As such, the bathroom was seen as beyond style…designers as disparate as Walter Dorwin Teague and Le Corbusier both valorised it as a pure expression of form in the service of function.”30 With new attitudes came new possibilities for products and architecture to offer the high standards people were beginning to expect from their homes. As the bathroom had gravitated closer towards becoming domesticated from the 1820’s for the wealthy, to the 1900’s for rural cottages, a new form of architecture had emerged, combining the furniture of the bedroom; including the wash stand and bidet, with the many new forms of 25 Agnes Campbell (B.A.), - Section II – The Provisions of Baths in Relation to Housing, Report on Public Baths and Wash-Houses in the United Kingdom, The Carnegie United Kingdom Trust (Edinburgh 1918) ARCHIVE 26 Agnes Campbell (B.A.), - Section II – The Provisions of Baths in Relation to Housing, Report on Public Baths and Wash-Houses in the United Kingdom, The Carnegie United Kingdom Trust (Edinburgh 1918) ARCHIVE pg 39 27 Ellen Lupton and J. Abbott Miller, The Bathroom the Kitchen and the Aesthetic of Waste (A Process of Elimination), (A KIOSK BOOK, Distributed by Princeton Architectural Press; exhibition in 1992, Second printing 1996.) pg 17 28 Agnes Campbell (B.A.), - Section II – The Provisions of Baths in Relation to Housing, Report on Public Baths and Wash-Houses in the United Kingdom, The Carnegie United Kingdom Trust (Edinburgh 1918) ARCHIVE pg 63 29 Ellen Lupton and J. Abbott Miller, The Bathroom the Kitchen and the Aesthetic of Waste (A Process of Elimination), (A KIOSK BOOK, Distributed by Princeton Architectural Press; exhibition in 1992, Second printing 1996.) pg 18 30 Ellen Lupton and J. Abbott Miller; The Bathroom, The Kitchen and the Aesthetics of Waste, (Princeton Architectural Press), Exhibition held May 9th- June 28th 1992 pg 26
bath and shower available, into one room. The birth of the bathroom as we know it happened around the mid 1800’s with the first step of moving all these ‘cabinets’ into one room dedicated to cleanliness. Usually situated within the bedroom, or if lucky, within an adjacent dressing room, but this at the time was limited to the more affluent. Companies were being set up to manufacture the appliances needed for this room to emerge within as many households as possible. With the invention and commercialisation of the bathroom, class divide was highlighted once again. Many working and lower classes couldn’t afford bathing facilities, and social workers and public health officials claimed that the poor would not use a domestic bath, so the use of the public baths was enforced for this section of society until the 1920’s. As Orwell discussed when looking at class and cleanliness, apart from the more physical work undertaken he noted; “the middle class believes that the working class have a repellent odour”.31 It was only when private baths were accessible for the lower classes that the class divide lessened, as more access to water and soap proved the ‘professional’s’ theories wrong. Rippon and Burton of Oxford Street advertised their range of baths in Charles Dickens’ ‘The Life and Adventures of Nickolas Nickleby’. Prices started at 6s, and so were highly accessible by the middle classes.32 The rich had dedicated rooms for these appliances due to their pipes, but most would use them within the bedroom or parlour still. Servants needed to both fill the bath with heated water bought up from the kitchen or basements, and fill the cisterns on top of the new fangled gravity showers. The invention of the coal, or gas baths was a massive step forward for the bath starting to become an appliance on its own, therefore allowing its position to become more flexible. Many inventions for baths were emerging on the market around the 1890’s, including; “The ‘Niagra’ rocking bath made by F. Barnaby and Co. …The curved bottom allowed the bather to rock the bath and the ends and sides were bent inwards to prevent splashing.”33 Alongside the self-powered wave bath were new inventions of another commercial venture, solving the problem of hot water to fill the baths and therefore sever the ties between the means of washing and the location of the action. The gas bath, invented in 1849, angled jets of gas at metal plates under the bath in order to directly heat the water. It was named a ‘magic’ heater and was exhibited at the Great Exhibition in 1851 winning a medal. In 1855, German chemist Robert Wilhelm Bunsen perfected the oxygen-enriched burner, which burnt with a hot blue flame with water heating faster. People still had to wait a relatively long time though. In 1868 a decorator by the name of Benjamin Waddy Maughan had invented the Geyser. A forerunner of many inventions of a similar kind for water heating, which combined elements heated from below by gas, with the water running over them within metal cells, with hot water almost on demand. This was a commercial success! All above mentioned happened in London, showing how rich its commercial bathing culture and history has been. Bathing was becoming architecture in itself. No longer was its landscape firmly set in the drawing rooms of upper class Britain, but the bath and shower alike were becoming architecture of their own. The British, with the invent of the clean and sanitised bathroom around the 20’s and 30’s, started to become interested in the make, type, quality and smell of products that could be used to keep the body and its surroundings clean. Within advertising, there was a strong emphasis during the first 20 years of the 20th century on using slogans that used war and defence as a metaphor for the importance of cleanliness. Those driving the reform of England into a cleaner way of living, thought at this time that the low level of public health could indicate larger social problems, and they thought; ‘cleanliness could encourage morality.’34 Commercialisation that centred on this new domestic landscape boomed in the 1930’s. Products such as deodorant (Mum 1888), soaps (Ivory in 1882 and Pears 1886) and toilet paper (1880’s and Kleenex in 1934) burst onto the scene. “Advertisers mapped out the human body as a field of danger zones, marked by decolourisation, bad odours, unsightly blemishes, and other embarrassing compromises of personal ‘daintiness’.”35 The Americans, or ‘Nacirema’ as a University of Michigan Professor Horace Miner named them, became obsessed after the emergence of the new bathroom architecture, on the appearance and health of their bodies, and many rituals were invented to create the appearance of extreme cleanliness, that all centred around this new shrine. “The centre of the shrine was a chest built into the wall, full of charms and potions. Underneath this charm box was a small font, into which flowed holy waters whose purity was guarded by a priestly class.”36 The bathroom was once again being promoted to religious heights; a place within the home where self-worship could take place. A new era had begun, one that saw the act of bathing being promoted to a status within the home that not only distinguished your social class, but also allowed no excuse for dirt of any sort. Bathing architecture become more streamlined, its landscape furnished with invisible pipes of hot and cold running water, and radically of all, a room that now became the focus and concentration of not only bath inventors and designers, but architects themselves. The bathroom was not simply just a piece of furniture to be had by the rich for the purpose of confirming status through choice to wash, but a commercialised and accessible environment, that shifted from a public space to a private room within the home. What followed was the beginning of the bathroom as a designers paint pallet, a landscape for design, re-invention and extravagance. 31 Katherine Ashenburg, ‘Clean : an unsanitized history of washing’, (Profile Books, 2007), pg 236-7 32 David J. Eveleigh, Bogs, baths and basins: the story of domestic sanitation, (Stroud: Sutton, 2002), pg 63 33 From The Ironmonger, 9th July 1892 (Rural History Centre) cited in; David J. Eveleigh, Bogs, Baths and Basins – The Story of Domestic Sanitation, The History Press 2011, pg 68 34 Ellen Lupton and J. Abbott Miller, The Bathroom the Kitchen and the Aesthetic of Waste (A Process of Elimination), (A KIOSK BOOK, Distributed by Princeton Architectural Press; exhibition in 1992, Second printing 1996.) pg 19 35 Ellen Lupton and J. Abbott Miller, The Bathroom the Kitchen and the Aesthetic of Waste (A Process of Elimination), (A KIOSK BOOK, Distributed by Princeton Architectural Press; exhibition in 1992, Second printing 1996.) pg 20 36 Ellen Lupton and J. Abbott Miller, The Bathroom the Kitchen and the Aesthetic of Waste (A Process of Elimination), (A KIOSK BOOK, Distributed by Princeton Architectural Press; exhibition in 1992, Second printing 1996.) pg 264
4.4 - The Bathroom and High Design
“The bathroom has been a recurring object of interest to modernist designers…the architects Le Corbusier, Richard Neutra, George Fred Keck, and Frank Lloyd Wright all attached particular significance to this room.”37 So why, then, in recent history, have architects and design not penetrated the world of public bathing? Public baths in the Greek and Roman period were a necessary addition to the high street, where the invention was the job of designers and masons, with pride and thought being put into the complex, beautiful and often monumental designs. Domestic or public architecture for bathing had been almost non-existent until the 1900’s revolution that was to come. A shift was firmly towards designed space and experience within the landscape of the interior bathroom. Designers of the time felt little pressure of precedent, as there had been a large lapse in concentrated and specific design throughout modern history, with minimal references of previous baths within the domestic environment but many of public bathhouses. This allowed a new and free expression of what the bathroom should be, and therefore how design should influence its use. The Bathroom, for the first time in modern history, was becoming a domesticated architecture of its own. “While moderne and Art Deco styles ‘expressed’ modernity, the aesthetic of the bathroom embodied it. As such, the bathroom was seen beyond style, which explains why designers as disparate as Walter Dorwin Teague and Le Corbusier both valorised it as a pure expression of form in the service of function.”38 From 1890 to 1930, architects were not the main driving force behind the clean, sanitised and seamless design of the bathroom that eventually lead the rest of the domestic design choices, but the need for cleanliness and hygiene, with the homeowner as architect. Robert Kerr in 1864 claimed; ‘no house of any pretensions will be devoid of a general bathroom’.39 But Kerr was, perhaps, a little ahead of many of his profession – many architects were slow at this time to make provision for bathrooms in their interior planning.”40 House designers of the time seemed confused about the appearance of this new room, with building plans showing an additional first floor room, with mark ups of either ‘dressing room or bathroom’. As the fad progressed, the portable equipment of the old wash stands and various appliances to wash separate parts of the body were no longer needed, and shifted to the bath, sink and
toilet having a fixed position within the home attached to pipes in the walls. The bathroom became permanent, and as Giedion noted, this was a shift from ‘nomadic’ to ‘stable’41 conditions within the home environment, the bathroom had landed and soon was to become the most popular room in the house. The aesthetic of the pantry was back, with exposed brass pipes, claw feet and all in one moulding in a practical and utilitarian manor. The bathroom emerged with, not only the bath, but the shower, toilet and lavatory incorporated. Each went through its own design evolution when placed together into this new landscape. The bath went through a re-invention. The main driving force behind the development of the bath was in fact the surface that was in contact with the skin. Lead, copper and zinc were common throughout the mid 19th century, but they damaged too easily and so solid porcelain baths were produced within Britain and exported all over the West. These although beautiful and the start of the ‘gentile’ bathroom design, broke easily, so by the 1920’s, helped by mass production techniques, a double skinned enamel coated cast-iron bath was designed, which was more accessible to the general public. It moved through ornamented stages but finally the 5ft bath that came to standardise bathroom design came about. The shower went hand in hand with the bath in the development of the bathroom’s design. Formally used as a piece of equipment for a specialist bathing routine rather than an alternative to a bath, it was typically associated with men, as it was seen as incompatible with female grooming techniques. The shower soon overtook the presence of baths within smaller bathrooms, but was also combined with the bath in many spaces, and “encouraged the complete integration of bathing equipment and its surrounding architecture. A House and Garden writer in 1922 advised careful planning, since ‘bathroom equipment becomes part of the very construction of the house’42.”43 Showers also saw a surge in popularity within public baths of the time; “many were fitted in public baths, private clubs and large hotels. Hayward Tyler supplied their needle douche bath to the Hamman Baths in Jermyn Street. Smeaton claimed a long list of customers for their ‘Carlsbad’ bath which had six rows of needles…including Camden Town Turkish Baths”.44 With the use of tiles to create a seamless enclosure, together with the fixtures and fittings being recessed into the wall, everything became more streamlined. After the trend of white sanitary ware that was promoted by the magazines of the time, with descriptions as varied and seductive to the health conscious homeowner as pure, virginal, sanitary or snowy. It was within these magazines also, that the housewife’s choice of fixtures, fittings and decoration becoming a direct comment on the style choice of the owner. The design of the bathroom became personal. Endless white was seen as dull, but with the addition of coloured enamels, tiles and toilet seats, the 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44
Ellen Lupton and J. Abbott Miller, The Bathroom the Kitchen and the Aesthetic of Waste (A Process of Elimination), (A KIOSK BOOK, Distributed by Princeton Architectural Press; exhibition in 1992, Second printing 1996.) pg 38 Ellen Lupton and J. Abbott Miller, The Bathroom the Kitchen and the Aesthetic of Waste (A Process of Elimination), (A KIOSK BOOK, Distributed by Princeton Architectural Press; exhibition in 1992, Second printing 1996.) pg 26 R. Kerr, The English Gentleman’s Household, 1864, p.167 – cited in David J. Eveleigh, Bogs, baths and basins : the story of domestic sanitation, (Stroud : Sutton, 2002), pg 84 David J. Eveleigh, Bogs, baths and basins: the story of domestic sanitation, (Stroud: Sutton, 2002), pg 85 Giedion in Ellen Lupton and J. Abbott Miller, The Bathroom the Kitchen and the Aesthetic of Waste (A Process of Elimination), (A KIOSK BOOK, Distributed by Princeton Architectural Press; exhibition in 1992, Second printing 1996.) Mary Fanton Roberts, ‘If You Are Going To Build’, House and Garden Vol. XLI No. 6 (June 1922) – cited in Ellen Lupton and J. Abbott Miller, The Bathroom the Kitchen and the Aesthetic of Waste (A Process of Elimination), (A KIOSK BOOK, Distributed by Princeton Architectural Press; exhibition in 1992, Second printing 1996.) pg 31 Ellen Lupton and J. Abbott Miller, The Bathroom the Kitchen and the Aesthetic of Waste (A Process of Elimination), (A KIOSK BOOK, Distributed by Princeton Architectural Press; exhibition in 1992, Second printing 1996.) pg 31 David J. Eveleigh, Bogs, baths and basins : the story of domestic sanitation, (Stroud : Sutton, 2002), pg 104
“housewife could reclaim her bathroom.”45 The bathroom was battling against its hospital and industrial feel, and becoming reabsorbed into the fabric of the home once more. Pattern and colour, furnishings and floor coverings were re-emerging into a more modern take on a homely room. The bathroom went through many further design evolutions from the 20’s to the 50’s. The domestic bathroom was influenced by the luxury of hotels, where people expected one bathroom for every bedroom, therefore the bathroom became compact yet stylish and functional. “The recessed bay of the tub and shower, as well as the determination of the minimal bathroom plan, encouraged designers to think of the bathroom as one large water-supplied appliance.”46 This did fundamentally fail, as the public were unsure about the use of metals and plastics used for their construction, as they put their trust in tried and tested materials such as ceramics and porcelain. R Buckminster Fuller proposed, in 1938, a fully moulded bathroom, fitting the 5ft by 5ft dimensions of the minimalist bathroom, all appliances, including the floor incorporated into the design. Several prototypes were built, but it did not catch on within the domestic situation. The bathroom was scrutinised with the old mindset of cleanliness and disease, and it was beginning to be questioned whether the toilet should remain within the ever diminishing space of the bathroom, or in fact have its own space. This did, however, minimise the privacy that the once all incorporating bathroom had. Throughout the 40’s and 50’s, multiple bathrooms allowed the privacy of the user to be maintained, whilst ensuring the most sanitary arrangement. Powder rooms for visitors downstairs were installed and the first ideas behind the en-suite and privacy for the parents emerged. Showers also grew in popularity, from enclosed canopy baths, to spray baths and finally the separate shower with invigorating jets stretching its whole height.
Ellen Lupton and J. Abbott Miller, The Bathroom the Kitchen and the Aesthetic of Waste (A Process of Elimination), (A KIOSK BOOK, Distributed by Princeton Architectural Press; exhibition in 1992, Second printing 1996.) pg 32 Ellen Lupton and J. Abbott Miller, The Bathroom the Kitchen and the Aesthetic of Waste (A Process of Elimination), (A KIOSK BOOK, Distributed by Princeton Architectural Press; exhibition in 1992, Second printing 1996.) pg 35
5 – London’s Bathing Relationship
Fig. 5 (Above)
Fig. 6 (Below)
5 – London’s Bathing Relationship
Alongside private bathing, public bathing did not disappear. London has a long and varied but specific relationship with public bathing in the City, with a large diversity of residents, cultures and classes, public bathing has moved through a hierarchy of need; from providing a community space, a place to do business, a necessity to luxury and a fad. As discussed throughout the thesis, public bathing within England has varied in its definition. It once meant just that, to wash and bathe with other members of the public, with the aim of keeping clean, meeting friends, socialising, and worship the means by which the body stayed healthy. From ancient times to the Victorian era, bathing has been the link between health, wellbeing and cleanliness. There have been times, however, when public bathing lost its publicity all together, becoming a much more insular and private affair. Public bathing also created the demand for the trend of the spa, with a culture of holidays to the coast and the introduction of different cultural baths to the City; the emphasis was more on choice and relaxation, with the excuse of health and healing justifying the pleasure. Today, within 2013 London, trends that once died out are slowly re-emerging, with swimming pool and fitness complexes, lidos, river swimming, hotel spas and health clubs around the city showing the culture, although becoming muted for many years, has never disappeared. New proposals also have been emerging to bring back a culture of public bathing, which defines an activity that is less about health, medicine or need, but more on social engagement within the community, and a new affordable spa culture, that promotes fitness and wellbeing in a more metaphorical sense. London has lead the way with public bathing in England, with the new fads and fashions being played out within the melting pot fabric and landscape of the City, that is still visible and visibly changing today. 5.1 – Historic Landscape of Bathing in London
In 1844 the focus of cleaning the masses was high on the agenda of the local Governments and authorities in London, to try to
appease the poor and rancid conditions much of the lower classes had to live with in the 1800’s. A test bathhouse and laundry was set up in 1847 by the ‘Association for Promoting Cleanliness Amongst the Poor’, where “in the year ending June 1847, the bathers, washers, and ironers amounted to 85,584; the bathers and washers also gave whitewash, and lent pails and brushes, to those willing to cleanse their own wretched dwellings. . ...”47 This experiment was such a triumph, ‘The Committee for Promoting the Establishment of Baths and Wash-Houses for the Labouring Classes’ was established with The Bishop of London at its helm. The first model public bathhouse built within London after this act of Parliament was Goulston Public Baths in Whitechapel, opened in 1847, and with the heightened publicity and Government backing the building of public bathhouses had at the time, the Prince Consort laid the foundation stone. Baths and washhouses after this were founded all over London. This original bathhouse in Whitechapel was demolished in 1989, with a new Women’s Library being built on site with a false washhouse frontage as the building’s only legacy to what once stood in its footprint. Many baths and washhouses were constructed around the test model of Whitechapel, but they soon stood to rival London’s most ‘typical’ architecture, as celebratory and epic monuments to washing and swimming. The poorest communities were now becoming some of the cleanest, and with these establishments targeting the whole of society, they bought cleanliness and to those most in need.
Fig 7. Above: A table showing the visitor numbers for the first bathhouses set up under the Government scheme.
The map (Fig. 8) shows the distribution of bathhouses throughout London and England in relation to population in 1918. A theory written by Campbell in the same year states “One of the most serious problems which face those who labour for the social betterment of our great cities, is that of providing wholesome recreation for young people who have left school, and become wage
47 The Dictionary of Victorian London, Health and Hygiene - Baths and Bathing - St Marylebone Baths and Washhouses, http://www.victorianlondon. org/health/stmarylebonebaths.htm (Accessed 26.03.13)
Fig. 8 - Map 1 â€˜Frontispieceâ€™ - To illustrate the distribution of public baths throughout the United Kingdom in relation to density populations. Insets: a) Enlargement of Lancashire and Yourkshire Industrial Areas b) Enlargement of London District c) Map of the Metropolitan boroughs to show distribution and nature of baths and washhouse establishments.
earners while the instincts for play are still strong and require direction”.48 London today has been built up on layers of history, physically moulding today’s urban fabric, with past London buried under tarmac, much like the social history of bathing, which was a core social activity for hundreds of years creating its own architectural landscape much different from today’s. Abandoned or unused bathhouses have been lost and changed into modern swimming pools, private housing and flats. Throughout the early 1900’s in the UK, more efforts were put into place to persuade the public that swimming and washing by using the public baths was not just beneficial for health, but for the young also. Again, Agnes Campbell was a driving force throughout, questioning local communities on the use of baths and pools, summing up that: “At the present time prejudice, the fear of infection, and poverty are all stumbling blocks to the extension of the Public Baths./ Boys and Girls should be actors rather than spectators, and the wisest policy on their behalf is not to provide entertainment, but to give such training and opportunity as will enable them to entertain themselves.”49 The following examples, demonstrate to what extent the culture and architecture of these historic bathhouses have lived on.
Lido’s were the bathhouse of the day. After WWI, much of London was bomb damaged and people had lost a lot of the community based buildings that served as fun and recreation. The London councils of the time started to re-build community leisure by introducing the Lido to local boroughs. These constructions were cheap and easy to build, and provided people with somewhere to swim, meet with friends and relax on the sun terrace. Edmonton even had a loudspeaker for events and announcements and was the first to be called a ‘Lido’ in England.
Fig 9. Above: A photo taken of the Enfield Lido (and one of the only photos I could find of this Lido) taken in 1955 after the refurbishment of the 30’s, at the height of its popularity within the local community.
48 Agnes Campbell (B.A.), Report on Public Baths and Wash-Houses in the United Kingdom, The Carnegie United Kingdom Trust (Edinburgh 1918) ARCHIVE, pg 88. 49 Agnes Campbell (B.A.), Report on Public Baths and Wash-Houses in the United Kingdom, The Carnegie United Kingdom Trust (Edinburgh 1918) ARCHIVE, pp 63 - 88.
Fig 10. Enfield Lido off Southbury Road, Enfield, Greater London
Enfield Lido was a later version of the Lido in London and it was a centre for family activity well into the 60’s. It was designed in 1932 by the architect H.R. Crabb “Built by Council workers. Size 200ft x 80ft, depth 3ft at each end and 8ft 6ins in the centre, 576,000 gallons, and cost £26,244. The complex also possessed 18 slipper baths and laundry…The pool itself was not heated.”50 It was closed by the local council after the 1990 season and was finally demolished in 1998. Today, there is no reference of the Lido that once stood there (above), with the site being used for a Cinema, car parks, indoor swimming pool and restaurants. This lido survived longer into the 20th century than most others, maybe due to the selection of community services provided such as the laundry and baths, as well as the outdoor facilities, and its popularity continued until its closure. 5.2 – A Modern Translation of the Culture of the Bathhouse in London
“In Marylebone…These baths and washhouses were among the first of the kind erected in the metropolis…a large subscription was raised to build an establishment to serve as a model for others which it was anticipated would be erected, when it had been proved that the receipts, at the very low rate of charge contemplated, would be sufficient to cover the expenses, and gradually to repay the capital invested.”51 Marylebone Bath House
Unlike the experience we all know of public pools today, Marylebone bathhouse once offered much more important service for the community. “Having spent the past few centuries developing ever more sophisticated monuments to aquatic recreation, swimming pool architecture seems to be in a state of regression. The scenario today’s swimmers are most likely to experience is a lukewarm bath of chemicals and urine in a humid 1970s leisure centre - possibly the closest mankind has come to recreating the primordial soup.”�
Marylebone Bathhouse, was once at the heart of the community, and one of the first to be erected when ‘The Committee for Promoting the Establishment of Baths and Wash-Houses for the Labouring Classes’. The resurgence of bathing in the early Victorian era provided London with a completely new bathing architecture, one that not only could provide an air of wealth and luxury, but an arrangement that allowed practical use and access for the masses. “The design…in the Italian style…the upper story being of red brick… with separate entrances for the different classes and sexes…together with a board-room and other conveniences”.52 The building held 107 separate baths, 24-first class and 57-second class. Gender and class experienced differing entry fees. This facility cost the local Government £20,000, a huge sum, proving the need for community provisions and their popularity outweighed the financial issues. The new architecture of bathing was noteworthy and not cheap: 50 Lidos in London no longer Open, compiled by Oliver Merrington and Andy Hoines - http://homepage.ntlworld.com/oliver.merrington/lidos/ lidos1closed.htm#southbury (Accessed 23/03/13) 51 The Dictionary of Victorian London, Health and Hygiene - Baths and Bathing - St Marylebone Baths and Washhouses, http://www.victorianlondon. org/health/stmarylebonebaths.htm (Accessed 26.03.13) 52 The Dictionary of Victorian London, Health and Hygiene - Baths and Bathing - St Marylebone Baths and Washhouses, http://www.victorianlondon. org/health/stmarylebonebaths.htm (Accessed 26.03.13)
“The whole establishment is spacious, well lighted, and ventilated by means of a lofty shaft…which also makes a good feature in the general effect of the building; and will, when completed, accommodate 5000 persons daily.”53
Fig 11. Above: An etching from the ‘Illustrated London News’ from 1850 showing the Marylebone building, built along the lines of the model bathhouse design.
Fig 12. Above: A view from Google Street View dated March 27 2013, showing part of the original bathhouse on the left, with a newly built Court House next door. The old bathhouse building has been incorporated into the new courthouse.
In comparison to the rich Marylebone converted baths, “Islington is the eighth most deprived borough in the country, and the third most deprived in London.”54 Hornsey Road Baths and Laundry was rebuilt after the Blitz and opened again in the 60’s. It was taken on by ‘myplace’ in 2009 as a community project to restore the then derelict bathhouse into a youth centre. 14 advisors, young people from the area, were taken onboard to help decide what would be built for the youth of the area. Along with the architect for the project; Joanna Van Heyningen, a list was drawn up for what the building should house. This is an interesting study into how the next generation can be involved in and prolong the life of a new type of community building in London for years to come. Hampstead Heath Swimming Ponds, and the Serpentine Lido, both offer the open waters of London as a natural restorative and invigorating activity. Open all year round, the Serpentine Lido swimming experience is not for the faint hearted, but offers a connection with nature and the local environment that city dwellers of today are starting to treasure once more. Hampstead Heath Ponds were dammed off clay pits, and once flooded form three separate ponds. One for women, one for men and the other mixed and accompanied children. “It is obvious that open-air baths possess decided advantages over covered ones, since they cost comparatively little to build and maintain, they can be made large enough to provide every possible facility…ensure more healthful surroundings than the best covered establishments.”55 More recently, there has been an experimental re-emergence of a community-based architecture focused on the culture of bathing, combined with a more affordable choice of spa treatments. The example here is Barking Bathhouse, a pop up spa and bar and experimental social space. Located in East London between high-rise flats and shiny new office blocks, “has bought affordable pampering to East London.”56 As a throwback to Barking’s industrial heritage, the design was created by Architects ‘Something and Son’, and 53 The Dictionary of Victorian London, Health and Hygiene - Baths and Bathing - St Marylebone Baths and Washhouses, http://www.victorianlondon. org/health/stmarylebonebaths.htm (Accessed 26.03.13) 54 myplace support team, Hornsey Road Baths Community Launch Event, http://www.myplacesupport.co.uk/Hornsey-Road-Baths/hornsey-road-bathscommunity-launch-event.html (Accessed 26.03.13) 55 Agnes Campbell (B.A.), Report on Public Baths and Wash-Houses in the United Kingdom, The Carnegie United Kingdom Trust (Edinburgh 1918) ARCHIVE, pg 109. 56 Sarah Rainey, The Telegraph – Travel – London, Barking Bathhouse Spa and Bar; Barking, London: Review, 30th August 2012, http://www.telegraph.
incorporates local produce from allotments in the cocktails, cucumbers grown above head in the seating area, and an architecture once renowned in the area bought back to life. Commissioned by CREATE and as one of the ‘Mayor’s Outer London Fund projects for Barking and Dagenham for 2012, it holds many similarities when it comes to the borough backing and improvement schemes of the Victorian era, but this time, for community enrichment and not cleanliness. Affordable and accessible, the bathhouse was located in a corner of a car park, in an area people could access easily, with an affordable price for smoothies and treatments (£3-£6 for fruit smoothies, £30 for an hours massage and £20 for facials). The pop up was based on a bathhouse that once stood near the site and was the hub for social activity for years previous, with the hope that this new take on a community space would become just as popular within the local community. Which for the short time it stood, it did. Overall London has by no means lost its ritual and culture of bathing; it has evolved with London’s growth and modification, with slow but steady transformation over time. A new landscape was emerging, with the re-use of the long-standing architecture of bathing, and a more natural environment that has been open to the brave for many years. As the public still enjoy urban water sports, even with its dwindling choice of ‘original’ venue in London, they seem open minded about using community architecture, whatever form that ends up taking.
co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/uk/london/9504740/Barking-Bathhouse-spa-and-bar-Barking-London-review.html (Accessed 28.03.2013)
6 â€“ Conclusion - A Prudish Modern Society - Bathing Today
6.1 – The public’s thoughts on Bathing Together
In order to understand how viable a community project such as a modern take on a public bathing experience would be within England today, I put together a questionnaire. (See appendix). I questioned twelve people spanning the London area, from Peckham to Hertfordshire and Essex, as well as a range of ages, from 21 to 85, and both genders. My results and discussion are cited below, with some interesting results. To propose a new landscape and architecture that will hopefully, as the Victorians did when building Marylebone Bathhouse, encourage people to take a chance in a new form of community architecture that will enliven communities who have lost their social centers. If a bathhouse were to be proposed today, as the feedback has backed up, it would have to be local, affordable and provide a place that would allow access and facilities beyond an attraction or luxury. When enquiring as to whether people would use a public bath, (in whatever form they thought this would take), I presumed that today’s society would shy away from exposure and sharing community experiences in this way, but the majority of participants said they would visit a new form of public bathing experience. The one aspect affecting the public’s choice of visiting such a place would be time. With an almost 50-50 split in response to this question across the ages. When those who answered ‘no’ to visiting the building were later asked why, a large percentage of people answered that ‘time’ would be the main constraint. When enquiring about public services increasing the popularity of the building, 64% of people answered yes to this, and when asked in what form, 20% thought a discussion space, 30% thought a history centre would enhance the experience, and 50% thought a café would draw them into a building they may otherwise not understand or be nervous to participate in. About embarrassment, 42% said yes they would be, giving reasons based on the idea that bathing is a private activity, maybe due to gender or culture. Strangely 75% of men claimed they would feel uncomfortable, with a much smaller proportion of women. For those who said this, when further asked if design could dispel these worries, 42% said yes they would visit if more addressed within the architecture. 17% claimed possibly. I also asked about experiencing other countries’ cultures, 83% said yes, this would be of interest. When given the option 70% of the people asked said that they would pay £5 or less, where as 30% would pay between £6 and £15, with nobody saying they would pay more, or reaching the heights of £100 or more to the levels of a hotel spa. Everyone who said they would visit, would pay for extra treatments. 75% of participants agreed we are facing water problems, with 8% claiming they weren’t sure. Only 17% claimed that they do not think water is an issue within England at the moment. When further questioned about the importance of water conservation in 2013, that reverted to 100% of people saying that yes, it is an important task. Interestingly, when then asked if creating a visual link within a building of its water use and recycling would persuade them to use the building more, 58% said no. With 92% of people agreeing a public bath could be a place to interact, it seems this prospect is not completely unlikely.
Cost was an issue so I must be aware of trying to create an iconic new public building at a cost. Due to bathing not being a necessity, I would have to locate the building somewhere very public and local and include everyday or interesting services. Nobody chose a launderette, and so not surprisingly proving that public attitudes towards necessity have completely shifted. To harness the group worried about embarrassment, I could propose programs beyond the design of the building, such as ladies own sessions within the timetable. Within my proposal for a public bath and community social project, I am designing four different cultural experiences of bathing; using the American sweat lodge, the Greek bath, the Japanese baths and Russian bania, and in that sense providing an experience that is completely new for the population surrounding 95% of the site in Bow Creek. This will provide an education through experience, and hopefully create an interest to override the potential doubts and worries people may have in the program. The culture within the building will be explained through information, but mostly, as Zumthor achieved at Vals, navigational and cultural direction through design. The price of the experience is, in the same sense, an important factor when designing community architecture, as it must be affordable and accessible for all those within the surrounding communities. This can enhance people’s view of luxury, as hot water used to be viewed in the old washhouses. As proven at Cenre Parc’s Spa, these cultural experiences can be achieved under one roof, but instead of the £70 day pass cost, my building will provide less spa and more experience, for a more affordable price, with the option of extra treatments. The key to the design of the bathhouse I propose is to create a building whose popularity outweighs the cost of creating a revolutionary and inventive community building, that puts public bathing back on the map in London. People want the choice to visit the building, but also have other facilities that will enrich their knowledge, community feel or aid their busy lives. When I am thinking about design, the reservations that the public have over the potential intimacy and exposure within a bathing situation whether due to culture, religion or pure shyness, I must address them to allow for people to enjoy and relax in the experience I am providing. Meaning that within the careful design of the areas that address this relationship: the changing rooms, communal areas and areas of relaxation, where exposure could cause a feeling of being uncomfortable, I must consider all worries addressed in the questionnaires. Beyond this, the building I propose must be aware of the fact that water usage within England is a complex subject in 2013, as well as ecology and the changing landscape beyond today. With the environment set to become more and more tropical within England, with a noticeable difference within 50 years, the use of water within a building dedicated to the worship of it must be taken into account. My theory was that, due to people’s more heightened awareness of the changing ecology and climate within England that more people would answer yes to this question. My proposal is to create a building that provides a strong visual link with landscape, environment
and weather, but with water and its origins also. By using the theory of Japanese Fudo which “is not simply the natural environment, but constitutes the foundation of the societies within which people live; and through interaction between nature, space and history, changes occur and Fudo will be further transformed.”57 As Watsuji’s view of Fudo explains: ‘When we add to our sense of climate as including not only the natural geographic setting of a people and the regions’ weather patterns, but also the social environment of a family, community, society at large, lifestyle, and even the technological apparatus that supports community survival and interaction … there exists a mutuality of influence from human to environment, and environment to human being which allows for the continued evolution of both.’58 I am to use this concept to produce a complex and designed roof-scape, that not only allowed the users connection with history, (with the history of bathing as a basis for learning about London’s social past), but with culture, (the bathing cultures of Japan, Russia, North America and Greece providing a basis for locals to learn about each others cultures through interaction), the surrounding landscape, (the site Bow Creek), with ecology, (interior bio-domes creating microclimates for the different bathing cultures, as well as a visual link being created between weather and its use within the building – namely rain). Society today is busy, with many people not having the time for extra-curricular activities outside of work. Modesty, also, is something we all treasure today, and so nakedness would not be allowed within my design for a modern take on a bathhouse. The British, through all the previously discussed historical waves of public bathing, have moved the goal posts when it comes to baring the flesh. In modern times though, we have become more and more prudish when it comes to exposing ourselves even to a moderate level. Being natural is all about the feeling you get within a space, or an atmosphere that is created by the architecture in order to feel comfortable. My architecture aims to create these conditions, using a direct connection with the landscape of the site and with nature itself. 6.2 – A Cultural Public Bathing Experiment
Based on the questionnaire results and focusing on the promenade, my project aims to provide a cultural learning experience, alongside a community based building and social interaction space, which is experienced through the act of participation. This project is an amalgamation of historical references, and one that may become popular enough to create a new architecture and landscape, and even culture, within London’s future.
The cyclical relationship between ‘man’ and his surroundings, each having an effect on one another, forms both their history and futures. In this sense weather and nature should blur the boundary between the earth or site, nature and the atmosphere. It will become a permeable layer, a metaphorical Fudo architecture that maintains the link between the community user and place. Working with this theory of creating history and being aware of the past, my design aims to create a bathhouse design that is specifically designed for the communities in mind. This idea has manifest itself within my bathhouse design thus far, as an undulating roof landscape that creates a ‘Fudo layer’ linking the specific ground conditions of my site, London’s varied history of public bathing and the sky. 57 58
The Fukuoka Asian Culture Prizes, Laureates for 2009, award citation for Augustin Berque, http://www.asianmonth.com/prize/english/20/ (Accessed 13.01.2013) The Fukuoka Asian Culture Prizes, Laureates for 2009, award citation for Augustin Berque, http://www.asianmonth.com/prize/english/20/ (Accessed 13.01.2013)
This structure is formed primarily of glass, to allow maximum views out to the local landscape, (the Thames, the siteâ€™s heritage, and the local communities surrounding it), the sky, (providing rain for use within the building and a link with local ecology), and also allows others views into the building. This creates a transparency that not only minimises apprehension of entering the building, as activities and users can be seen from outside, but also an undeniable connection with place.
Within this undulating roof landscape, which would hopefully become a recognisable landmark in the local area, is included peaks and troughs, mimicking the landscape of the river Lea, as well as the ecology park surrounding the derelict and abandoned docks. The peaks are designed to become bio-domes, creating localised microclimates within the building, tailored to the environment needed to provide the user with the cultural bathing experiences below. Creating humidity, rain, wind and sun light effects that allow each space to be tailored by nature. The domes house nature itself, with bathing and relaxation taking place around the created ecology.
Education of the power of nature, as well as the feeling of being close to it and its effects can be a profound experience, and one inner city locations do not provide within London. The troughs will act as water harvesters, harnessing the weather and becoming visual indicators of water use within the building. The user can see the water collected and its use within the building. Not only is this playing a part in water conservation and heightening awareness, when more and more landscape is becoming built on especially within Cities, but as the questionnaire answers highlighted, is viewed by the public as an important task for 2013. â€œWind and Earth / the natural environment of a given land.â€?(Watsuji 1961)
–Bathing as a Cultural Instruction Manual
As well as incorporating the controlled effects of local ecology and weather within the building, there will be a reproduction of the specific natures of the cultural places chosen as experiences within the bathhouse. Creating the climates from the countries each bathing culture originates from, only using natural processes, will provide a building for the community with a proximity to nature, home and building. The building becomes an almost transparent film, reflecting its surroundings, and cultivating nature, silently educating whilst before unknown experiences are being discovered, with the boundaries between site, structure and user becoming unidentifiable. The design of the building and the elements that combine within the landscape to promote a sense of learning and cultural awareness, through the use and experience of cultural processes, with the architecture subliminally guiding and teaching the user through the cultures and bathing practices. Like Peter Zumthor ‘s Therme Vals; “Zumthor’s project appeals to the human senses. The entry to the bath complex occurs from the existing hotel. Bathers leave a cave-like reception area and pass down a dark, misty hallway to the changing rooms. After leaving the changing area, one enters the main bathing area from a raised platform…One then walks down long stone steps that brings the bather to the main bathing level. The large main space encourages the bather to wander and explore the various spaces.”59 The building will be designed, as Zumthor has demonstrated, that allows the user to feel as though free will and exploration is part of the experience when visiting the bathhouse, but in fact, subliminal messages and structural clues within the building are directing the user on a course that they have previously chosen to continue along. For the understanding of bathing practices, as well as the ‘opportunistic’ convergence of the bathing experiences into social spaces for people to relax and socialize, this method will create spontaneous opportunities for discussion and contact with others.
Peter Zumthor Therme Vals, Peter Zumthor, University of Chicago Press (28th December 2012)
Fig. 17 A study into the different cultural patterns associated with the four cultural bathing experiences I have chosen. The patterns have been translated into nets and these will form the basis of the structure that will denote each culture.
6.3 – Ecology and Weather as a Third Person
Ecology and nature’s role are incorporated in the large biomes that not only create an interior environment and experience that has no comparison within the city of London thus far. Other cities experiencing social displacement could use the scheme as a model, and roll out similar schemes if successful. The following ideas are some of the connections the building, (and specifically the roof), will create by harnessing nature and utilising it within the bathhouse itself; - - - - - -
Water for steam – collected from rainwater run off and directly applied onto the heat source for sauna or steam room environments.
Water for pools – Filtered from the ground water source, as the site is low lying; this could be harnessed and used. As well as excess rainwater harnessed from the roof. Water for maintenance – the cleaning of the building is carried out using self-harnessed grey water.
Trees – The condensation from the trees that grow out of the interior of the building could be harnessed at night.
Wind – natural and apparent ventilation and the building venting to allow for direct contact with the landscape (cold plunge pools / open air sauna etc) View – Surrounding site, Ecology Park and London can be seen. Not a retreat but a celebration of location and place.
Concluding Thoughts Throughout all the social and special investigations into the history, culture and landscape of public bathing, I have uncovered not only, when in comparison to my proposals for a new form of public and community architecture within London, that people would be open to a new form of community space, but also that a new culture of bathing could be just that in 2013.Through history, its been proven that bathing, whether that be washing or swimming, for necessity, government policy or leisure, communities have gravitated back to the baths as simple but enjoyable activity to enrich body, mind and community relationships. The landscape of bathing has become iconic, especially within Londonâ€™s history, and so is so subliminally woven into the fabric of the City and its history, that introducing it into the culture of 2013 London is to me, a natural step in proposing a new and informed public space that benefits the community whilst educating through new experiences. The openness of the public to a modern bathing experience has given me hope that a proposal of this kind could not only benefit communities, but also become a new culture that old and young alike can come together and enjoy, and hopefully continue. Through times of austerity, for example within the Victorian era and the promotion of bathing by the Government, the landscape of bathing in England and especially within London, has in fact improved as a method of leisure, health and cleanliness. Today, then, in times of apparent austerity, (although nowhere near as deprived as our Victorian ancestors), can the Government not back schemes that seek to offer the young and some of our most deprived communities within London, the chance of a project that uses the history of bathing to create a new culture. Through the questionnaires and historical trawl through bathing culture in England, I feel that yes, the social landscape of public bathing can be rejuvenated for our 2013 and surprisingly not so prudish, insular society, through clever design and community input, a whole new bathing landscape and culture can emerge.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Della Thompson (ed), The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English, Ninth Edition, (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1995) Ambrose Bryce, The Devil’s Dictionary, ‘Bath’, http://www.thedevilsdictionary.com/?B accessed (11.01.13) Katherine Ashenburg, Clean : an unsanitized history of washing, (North Point Press; October 28, 2008) David J. Eveleigh, Bogs, baths and basins : the story of domestic sanitation, (Stroud : Sutton, 2002)
Katherine Wentworth Rinne, The Waters of Rome: Aqueducts, Fountains, and the Birth of the Baroque City Hardcover, (Yale University Press January 11, 2011) Charles Lamb, The Adventures of Ulysses, (The Echo Library 2006)
Alev Lytle Croutier, Taking the waters : spirit, art, sensuality, (New York ; London : Abbeville Press, c1992) Kathryn Ferry, Beach huts and bathing machines, (Oxford : Shire, 2009)
Bruce Smith and Yoshiko Yamamoto, The Japanese Bath, (Gibbs Smith, 1 Apr 2001)
Mikkel Aaland, Sweat: the illustrated history and description of the Finnish sauna, Russian bania, Islamic hammam, Japanese mushi-buro, Mexican temescal, and American Indian & Eskimo sweat lodge, (Capra Press, 1978) Jonathan Hill, Weather Architecture, (Routledge 2012)
Ellen Lupton and J. Abbott Miller, The Bathroom the Kitchen and the Aesthetic of Waste (A Process of Elimination), (A KIOSK BOOK, Distributed by Princeton Architectural Press; exhibition in 1992, Second printing 1996.)
(Dissertation) – Peter Anderson, ‘The Architecture of Interpretation’, (Colombia University In The City Of New York, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation 2007) Leonard Koren, How to Take a Japanese Bath, illustrated by Suehiro Maruo, (Stone Bridge Press, 2006) R. D. V. Glasgow, The Concept of Water, (Glasgow Post 2009)
Barry Cunliffe, English Heritage book of Roman Bath, (English Heritage, London : Batsford, c1995)
Esti Dvorjetski.: Leisure, pleasure and healing : spa culture and medicine in ancient eastern Mediterranean (Leiden : Brill, 2007)
Brigitte Labs-Ehlert, Peter Zumthor Atmospheres – Architectural Environments, Surrounding Objects, English translation, (Birkhauser 2006) Peter Zumthor Therme Vals, Peter Zumthor, University of Chicago Press (28th December 2012)
ArchDaily, The Therme Vals – Peter Zumthor, http://www.archdaily.com/13358/the-therme-vals (Accessed 25.03.2013) Garret G. Fagan, Bathing In Public In The Roman World, (The University of Michigan Press, 2002), pg 84
Alexia Brue, Cathedrals of the flesh : in search of the perfect bath http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=lkm8nmFHk4gC&pg=PA1&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=3#v=onepage&q&f=false (Accessed 14.02.13) Ron Leadbetter, Asclepius, Encyclopedia Mythica, http://www.pantheon.org/articles/a/asclepius.html (Accessed 26.03.2013)
Evelyn Sharpe, How To Dress In The Water, http://century.guardian.co.uk/1899-1909/Story/0,,126381,00.html, Saturday 26 May 1906, (Accessed 22.03.2013)
Christopher Love, A Social History of Swimming in England 1800 – 1918: Splashing in the Serpentine (Sport in a Global Society), (Routledge London 2007) Agnes Campbell (B.A.), Report on Public Baths and Wash-Houses in the United Kingdom, The Carnegie United Kingdom Trust (Edinburgh 1918) ARCHIVE www.archive.org (Accessed 01.04.2013)
British History Online, Chapter XX, Marylebone, North: Its Historical Associations, http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid =45235&strquery=bath+house (26.03.2013) Robert Kyriakides’s Weblog, Ideas About the Environment, Poplar Baths, Posted on May 7th 2012, http://robertkyriakides.wordpress. com/2012/05/07/poplar-baths/ (Accessed 26.03.13)
Derelict London, Pools and Baths, http://www.derelictlondon.com/public-pools-and-baths.html (Accessed 26.03.13)
City of Westminster Archives, St Marylebone Baths and Washhouses, http://www.westminster.gov.uk/services/libraries/archives/ showcase/sporting-stories/3/1/1/ (Accessed 26.03.13) The Dictionary of Victorian London, Health and Hygiene - Baths and Bathing - St Marylebone Baths and Washhouses, http://www. victorianlondon.org/health/stmarylebonebaths.htm (Accessed 26.03.13)
London SE1, News - Remains of Roman bath house found on Borough High Street, Thursday 15th September 2011, http://www.londonse1.co.uk/news/view/5520 (Accessed 26.03.13) myplace support team, Hornsey Road Baths Community Launch Event, http://www.myplacesupport.co.uk/Hornsey-Road-Baths/ hornsey-road-baths-community-launch-event.html (Accessed 26.03.13)
Sarah Rainey, The Telegraph – Travel – London, Barking Bathhouse Spa and Bar; Barking, London: Review, 30th August 2012, http:// www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/uk/london/9504740/Barking-Bathhouse-spa-and-bar-Barking-London-review.html (Accessed 28.03.2013) The Fukuoka Asian Culture Prizes, Laureates for 2009, award citation for Augustin Berque http://www.asianmonth.com/prize/ english/20/ (Accessed 13.01.2013) W. C. Oulton, The Traveller’s Guide; or, English Itinerary, Vol II, (Ivy-Lane, London: James Cundee), p. 245.
Lidos in London no longer Open, compiled by Oliver Merrington and Andy Hoines, http://homepage.ntlworld.com/oliver.merrington/ lidos/lidos1closed.htm#southbury (Accessed 23/03/13)
IMAGES Fig. 1 Encyclopedia Britannica, Roman Aqueduct in England, taken by Karel Gallas/Shutterstock, http://www.britannica.com/ EBchecked/media/120352/Pont-du-Gard-an-ancient-Roman-aqueduct-in-Nimes-France (Accessed17.04.2013)
Fig. 2 Bathing Machine, Retronaught - See the Past like you wouldn’t believe, Category - Fashion and Beauty 1900’s, http://www.retronaut. com/2012/08/bathing-machines-c-1900/ (Accessed 17.04.2013) Fig. 3 R. Buckminster Fuller, Prefabricated Dymaxion Bathroom from Portfolio Inventions 1981, Artnet, http://www.artnet.com/ artwork/425671331/112558/buckminster-fuller--prefabricated-dymaxion-bathroom-from-the-portfolio-inventions-twelve-aroundone.html (Accessed 17.04.2013) Fig. 4 R. Buckminstr Fuller, The Dymaxion Bathroom (1936), The Fuller Effect Blog, http://thefullereffect.blogspot.co.uk/2009/03/rbuckminster-fuller_12.html (Accessed 17.04.2013) Fig. 5 Barking Bathhouse, Telegraph Travel, Barking Bathhouse Spa and Bar; Barking, London: Review, by Sarah Rainey, 30 Aug 2012, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/uk/london/9504740/Barking-Bathhouse-spa-and-bar-Barking-Londonreview.html (Accessed 17.04.2013)
Fig. 6 Barking Bathhouse, dezeen magazine, “We got into the geeky zone trying to understand urban agriculture” - Something & Son, 8 Jan 2013, http://www.dezeen.com/2013/01/08/something-and-son-designed-in-hackney-day/ (Accessed 17.04.2013)
Fig. 7 Table from - ‘The Pictorial Handbook of London’, The Dictionary of Victorian London, Health and Hygiene - Baths and Bathing - St Marylebone Baths and Washhouses, http://www.victorianlondon.org/health/stmarylebonebaths.htm (Accessed 26.03.13) Fig. 8 Agnes Campbell (B.A.), Report on Public Baths and Wash-Houses in the United Kingdom, The Carnegie United Kingdom Trust (Edinburgh 1918) ARCHIVE - Map 1 ‘Frontispiece’ – To illustrate the distribution of public baths throughout the United Kingdom in relation to density populations. Insets: a) Enlargement of Lancashire and Yorkshire industrial area. b) Enlargement of London District c) Map of the Metropolitan boroughs to show distribution and nature of baths and washhouse establishments.
Fig. 9 ‘The Open Air Swimming Pool c 1955, Enfield’, by Francis Frith – ‘Nostalgic Photos, maps, books & memories of Britain’ http://www.francisfrith.com/enfield/photos/the-open-air-swimming-pool-c1955_e179025/#utmcsr=google.co.uk&utmcmd=referral& utmccn=google.co.uk(Accessed 22/03/13) Fig. 10 The swimming baths in Enfield - http://homepage.ntlworld.com/oliver.merrington/lidos/lidos1closed.htm#southbury (Accessed 22/03/13) – from Lidos in London no longer Open, compiled by Oliver Merrington and Andy Hoines - http://homepage.ntlworld.com/ oliver.merrington/lidos/lidos1closed.htm#southbury (Accessed 23/03/13) Fig. 11 ‘The Pictorial Handbook of London’, The Dictionary of Victorian London, Health and Hygiene - Baths and Bathing - St Marylebone Baths and Washhouses, http://www.victorianlondon.org/health/stmarylebonebaths.htm (Accessed 26.03.13) Fig. 12 Google Street View – Marylebone Road opposite Lisson-grove, taken 27 March 2013
Fig. 13 Photograph taken by self on 04/03/13 - 1:100 model showing an individual ecology pod, that uses the elements of the theory of Fudo to create a bathing experience below.
Fig. 14 Photograph taken by self on 04/03/13- 1:100 model showing roof-scape and its atmosphere at dusk, with the sun’s effect on the building and subsequent effects on its surroundings.
Fig. 15 Photograph taken by self on 04/03/13- 1:100 model of the ‘Fudo’ roof-scape proposal showing the peaks and troughs in the moulded landscape, and the desired connection provided with the elements in ‘Fudo’ theory. Fig. 16 Photograph taken by self on 12/03/13 - A photo taken of the 1:100 scale ecology pods within the roof structure, showing the structure denoting the fact this is the Japanese bathing culture the user is experiencing.
Fig. 17 Part of design project drawn by self on 10/03/13 - A study into the different cultural patterns associated with the four cultural bathing experiences I have chosen. The patterns have been translated into nets and these will form the basis of the structure that will denote each culture. Fig 18. Photos taken by self on 12/03/13 - Photos of the more 1:100 scale ecology pods (left) within the roof structure and the water catchers (right), showing the structure denoting area also.
Can public bathing be re-‐instated as a community practice for a prudish modern society? Research Aims -‐
1 – Would people use a public bath?
2 -‐ Would learning about others cultures through experiencing something new be of interest to people? 3 -‐ Would a public bath be accepted as a form of social interaction within the city?
4 – Can landscape become an intrinsic element of a public building within the City of London, and other City
locations around the globe?
5 – If a design for a public bath were proposed, would the use justify the means?
The aims of my research are associated with a design project that is investigating the legitimacy of a proposal of a new form of public and community architecture within London. A social experiment and prototype for a new form of social interaction within the urban fabric of today, that is built on a model of public bathing, not only throughout history and within Europe as a form of washing and hygiene, but as a cultural model for human interaction. Within this aim of bringing community closer together through a mutually unknown and new experience, I aim to educate people on the differing cultures of bathing, as well as on the local landscape and ecology, and how this can inform and create the atmospheres within the building.
Can public bathing be re-‐instated as a community practice for a prudish modern society?
This survey forms part of a project that is investigating the legitimacy of a proposal of a new form of public and community architecture within London. This proposal takes the form of a public bathhouse that incorporates community facilities, education on the differing cultures of bathing-‐and of the local landscape and ecology. The survey aim is to find out your views and opinions on the possibility of bringing back the historical and cultural practice of public bathing. Responses will be used as a reference only and direct reference to participants will not be made within the project.
85 and over
3-‐ Country of Origin:…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
4-‐ Current place of residence? ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
1a – Would you use a public bath?
(If answered no, please jump to question 1c)
a – Would you have the time to visit a public bath?
b – If yes, how often?
Every other day
(Jump to question d)
once a week
twice a week
c – If no, for which of the following reasons?
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. (If answered no to question 1a, please jump to question 2)
d – If community services were located at the baths, would you be more likely to visit?
Community discussion space
(If no, jump to question 3)
e – If yes, what sort?
Local History centre
f – How much would you pay to use a public bath?
£5 or less
£100 and above
£16-‐£25 £50 and above
g – Would you pay more for extra treatments?
h -‐ How far would you travel to visit a bath?
2 – Would you feel embarrassed when visiting a public bath?
If yes, why?
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………........ (If no, jump to question 4)
3 – If cultural, religious and gender modesty were taken into account within the design and use of the
building, would your view change?
4 – Would learning about and experiencing other countries, where bathing is an important part of their
culture, be of interest to you?
5 – Could a public bath be a space for people to talk to each other and interact?
6 – Do you think we are facing water problems in the UK? Yes
7 -‐ Do you think that the conservation of water is an important task in 2013? Yes
8 – If a building incorporated a visible link with its water re-‐use cycle, would that persuade you to use the public bathing facilities? Yes No
THe History and Culture of publc bathing